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A 2017 lookout from Hollywood film maker

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-01-01 10:21

A 2017 lookout from Hollywood film maker

A poster of the film Resident Evil [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The passing 2016 witnesses a good momentum of North American box office, which grows to be the biggest year in history.

Audiences in the U.S. and Canada are expected to spend 11.35 billion U.S. dollars by the end of 2016, according to estimated data from comScore, which tracks weekly charts and ticket sales for North American releases. This number shows a 1.9 percent improvement over 2015's 11.14 billion dollars record and exceeds 2014's total grosses by 7.5 percent.

Thanks to movies like "Finding Dory," "Captain America: Civil War," "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," "The Secret Life of Pets," "Captain America: Civil War" and "The Jungle Book" pull the yearly box office gross to a high amount.

Meanwhile, audience has been fed up with Hollywood's long dependence on sequel films. The lack of original stories has been criticized for a while.

"There is an old saying that 'there is nothing wrong with the picture business that a few good films can't fix'," said former Academy Awards winner, American film maker Richard L. Anderson told Xinhua at the end of 2016.

"But like diamond mines, finding them (good films) is the hard part. Even the best have their off year," Anderson said, adding "If they had ESP would Steven Spielberg have made 'The BFG' or Lee Ang chosen 'Billy Lynn's Long Half Time Walk'? But artists will continue to create that which inspires them and hope that the world agrees."

For Anderson, his feature documentary "Behind Bayonets and Barbed Wire," which is a co-production with China, telling the stories of American soldiers who have been captured by Japanese and locked in prison camp in China's north-east city Shenyang, debuted in the United States.

"Personally, I had a good year and I look forward to developing some other film projects in the coming year," Anderson said.

On outlook of the film industry in the coming new year, he told Xinhua that, "In general, I think that the film business will continue pretty much the way it has been for the past few years. 2016 had record box office in the U.S., which may be hard to top, but I don't think that the swing up or down will be that much different next year."

"China's box office leveled off last year, perhaps because such past phenomenal growth is hard to sustain. There is a limit as to how many theaters that may be built in any area of real estate, the same goes for gas stations and Starbucks. But there is still a lot of money to be made in the entertainment business because people want to go out to have fun with their family and friends."

In his opinion, the theatrical box office will be affected by video websites and home entertainment. "With TV screens growing larger and download speeds faster, the smaller, lower budget fare will continue to grow as a 'dining in' affair-the same as the theatrical shorts and B movies of an earlier era became the television series of today."

For 2017, Anderson wishes there could be more original screenplays and better feature film instead of sequel films.

"Hollywood's long dependence on sequels bit her in the wallet in 2016, so perhaps original ideas is the way to go for next year; though Disney seems to be doing fine cranking out 'Star Wars' films and live action remakes of their animated classics. Still, I would avoid making films with an 'II' or 'III' in the title for now," he noted.

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