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Animating a bright spot in the movie market

By Xu Fan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-05 07:38

Animating a bright spot in the movie market

Disney's Zootopia is among the top 10 of China's 2016 box-office charts of animated films. [Photo provided to China Daily]

For most Chinese filmmakers, 2016 was a disappointing year.

The country's once rapidly expanding movie market encountered an unprecedented slowdown. But animated features-the genre that was for a long time seen as children's fare-provided a glimmer of hope in the chilly winter.

Latest figures show China's 2016 box-office total was up just 3.73 percent from 2015, lower than the average year-on-year growth rate of over 30 percent between 2010 and 2015. Besides, seven months in 2016 saw negative growth compared with the same period a year earlier.

Bucking the trend, animated features grossed 6.54 billion yuan ($941 million) in 2016, up 45 percent from 4.5 billion yuan in 2015.

Disney's Zootopia topped the animated films' box-office charts raking in 1.53 billion yuan, followed by DreamWorks' Kung Fu Panda 3 at 1 billion yuan and Japanese hit Your Name at 569 million yuan.

An unexpected success in China, Zootopia thrilled local moviegoers with its skillful depiction of bias and distortion through an unlikely fairy tale. While children were happy with the cute animals and their anthropomorphic world, adult viewers got philosophical insights from the movie.

Chinese film-review forum Douban.com gave Zootopia 9.2 points out of 10.

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