China And Movies, A Big Step Forward

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China is soon going to be the world’s largest economy. It is having a stupendous growth rate and its rival India is way behind. China has already made its mark in almost every field including sports and also has many distinctions in space technology, world’s fastest train and the world’s largest car market. It was only a matter of before the Dragon turned its attention to the celluloid world-films. This the Chinese have now duly done and the film industry in China is on an upswing and it will be no wonder if they outstrip Hollywood and India.

As things stand at present the USA is the leader in the celluloid world as it has a global reach and audience. In 2010 it generated box office revenues of $ 11 billion. The next nations in order of Box office receipts are Japan and India with collections of $2.5 billion and 2.2 billion respectively. These figures are way behind Hollywood. China however has made impressive strides and at present ranks just after India. This is impressive considering the fact that China Films industry is still in its infancy. It is estimated that the Chinese Film industry generated box office receipts of $ 1.5 billion in 2010 and also produced nearly 500 films. In terms of figures the Chinese box office earnings jumped 64% in 2010 compared to previous years. This contrasts with Indian film revenue increasing every year by only about 10-12%.

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The Chinese expect to overtake Hollywood by 2015.This is not an idle boast, but very likely considering the effort, time and money the Chinese are pumping into their film industry. In India and USA the construction of new theatres is stagnating, but in Chins 313 movie theatres were added last year. Chinese film industry is also going global and two of their films Aftershock and let Bullets fly have attracted a global audience. In this field Bollywood lacks behind as it has not been able to command a global clientele and its reach is limited to places with a large Indian Diaspora.

I will not be surprised that given the Chinese penchant for innovation and a forward look a string of Hindi films may also emerge from China. This will severely cut into the Indian market. In any case Bollywood and Hollywood will have to pull up their socks to counter China. But I for one say hats off to the Chinese. They excelled in what ever they do and attempt. Let’s take a leaf from the Chinese book.


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