China's film industry continued to grow rapidly, with box office grosses exceeding $3.52 billion in 2013, celebrating a 27.5% growth from the previous year. While the number of screens approaches 20,000, China, the world's largest international theatrical market, presents enormous opportunities for the global film industry. Meanwhile, the increasing numbers of imported blockbusters and the improved quality of Chinese productions have escalated the competition to a level that's never been so fierce.
To help industry players understand the unique and ever-changing features of China's film industry and moviegoers, EntGroup published "China Film Industry Report 2013-2014" based on interviews, in-depth research and analysis. This is the 6th such annual report by EntGroup since 2009.
Domestic Films Takes off While Imported Films Slumps; US-China Collaborations Increases
Majority of the box office growth was contributed by Chinese films in 2013, grossing $2.06 billion, up 54.3% over 2012, a 58.6% share of the box office total. Box office for imported films only grew 2.3%, the lowest since 2007.
A total number of 61 imported films were distributed in mainland China in 2013, of which 34 were the revenue-shared and 27 buyouts. The latter were down by 42% y-o-y, taking a merely 8% share of the annual box office gross, partially due to difficulty in finalizing timeslots for them in a competitive market place.
The report believes that the fundamental reason for the low growth of the market share of imported films is the lack of variety in recent imported films, many of which are sequels and re-releases, and heavily driven by special effects. In contrast, local films, such as So Young, Seeking Mr. Right and Tiny Times, are more diverse and relatable.
Although 2013 only saw one official Sino-US co-production, Man of Tai Chi, films including The Expendables 2, Cloud Atlas, and Iron Man 3, all had involvement from Chinese companies, and achieved global success. We expect to see more and more collaborations between China and US productions on project and company levels.
Audiences like Chinese Comedy and Romance, as Well as Hollywood Action and Sci-fi
The year 2013 saw action, romance, science fiction and comedy movies as the four highest-grossing genres. Analysis shows that, while romance and comedy movies had the biggest share for domestic films, action and sci-fi movies dominated foreign films, with action movies capturing 44 percent and sci-fi capturing 33 percent.
State-owned Distributors Lose Market Shares to the Private Sector
State-owned China Film Group and Huaxia Film remain the largest and second largest distributors; they are also the only companies authorized to distribute foreign films. Both of their market shares have decreased from 2012, a result of the slumping performances of imported films.
Huayi Brothers, Enlight Pictures and Le Vision Pictures ranked No. 3, 4 and 5 respectively. Out of the top 10 companies, Wanda Media, as a relatively new distribution company, had the largest number of films released, at 11. However, because of the low average box office per film, it settled in at No. 7 on the chart.
A $10.9 million opening day for Godzilla in China set the stage for what will likely prove to be a monster weekend. The Friday premiere proved to be the biggest WB opening day in the market and the biggest opening day of the year in China, exceeding both X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
SHANGHAI – (June 13, 2014) – Christie®, the industry-preferred brand in the digital cinema projection market, today announced the unveiling of the world’s first commercial pure laser projection system installed at the prestigious Shanghai Film Art Center on June 13, 2014.
The Shanghai Film Art Center, the first cineplex to be built in China, has just installed the Oriental Mega Screen and is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and amenities. The installation of Christie’s laser projection system at this facility is a clear indication that high-brightness laser projection technology is officially ready to enter commercial operations. Having successfully demonstrated high powered laser projection systems at numerous industry events for the past two years, including the world’s first commercial laser engagement in 2013, Christie has once again accomplished the pioneering feat of placing this groundbreaking projection technology permanently within the reach of the mass audience.
Laser Projection Redefines 3D Cinema
As the pioneer and leader in laser projection technology, Christie is in constant pursuit of maximum brightness and the most realistic color reproduction. Through continuous research and innovation, Christie’s industry-leading products and solutions have time and again captivated and amazed audiences around the world, and constantly elevate the audiovisual experience to new heights. Christie laser projectors will provide industry-leading brightness of up to 72,000 lumens per projector head, wider color gamut capabilities, higher contrast, and dramatically reduced maintenance requirements, resulting in a better experience for all applications.
With a maximum brightness of up to 72,000 lumens, Christie’s laser technology has achieved an astounding breakthrough, which completely shattered its previous record of 34,000 lumens using conventional xenon lamp technology. Not only does this greatly increase the brightness when viewing 3D content, it also further pushes the capability of high quality visuals and art forms to new heights and restores cinematic colors to its intended realism and brilliance.
One of the biggest advantages of Christie’s laser projection system is its scalable and upgradable architecture, which allows users to precisely select the amount of laser light needed for their screen, with the capability to simply add more laser modules in the future if they wish to increase the brightness. Moreover, using the industry-proven Christie Duo system, there is no practical limit to the amount of light that can be put on a cinema screen. For maximum reliability, Christie’s laser system features integrated cooling in each laser module to provide the right amount of cooling for the lasers that are in use.
If the mechanical cooling components in one module experience a failure, then only that module goes dark, but the movie can still play very brightly with the light from other modules. Competitive architectures feature a single cooling unit, which represents a high risk, single-point of failure for the entire system.
Smooth Installation of World's First Commercial Laser Projector
The process of installing the world’s first commercial 4K laser projection system in Hall 1 of the Shanghai Film Art Center by Christie’s highly-proficient technical personnel has been smooth sailing. Boasting a brightness of 60,000 lumens, a contrast ratio of 3000:1, and a 1.4 gain high uniformity white screen measuring 23 meters in width, these technologies are set to deliver an unprecedented and ultimate visual experience for the audience. Christie is on track in setting a new record in the global film industry with the installation of this cutting edge laser projection system.
“As a pioneer in the visual display industry, Christie prides itself in the pursuit of achieving the highest in brightness and achieving the most realistic color reproduction,” said Don Shaw, senior director, Product Management, Christie.
“With our rich experience in the field of laser research and development, and having conducted a number of professional and commercial laser demos, Christie is able to deliver full-fledged laser technology at the Shanghai Film Art Center. The installation has been exceptionally smooth due to our longstanding expertise and practical experience in laser projection technology.”
Christie is the world’s first visual technologies company to receive the US FDA approval of variance allowing the sale of laser projectors for use in a cinema.
Christie Leads the Way in Commercial Laser Projection
The event at the Shanghai Film Art Center showcases the capabilities of Christie’s 4K laser projection system in displaying spectacular images that redefine the cinematic experience. From the gleaming bodywork of the hottest automobiles to flying sparks from chainsaw-wielding workers, the minute details on an owl’s feathers to soaring grains of sand generated from swift motions of a shark, the crystal-clear waters of natural landscapes to glimmering lights from multiple windows of a New York skyline at night, Christie’s laser projection system elevates stunning and lifelike visuals to a whole new level.
Guests who attended the event are not just enthralled by this unprecedented visual experience, they are also convinced that this installation marks a new milestone in cinema projection technologies. At the same time, they look forward to enjoying these breathtaking visuals at more theaters in China. The gala event concluded on a high note with the special preview of the Hollywood blockbuster film Godzilla.
“We are very proud to install and showcase the superiority and brilliance of the world’s first commercial laser projection system,” said Lin Yu, vice president, Christie Asia Pacific. “This revolutionary projector system will show how 3D light levels, color fidelity, image uniformity, viewing comfort, and a sense of immersion can be vastly improved, versus the conventional 3D systems found in cinemas around the world today. This heralds a new chapter in the milestones of global film technology and reinforces Christie’s position as the leader in ushering commercial theaters into a new era of high-brightness laser projection.”
Warner Bros. reports that Godzilla grossed Rmb 68m ($10.9 million) in China on Friday, from an estimated 9,000 DCinema screens. The debut marks the biggest WB opening day of all-time and the biggest opening day for 2014 (exceeding X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Amazing Spider-Man 2).
Edge of Tomorrow posted Tom Cruise and director Doug Liman’s biggest opening of all time in China, where it took a $25.1 million opening weekend from 6,813 screens. The sci-fi film enjoyed a 57% market share and ranked a clear #1 for the 3 day weekend.