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Netizens to help guide domestic film industry

By Xu Wei (Shanghai Daily)

10:26, June 20, 2013

Director of "Man of Steel" Zack Snyder (left) and Henry Cavill, who played Superman in the movie, were seen yesterday in Shanghai at the film's premiere during the 16th Shanghai International Film Festival.(Photo/Shanghai Daily)

Netizens are expected to find they have a good deal of influence over the future of domestic film production, distribution and marketing as new media companies try to pick their brains for clues to success, officials said yesterday at the on-going 16th Shanghai International Film Festival.

Business executives of popular Chinese video websites, gathered for a forum called "Big Data: New Motivation of Chinese Films," said data analysis of customers, content and delivery will greatly influence almost every aspect of the film industry, from script selection, casting, shooting, marketing and sales.

Chinese companies have been inspired by Google's newly released model, which purports to predict the box office success of movies based on search data with an accuracy rate of 94 percent, executives said.

Gong Yu, founder and CEO of, said they plan to make several blockbuster movies after analyzing data on netizens' tastes on casting, subject and story.

"We will invest in film projects with the biggest market potential," said Yu.

China's large Internet company Tencent has also joined with Huayi Brothers Media Corporation to invest in films and TV series. Some movies are adapted from popular Chinese online novels that already have a large fan base.

The success of Netflix's original online political series "House of Cards," directed by David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey, has also boosted confidence of Chinese video websites to create more film and series productions on their own.

Liu Chun, vice president of, said that while domestic video websites have untapped potential, originality is the key factor in success, with data analysis being a good tool to use during production and marketing.

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