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New rise in Chinese film market vicissitudes

By Xinhua writers Liang Saiyu, Li Jianping and Zhou Yan (Xinhua)

11:31, July 21, 2013

BEIJING, July 20 (Xinhua) -- China's film industry received a handsome report card in the first half of this year, when domestically-made movies took up a whopping 62 percent of the country's total box office revenue.

While the fortunes of China's box offices and film producers have ebbed and flowed throughout the industry's history of over 100 years, developing audience demand, regulatory and market conditions have seen both crest once again.

Nationwide, cinemas grossed a total of 11 billion yuan (1.79 billion U.S. dollars) in ticket sales from January to June, of which more than 6.8 billion yuan came from domestic films, according to figures released on Wednesday by the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

Domestic blockbusters such as action-adventure "Switch," "American dreams in China," "So Young" and coming-of-age drama "Tiny Times" have dominated the summer screen.

Though feedback from audiences and film critics have varied, the debates these films have prompted seem to have simply stimulated more moviegoers to open their wallets.

"Tiny Times" alone has pocketed more than 460 million yuan in box office revenue since its premiere on June 27.

The feature film set in contemporary Shanghai made headlines after it beat Hollywood blockbuster "Man of Steel" in terms of opening-day box office records.

The movie, which tells of four college girls' romances and budding careers, stirred controversies for its plot, which some critics said "stressed young people's lust for luxury."

Even U.S. magazine The Atlantic published an article rebuking the film as "a great leap backward for women," saying "its vulgar and utter lack of self-awareness is astonishing."

Its author-turned director Guo Jingming appeared unperturbed by the bombardment. "The audience is changing, but films are not," he said. "It's the elephant in the room that you pretend not to see."

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