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Reel potential for Chinese films abroad

By Liu Wei | China Daily | Updated: 2013-06-07 07:10

The overseas gross of Chinese films dropped by 48 percent between 2011 and 2012, but private companies and a new genre gave the industry more potential than ever before, according to a report released by the Institute for International Communication of Chinese Culture on Wednesday.

Jointly founded by Beijing Normal University and International Data Group, the institute aims to promote Chinese culture across the world.

"China's domestic box office has been booming in recent years, but Chinese films' exposure and influence in the global market has not lived up to many people's expectations," said Huang Huilin, professor of Beijing Normal University and one of the report's compilers. "The report tries to study the films' performance in the global market and how that can be improved."

The report found that 59 titles were released overseas in 2012, a 13 percent increase from 2011, but receipts, including box office and copyright sales, were only 1.06 billion yuan ($170 million), about half of the 2011 gross.

Local films had a broader global reach, however. In 2011, Chinese films were released in 22 countries and regions, with that number nearly quadrupling in 2012 to 80, the report said.

Among the 59 titles, 23 were action films, which was the favorite genre of 1,117 people from 107 countries according to a survey in the report. Kung fu followed as the second favorite.

The first two genres are the same as the report's 2011 version, said Huang, but the third favorite genre in 2012 was comedy, replacing art-house.

The survey also tried to ascertain which factors are preventing international audiences from appreciating Chinese films.

"Logic of story" turned out to be the biggest obstacle, as 30.7 percent of those surveyed said they could not follow the plot of Chinese films.

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