Saturday, July 25, 2015

China Rising

So the Middle Kingdom is (finally?) creating animated entertainment that its citizens want to see:

This has been the summer that wasn’t for Hollywood’s major studios in China, their largest overseas market. ... China’s State Administration of Print, Publishing, Radio, Film and Television (“SAPPRFT”, or more commonly “SARFT”) imposed the crushing blow of its annual summer ‘domestic film protection period.’ More commonly referred to as the ‘blackout’ period in Hollywood circles, this is a stretch of typically six to eight weeks when imported ‘quota’ films are barred from mainland theaters in order to open up more screen time for Chinese movies. ...

Chinese distributors have rolled out several huge audience pleasers in the past few weeks, with family fantasy epic Monster Hunt leading the way. Directed by Shrek the 3rd co-director Raman Hui and produced by Edko’s Bill Kong (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero). ...

Another local film, the animated family adventure The Monkey King: Hero is Back, has succeeded beyond all expectations. This week it will roll past the long-standing $92 million record held by 2011 Dreamworks Animation’s release Kung Fu Panda 2 to set a new record for highest grossing animated film in China.

In years gone by, China couldn't coax Chinese audiences into theaters with its own product. Many stated away, because nothing was offered that people wanted to see.

But over time everything changes. And Chinese have now found the right combination of ingredients that the locals want to slap down money to see. It helps that American films have been blacked out for two months, but that hasn't been the determining factor in the past. This time, domestic studios have cooked up two big winners. So congrats!


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