China’s film industry is pointing to a recovery in box office revenue and attendance over the past 12 months as it comes to Cannes not so much, but with the cinematic spirit slowly recovering from the pandemic. Global.
The China Film Pavilion has been set up at the Marché du Film to ignite “belief in the development of [Chinese] industry and restarting international exchanges and cooperation in this area, including participation in film festivals,” according to information provided by the host Corporation Cooperative Production. Film China (CFCC), although the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in China has restricted any representation from those two agencies from actually making the trip to France.
China’s industry had a strong year in 2019 before the pandemic hit, breaking records for box office revenue ($9.3 billion), number of movies released (1,037), number of theaters screening (69,787) and total attendance (1,727 billion), according to data provided by the CFCC.
As everywhere, 2020 brings everything to a halt, but the CFCC points out that the progress made in 2021 is the shape of everything – and hopefully – to come. Box office receipts amounted to $7.4 billion and viewership reached 1.167 billion — year-over-year increases of 73.5 percent and 67.6 percent, respectively. The number of screens also goes up to 82,248, according to the CFCC.
While the COVID-19 lockdown in several major Chinese cities – including Shanghai – has resulted in widespread movie theater closures by 2022, there are still some glimmers of hope in the cinemas. film released domestically. Among the hits is director Xing Wenxiong’s comedy for the first time Too cool to kill, features Wei Xiang in a breakout role as a struggling actor hired to pose as a real-life assassin. Japanese remake Magic Hour Since 2008, the film has grossed $390 million at the global box office and had a limited release in North America.
Other successes have included Battle of Changjin Lake IIWorld War II patriotic activist led by veterans Dante Lam, Tu Khac and Chen Kaige, is still playing in cinemas in some territories and has grossed 620 million USD to date.
There is also hope ahead this summer with the pending release of the Chinese-Italian rom-com. Italian Recipe, which combines two aspects of life that have been somewhat limited in recent times – romance and travel. The film claims to be a remake of the Audrey Hepburn-Gregory Peck . car Roman Holidays (1953), but intended for contemporary domestic audiences. It leans towards people like the 2013 hit Find the right Mr. where it takes two Chinese characters and puts them in a foreign context, this time in Rome, not Seattle. The film was well received by Italian audiences at its world premiere at the Far East Film Festival in Udine last month, and its appeal comes even in the sparks that fly between the two leads Yao Huang and Xun. Liu, but also in the commercial savvy of Rome’s local language uses, such as the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain, as the backdrop to their growing romance.
Farther on the horizon to come Wandering Earth 2, the much-anticipated sequel to China’s breakout from 2019, grossed $700 million and is widely recognized as China’s first sci-fi blockbuster. Delays enforced by the pandemic now have the film slated for release in 2023, but many expect once again from director Frant Gwo, who this time has turned to the well-known Hong Kong veteran actor. Andy Lau takes on the lead role, while continuing to exploit the material provided by the most successful Chinese science fiction author of all time Liu Cixin. The film tells the story of a group of astronauts on a mission to find a new home for humanity.
Liu’s novels and short stories are also feeding content creators elsewhere, as both China’s Tencent streaming platform and global streaming channel Netflix are currently finalizing versions. Serial adaptation of the Hugo Award-winning author Three-body problem. The Chinese authorities see great potential in the science fiction field – and a report published in local media during last year’s China Science Fiction Conference in Beijing claimed The industry is worth up to 5 billion USD in the first half of 2021.
Such topics will no doubt be part of the discussion at the China Film Center, which is funded by the National Film Development Fund of China and located at the International Village, Pantiero no. 208, when it introduced a series of forums filmed on the occasion featuring the leading lights of Chinese cinema – among them director Diao Yinan (Black coal, thin ice) and Jia Zhangke (Still life), studio head Jiang Defu (COO of Bona Film Group) and Zeng Maojun (chairman of Wanda Cultural Industry Group and Wanda Film Group), as well as Liu Chun, president of CFCC.
These filmmakers can be seen onscreen (and also via China Film Pavilion’s online platform) discussing topics including “an overview of the Chinese film industry in 2021, how to art films are imported and distributed in China, international distribution of Chinese films, project development experience shared by young producers from China, as well as how the film community China will promote future international cooperation opportunities after the COVID-19 shock,” according to the CFCC.
“International Distribution of Chinese Films” will focus on how Chinese films can “go global”, while “Negotiations on the promotion of art house films in China” will explain the work of the Alliance. the nation’s national art cinema of China (aka NAAC), which has screened more than 100 films and held 10 themed film festivals since its founding in 2017 and now operates with 3,000 cooperative theaters, covering 300 cities across China.
There is also a China pavilion at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, which showcases the work of 24 industry players, including production companies, film studios, festivals, copyright agencies and film academies , while also showcasing some of the country’s successful productions over the past few years. Among them are Battle of Changjin Lake II.