The Chinese film industry has been shaken up by the arrival of more Hollywood features in theaters, according to the Bangkok Post.
Since moviegoers in China are drawn to the latest and greatest box office offerings from the United States, films produced in the country have dropped in popularity. In order to stay afloat, Vice Minister Tian Jin believes filmmakers will have to step up their game.
“This has brought handsome profits to the American film industry but has also posed pressure and challenge to the Chinese film industry,” Tian explained. “Domestic films are facing great pressure.”
Deadline reports that China agreed to expand the number of foreign films from 20 per year to 40 in February. As a result of his decision, box office profits have jumped nearly 40 percent from last year. Unfortunately, only 40 percent of business was generated by domestic endeavors.
“The objective reason is that more foreign films in the Chinese market have dealt a blow to domestic films, and the subjective reason is that the domestic film industry needs to be more competitive,” Tian said.
Tian Jin also addressed allegations that officials were scheduling big Hollywood movies to compete against one another. In August, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight were released on the same day. The Lorax and Ice Age: Continental Drift were dropped into theaters at the same time.
“The release schedule of films is purely a market act,” Tian said. “The government will never impose a schedule to any film or release.”
Although the Chinese film industry may have taken a hit in the past few months, there’s still hope for homegrown hits in the coming weeks. Writer, director, and star Jackie Chan’s Chinese Zodiac opens on December 12. Acclaimed director Kar Wai Wong’s martial arts flick The Grandmasters is set to open in theaters in China on December 18.