In 2020, box office collections of foreign films in China have grown by more than half, with some of the major markets facing a tough challenge for Hollywood.
In the year China crowned the US as the world’s No. 1 film market with revenues of 20.4 billion yuan ($ 3.2 billion), foreign films accounted for only 16% of ticket receipts. Compared with 36% in 2019, according to data from local ticketing platform Maouyan Entertainment.
Cinemas on the mainland reopened in mid-July, after aggressively within months by China, a series of local fare including the world’s top-grossing film, The Eight Hundred, a historical war drama, last year. Offers B.V. In contrast, the US and Europe are still struggling to stop the epidemic. Lockdowns in many countries are coming back as infections and deaths increase, keeping cinema halls shut and delaying Hollywood productions and releases.
PwC China’s global technology, media and telecommunications industry leader Wilson Chow said, “China is the fastest to get out of the effects of the epidemic and Chinese people are very willing to go out to theaters and watch the cinema.” “Hollywood released fewer blockbusters last year, so its level of appeal to Chinese audiences has diminished.”
The epidemic also called it “a studio of half-paralyzed Hollywood,” Chow said. Less large releases in China meant a smaller share in their box office revenue. For example, films like Minions: The Rise of Grew and Black Widow were pushed this year.
Foreign films are also at a disadvantage in China as the authorities tightly control the number of imported films. A memorandum of the World Trade Organization in 2012 expanded the annual target for foreign titles imported into China from 20 to 34. There is also a blackout period for foreign films during the peak season.
According to the industry’s data tracker Box Office Mojo, local films accounted for 84% of China’s box office revenue in 2020, up from 64% in 2019. The Chinese studio produced four of the 10 biggest titles. On the other hand, many of Hollywood’s much-awaited, big-budget films flopped in China or spent time setting fire to some public relations.
The Walt Disney Company fantasy-action drama Mulan sparked controversy for his portrayal of Chinese culture and came under fire for filming in China’s Xinjiang region, where Beijing is accused of torturing Muslim-minority Uygars.
Monster Hunter, directed by Paul WS Anderson and supported by Sony Corp, was pulled from some theaters in China after some viewers criticized a scene for being racist. Its co-producers apologized and edited the controversial line, which, according to some viewers, was similar to a playground against people of Asian descent that was reportedly dirty.
The recovery of the industry in China has triggered a rally in some local film stocks. Wanda Film Holding Company has advanced 26% since July while Beijing Enlight Media Company and Huawei Brothers Media Corp gained 9% and 13%. Each of these three companies saw their shares fall in the first six months of 2020.