• Premiere Of Universal Pictures' 'The Great Wall' - Arrivals

Premiere Of Universal Pictures' 'The Great Wall' - Arrivals (Photo : Getty Images)

The substantial boost that Hollywood producers earn from a China showing has been confirmed several times recently by box-office results. The latest to benefit from a China exhibition is “The Fate of the Furious” which even before its April 14 premiere had earned $18.1 million pre-sales earning in China.

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For Hollywood producers interested in entering into co-production ventures with Chinese entertainment companies, Miao Xiaotian, president of China Film Co-Production Corp., provided three tips how they can reach the millions of Chinese audience. These are for the foreign producer to partner with a Chinese company, to cast more native Chinese actors, and have enough Chinese elements in the movie’s overall look, Bloomberg reported.

What Makes a Movie Chinese?

Miao, the gatekeeper of the Chinese film industry, heads the company that handles applications of foreign studios to shoot films in China. Just because a movie was shot in China makes it a Chinese movie, Miao pointed out.

He cited applications that have a completely foreign screenplay, foreign crew and cast that attempt to pass off their movie as a Chinese film. Miao said such efforts lack good faith, he explained on a panel at the ongoing Beijing International Film Festival.

Since China has a maximum quota of 34 foreign films to be shown in China annually, entering into a co-production would make the movie a local one. A domestic film has more flexibility when it comes to marketing and distribution.

Co-Productions on the Rise

In 2016, there were 89 co-production permits that China Film Co-Production Corp. issued. It is higher by 11 percent compared to 2015. However, being a co-production and having Chinese as well as Hollywood actors in a movie is not a guarantee to box-office success.

The best example is “The Great Wall” which starred Matt Damon. It cost $150 million to produce, earned $330.7 million after three and a half months of exhibition which was $400 million short to break even. The movie is expected to suffer a loss of $75 million, making one Hollywood executive remark that “There’s no question but that it’s a failure,” Mint reported.