For the third consecutive weekend, Life of Pi grabbed the #1 spot at the Chinese box office. With an incredible $25.88 million (down just 3.8 percent from last weekend), Ang Lee's film is riding a wave of extraordinary word of mouth in China. Through 18 days of release, the film has now grossed $68.9 million in the country. That moves Life of Pi up to #17 of all-time in China, just behind Inception at #16 with $70.42 million.
Back to 1942 also impressed in its second weekend with another $23.4 million. Its Chinese total sits at $44.7 million after just 11 days in release, placing it at #31 all-time.
Rounding out the top five were The Last Supper ($4.5 million with a cume of $10.7 million), My Sassy Hubby (debuting to $1.77 million in 3 days) and 2012 3D ($1.73 million for a new cume of $20.67 million). 2012 is less than $120,000 away from surpassing Quantum of Solace to enter the top 100 of all-time in China.
Beijing, China-Dec 11, 2012 --Digital Cinema pioneer Barco announces that its newest DP2K-10S digital cinema projector, based on the 0.69" DLP Cinema® chipset, has been selected by Hunan FAYOO Film Culture Industry Investment Management Co., Ltd. (‘FAYOO') and installed at its newly-opened cinema in Taojiang, Hunan Province, China. This makes FAYOO the first exhibitor in China to use an S2K projector to show commercial movies.
In order to meet the requirement for exhibiting domestic and Hollywood blockbusters, small and medium-sized digital cinemas need to upgrade to a cost-effective solution. To meet this demand, Barco has launched the DP2K-10S projector, the industry's first DCI-compliant and fully integrated digital cinema projector for small screen theatres.
Barco S2K projectors are being installed in 5 theaters of FAYOO's newly-opened cinema. Furthermore, CFG-Barco, the joint venture between Barco and China Film Group, has stated that over 100 Barco S2K projectors will be provided to local cinemas in China by the end of this year.
Mr. Cao Yu, Chairman of Hunan FAYOO Film Culture Industry Investment Management Co., Ltd., commented: "Investments in local theaters are part of our strategic deployment. Barco's cost-effective, highly reliable S2K projector is just what we need to enable our small-sized cinema to exhibit domestic and overseas blockbusters and provide moviegoers with a premium cinema experience."
Wim Buyens, Senior Vice President Barco and Head of the Entertainment Division, said: "I am very proud that our DP2K-10S projector has received such high recognition from the market worldwide. This proves that our product research and development are on the right track, the best of 2 worlds no compromised towards the cinema experience and DCI requirement and the lowers TCO, well suited for our China market. We will continue to increase the R&D investment and supply more digital cinema projection systems for more cinemas."
Specifically designed for small screens
Based on the 0.69" DLP Cinema® S2K chipset, Barco's DP2K-10S features exceptional brightness, vibrant and stable color, and perfect image ratio, enabling small and medium-sized theaters to provide an outstanding visual experience for their audiences. Furthermore, the DP2K-10S won the Best Product Award at the 2012 Beijing International Radio, TV & Film Equipment Exhibition (BIRTV) in August - a clear indication of its exceptional market potential in the future.
Mr. Chen Xuxiang, General Manager of CFG-Barco (Beijing) Electronics Co., Ltd., stated: "The DP2K-10S projector was developed with the involvement of Barco's China R&D team and currently rolling out of our production line in China. FAYOO is an important partner, and I am very glad that this product's first installation is in FAYOO's cinema. This encourages us to continue to provide comprehensive solutions for a variety of clients, with the goal of accelerating the development of China's cinemas."
About Hunan FAYOO Film Culture Industry Investment Management Co., Ltd.
Hunan FAYOO Film Culture Industry Investment Management Co., Ltd. (FAYOO) is a pioneering comprehensive enterprise with operations covering modern high-standard cinema investment, cinema decoration design, cinema construction, cinema equipment, and professional management training. FAYOO has established long-term, close partnerships with many local theaters, film production and investment companies, such as China Film Group Corporation and its digital circuits, Golden Age Digital Cinema, Hengdian circuits, Hunan Film Group, China Film Stellar Theater Chain, Beijing Fengshang Digital Cinemas, Hunan Xiaoxiang Digital Cinemas, etc.
FAYOO has many cinemas that have been established, or are being established, in Hunan Province of China, including FAYOO Xiledi International Cinema in Changsha, FAYOO Jindian International Cinema in Lengshuijiang, Ningyuan, Taojiang and Xiangxiao FAYOO Xingsha International Cinema. FAYOO is committed to becoming an influential and leading investment management company for medium-sized theaters.
U.S.-based Superior Venture Corp.'s subsidiary company Illustro Pictures Limited is expected to continue its growth within the Chinese movie market after several years of 25-40 percent annual growth.
Said President and CEO Brian Hammond, "We are seeing a huge demand for Chinese domestic films to fill the roughly ten new movie screens that open in China daily, making it the fastest growing and second largest movie market on the world. The leading Chinese studios that we have developed relationships with are looking at multiple projects, all of which could use the co-development and production capabilities of our subsidiary, Ilustrato Pictures. We believe that the 25% to 40% plus growth that resulted in record box office for China in 2012 directly benefits our Company. We are out to capture significant co-development projects that utilize our talented writing, development and production resources. With that kind of growth, we could see multiple large scale projects developed within 12 to 24 months."
Illustro is also in the process of multiple co-development agreements with various Chinese film studios.
Ryan Murray, the Motion Picture Associations's director of content protection, Asia Pacific, delivered a brief presentation on the continuing problem of piracy in key Asia Pacific markets such as China and India.
The biggest problem is that both countries lack proper laws designed to prevent camcording. The MPA is lobbying local authorities to establish new laws, but it's clearly not happening fast enough.
Forensic matches, a process by which the MPA analyzes pirated copies in order to figure out where they came from, have increased by 45% year/year for a total of 119 this year in the Asia Pacific. India has the most with 66, followed by Thailand with 30 and 14 in China.
Pirating in India is largely concentrated in three cities: Ahmedabad, Indore and Ghaziabad. "We're dealing with three well-organized criminal syndicates," Murray warned.
One piracy site that Murray drew attention to is Tom365.com, a Chinese site that allows users to stream films instantly. The page ranks #1,381 in China, according to Alexa.
A question from a member of the audience addressed the lack of legal streaming in the Asia, where sites such as Hulu and Netflix are not available in key markets. Murray answered by stressing the need for a healthy content environment before distributors are willing to establish legit streaming models.
Sunder Kimatrai, 20th Century Fox International's senior vice president, Asia Pacific, broke the ice with the first studio presentation of CineAsia 2012.
Kimatrai began with praise for Life of Pi. Ang Lee's stirring drama has grossed $106 million from 11 Asia Pacific markets. China leads with a staggering $68.2 million, followed by India with $10.4 million. "They weren't kidding when they called this the next Avatar," Kimatrai quipped. The VP pleaded for convention attendees to keep the film on screens as long as they can. "I think we're just getting started," Kimatrai boasted.
The rest of 20th Century Fox's presentation consisted of trailers and extended clips for new films. The reel kicked off with an introduction from Hugh Jackman. The Croods and Epic were featured prominently, and the new footage looks stunning. Kimatrai also touted films that he had no footage for: The Internship with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, The Wolverine, Percy Jackson and the Sea Monters, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty with Ben Stiller and Runner Runner, a drama about the world of online poker with Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake. Of those, The Wolverine and Percy Jackson should post the strongest Asia Pacific numbers.
A trailer for The Sessions received an enthusiastic response from the mostly Asian crowd. Unfortunately, Kimatrai bemoaned, censorship issues will prevent the film from opening in many Asia Pacific markets.