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From the Chinese Press

(China Daily)

10:29, December 28, 2011

A lesson for Chinese films

The Flowers of War and Flying Swords of Dragon Gate, two high-budget Chinese films released at the end of the year, have earned 150 million yuan ($23.7 million) and 140 million yuan in their first week, with their daily box office return being much less than Transformer 3, a Hollywood blockbuster screened in summer. The two Chinese films' worse-than-expected performance can be attributed to their failure to meet the taste of the majority of filmgoers, says an article in China Youth Daily. Excerpts:

It's true that the simultaneous release of The Flowers of War and Flying Swords of Dragon Gate were forced filmgoers to choose one over the other. But the success of a film depends more on whether it can satisfy the majority of filmgoers' taste.

Eight of the top-10 highest-grossing movies in China were Hollywood productions. But that does not mean all American movies are loved by Chinese people, for despite having millions of fans in the country even Harry Potter seems to have lost its magic power at the box office.

Movie sequels with easy-to-follow plots such as Transformer, Kung Fu Panda and Pirates of the Caribbean are the top-three hits at the box office thanks mostly to the fame of their prequels and their unbelievable visual effects. "Fast-food" movies seem to be a favorite of Chinese moviegoers who were born in the 1980s and 1990s.

In fact, not only the last two Chinese high-budget movies, but also some earlier ones including The Lost Bladesman and White Vengeance have failed to set the box office cash registers rolling this year. In contrast, some shoestring-budget love flicks like the Eternal Moment have become popular among youths and made a killing at the box office.

Whether we admit it or not, the taste of a majority of Chinese filmgoers today is very different from that of the older generation. So, Chinese filmmakers need to capitalize on their interests to make their productions a success.

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