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Distributors to theaters: raise our shares!


08:06, November 16, 2012


The new season for China's film industry hasn't started yet, but Chinese film distributors have already sent an ultimatum to theaters, requesting a raise in their profit shares, has learned.

China Film Group Corporation, the state-owned giant, Huayi Brothers Media Group, the biggest private entertainment empire, as well as Bona Film Group, Stellar Mega Films Ltd., and Enlight Pictures Co., Ltd. have joined forces in a battle against theater chains to enhance their companies' interests.

The demands of the five giants are simple: To raise their box office profit shares from 43 percent to 45 percent. If theaters concede, nine year-end blockbusters, including Feng Xiaogang's "1942" and Jackie Chan's "CZ12," and other future releases will follow this newly proposed profit share model.

The new film season will take off on Nov. 29 when China Film Group and Huayi releases blockbuster "Back to 1942" on the same day going head-to-head with Lu Chuan's epic "The Last Supper." Bona is set to release "The Grand Masters" by Wong Kar-Wai as well as "The Last Tycoon" by Wong Jing. More films are bound to follow later.

In a notice issued to theater chains, all five film distributors said that China's home-made blockbusters have contributed significantly to the nation's film market. Yet they complained that as they continue to produce films using state-of-the-art technology and a lot of manpower, production costs will continue to rise. Therefore all five giants stated, "In order to boost the creation and production of so-called home-made movies, improve their quality and gradually smooth over the economic relationships between the stages of producing, distributing and screening, we five companies have reached the consensus that the profit share proportion for distributors should not be lower than 45 percent - against the theaters' 55 percent."

The distributors then gave nine titles of films which will be affected by the new measure and expressed their hopes for theaters to support their decision so that they can and will produce better films.

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