Author: Chantelle Lee
Posters: Maria Lin
Despite months-long pandemic-related shutdowns, China’s local production has contributed largely to the growth in the box office. As of now, China has successfully surpassed the US as the world’s largest theatrical market.
In order to ensure that China continues to lead in the box-office, the China Film Administration has constructed and announced its five-year plan. The objective is to turn China into a “strong cultural power” by “adhering to the Party’s total leadership over film work”, and taking control of the film market.
The aforesaid plan includes:
- The release of 50 films per year that gross at least $15.7 million.
- Local films to represent at least 55% of the total box office per year; this should not pose a problem since local films made up 60% of the Chinese box office in 2018, and 85% in 2020.
- Having 100,000 theatre screens by 2025 as there currently only are 77,000.
- Establishing a “national high-tech film research laboratory”.
- The portrayal of a “trustworthy, lovable and respectable” image of China.
In the upcoming years, experts predict that the Chinese media and movie industry may go through widespread tightening. The increase in regulations will lead to fewer Hollywood films being approved in China, as demonstrated by its current 34-film quota on foreign releases.
Some producers believe that China is moving away from Hollywood. However, critics believe that China will continue to thrive with the local Chinese film production. For example, “The Battle at Lake Changjin ” is a Chinese war film that has grossed $882 million so far from only China, making it the highest-grossing film in the world this year. It is set to be released in foreign markets such as the US and the UK soon.