Alice in Wonderland. Photo by CFP
Following the spectacular box office revenues of Hollywood’s “Avatar” (1.3 billion RMB) and “Alice in Wonderland” (168.6 million RMB in 12 days), it seems that Chinese movie makers are gearing up to take a slice of the lucrative 3D pie.
Xinhua and the Global Times report that China’s leading film-makers are lining up 3D movie projects. The China Film Group Corporation has two animated 3D films in the works according to spokesman Weng Li, and consider China’s film makers well on the way to producing 3D films able to compete on an international scale. An unnamed senior manager at CFGC has predicted that “The huge potential for 3D movies is luring more investment and it will take only one or two years for Chinese studios to mature in 3D production.”
Cinemas in China are upgrading equipment to accommodate the 3D trend, with about 2000 digital screens in China, including 800 that are equipped to show movies in 3D, Li said. CFGC is apparently seeking bids to add 500 digital projectors over the next four to six months.
Considering China’s limitations on importing only 20 foreign films per year for screening in mainland cinemas, it is a smart move to cultivate domestic productions of 3D films.
A survey led by the China Film Group Corporation, a leading production house and distributor, found 90 percent of Chinese cinema-goers preferred movies that reflected the lives of ordinary Chinese, instead of fancy blockbusters set in ancient times or an imaginary land. CFGC spokesman Weng Li says, “Our strategy is to balance the small homemade productions with foreign blockbusters.”
This 3D craze isn’t the only change China’s movie landscape is going through. It will be importing its first R-rated film, Spain’s “El orfanato”, set to premiere in mid-April. CFGC, who will be distributing the film, has said they will ask cinemas to require a parent or adult guardian to accompany under 17’s to see it.
Also to be rendered in 3D: The movie commemorating the 34th anniversary of the devastating Tangshan Earthquake.