Pop culture saves cinema

By Wang Kaihao ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-09-18 07:23:39

Pop culture saves cinema

A scene from China's top-grossing film in 2013, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons. Photo provided to China Daily

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China's lowest-grossing film in 2013 earned just 2,000 yuan ($324) at the box office.

Memories Look at Me—an arthouse film directed by Song Fang and produced by acclaimed director Jia Zhangke about a working woman's trip back home to a small city to spend time with her parents—won acclaim at several overseas film festivals.

But China's cinemas expected little audience interest and, consequently, didn't give it long runs.

Still, it at least made it to theaters. More than half of the Chinese films made last year were never shown in theaters, according to two recent reports by the China Film Association and Film Art Center, which operates under the auspices of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles.

Altogether, 638 feature films, excluding made-for-television movies, were produced on the mainland in 2013. That's 107 fewer than in 2012.

But only 250 Chinese films, including productions from Hong Kong and Taiwan, and those co-produced by China and other countries or regions, were shown on the mainland's big screens in 2013.

"There were more co-produced films," the reports note.

"Chinese films still have difficulties going abroad, but there were more foreign participants in the country's filmmaking."

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