The Chinese Box Office: “The Great Wall”

In the wake of the Oscars, it can sometimes be incredibly easy to get swept up in the mayhem. So, to offer a small reprieve, let’s talk about China, specifically it’s box office and why it matters to film companies.

“After 10 days, Xandar Cage, has earned $134 million in China, more than triple its $44 million North American total”

Why is this the case?  ScreenRant’s Kayleigh Donaldson, while by no means possessing the answer to this question, which is both ideological and on some level layered in economics, makes the point that the Chinese like to see themselves in films. This might explain The Great Wall‘s success:

“Like any nation, Chinese audiences enjoy seeing themselves and their culture on screen”

Contrast The Great Wall to The Mermaid, the current highest grossing film in China, and a different perspective comes to the forefront- the domestic Chinese market. While Hollywood films recently have been doing well in China, in no small part due to Disney with the opening of its Shanghai resort, the international grosses do not come anywhere near China’s domestic films.

“…audiences flock to blockbusters by home-grown talents like Stephen Chow, whose film The Mermaid is the highest grossing film in China, and made half a billion dollars without even having to come to America”

This kind of response is telling, especially for Hollywood. If film producers and studio executives want a film to succeed beyond the US, make sure it is accessible to the Chinese market. Such tactics have saved films like Warcraft and Transformers: Age of Extinction from becoming complete box office bombs, ultimately allowing for the studios to reap some reward and mitigate some of their initial loss in revenue.



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