Waiting for Harry, Chinese Filmgoers Get Patriotic Epic

A rumor in China says that foreign blockbuster movies will not be allowed to be shown until box office receipts for the state-backed CCP history Beginning of the Great Revival top $120 million. As CDT has reported earlier, sneaky methods are being used to increase the box office receipts for the movie, which has been panned by viewers. Many movie watchers in China just want their Harry Potter. From the New York Times:

“I was confused throughout the entire movie,” Liu Yang, sophomore at Tsinghua University Medical School, said after watching “Beginning of the Great Revival,” which was released last month to coincide with the party’s 90th anniversary. “It featured way too much romance with Mao Zedong.”

Even as box-office revenue soars and the nation accelerates construction of new theaters — 313 were built last year for a total of 6,200 screens — audiences in increasingly sophisticated cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou criticize the selection and quality of films.

Government regulations effectively limit wholly foreign-made films to 20 titles a year, roughly equal to the number of monthly domestic releases. Despite a World Trade Organization ruling that seeks to remove the quota, the Chinese State Administration of Radio, Film and Television continues to shield the domestic film industry from foreign competition.

[...] “You can control the system and all the incentives for people to watch movies, but at the end of the day they are going to watch what they want to watch,” said Kevin Lee, vice president for programming at dGenerate Films, a distributor of independent movies from China, most of which are never seen at mainland theaters.

July 17, 2011 7:20 PM
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