Online influence, clicks come to the big screen

By Xu Fan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-06-25 07:41:03

The Ghouls, a best-selling novel collection featuring the adventures of several tomb robbers, was split into two parts, with four books bought by China Film Group Corp and another four bought by Wanda Group.

"If an online work is read more than 1 million times, it has the market potential to be turned into a screen production," says Su Jian, a veteran scriptwriter.

"But only one or two novels in 10 will finally get on TV or into theaters. The most popular themes revolve around coming-of-age romances."

Research by China Internet Network Information Center finds nearly 80 percent of online-novel readers are interested in watching TV dramas or movies inspired by Web sensations.

Last year, up to 114 online novels were bought to be adapted for screen productions, including 90 for TV series and 24 scheduled to turn into movies.

Even that cannot ease the huge thirst for scripts. Other sensational productions, from a hit song to a pop variety show, have lured market-oriented filmmakers, if they have gone viral online.

Forever Young, a film inspired by the hit song released by He Jiong in 2004, will hit mainland theaters in early July.

"One of my major investors decided to commit money when he heard the name of the song, even without reading the script. He said it reminded him of a university classmate whom he had lost contact with for years," reveals the movie's producer, Peng Yu.

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