Filmmakers eye wider viewership with engaging content

By Xu Fan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-08-04 07:54:01

Filmmakers eye wider viewership with engaging content

Xue Zhiqian, who sings for the animation movie Throne of Elves, attends a promotional event in Beijing.[Photo provided to China Daily]

For instance, you have Hong Kong megastar Eason Chan singing in Big Fish & Begonia and award-winning singer Xue Zhiqian in Throne of Elves.

For industry watchers, the transition is a natural progression, spawned by last year's smash hit Monkey King: Hero Is Back.

As Wang Changtian, president of China's largest private entertainment firm, Enlight Media, which has invested in 22 animation films since last year, says: "Obviously, domestic filmmakers want their titles to be family-friendly, but not only for children."

Saying that animation films will soon account for around 15 percent of China's box-office takings, Wang says family-friendly titles or youth-focused movies will become mainstream content in China, just like in the United States and Japan.

But he says: "Chinese adults have yet to get into the habit of watching animation films in cinemas," and adds that cinema chains are also biased against domestic animation films, leading to the much fewer screenings compared with live-action titles.

Statistics show China's total output of animation content rose from 21,800 minutes in 2004 to 260,000 minutes in 2011, despite a slight fall in more recent years.

But Lu Shengzhang, an animation professor at the Communication University of China, says: "Quality does not equal quantity."

He says Chinese animators have to focus on creativity and originality to produce quality films, which will draw viewers of all ages.

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