L.A.’s Must-Attend Event of the Season: The U.S. China Film Summit, 11-5-15


By Robert Cain for China Film Biz

October 26, 2015

U.S. China Film

Here’s an important heads-up: the sixth annual U.S.-China Film Summit, North America’s biggest and best annual gathering of Hollywood and Chinese filmmakers and industry executives, will take place on November 5th at downtown L.A.’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Since its inception the Summit has grown bigger and more influential each year, and with this year’s exceptional slate of panels and speakers it’s an absolute must for anyone participating in or planning to join the booming cross-Pacific movie trade.

From senior executives at established film companies, like IMAX, Bona Film Group and Universal Pictures, to innovative film-technology entrepreneurs, the Film Summit’s speakers will offer unmatched insight and market intelligence on the U.S.-China film industry.

Panel topics at the Film Summit will include:

  • The China Wave: After a year of headline-making deals, what’s the outlook for Chinese investment in Hollywood, what new forms may it take and will China’s market turbulence affect companies’ global appetites?
  • Frontiers in Content: New avenues and models for U.S.-China collaboration, from cutting-edge digital technologies and gaming-inspired story development to theme parks and ancillary film products.
  • Take Two: As cross-border film productions become more ambitious, it’s more important than ever to avoid legal, business and cultural disconnects that have plagued some projects. Lessons learned in how to overcome these hurdles, and key issues to expect in the future.
  • Insights from the Corner Office: Chinese and American studio heads share their experiences and predictions on how the world’s two biggest entertainment markets will converge, collaborate and compete.
  • The Future of Movie Going. This panel will examine a question on the mind of every studio executive and filmmaker: What will it take to keep up the box-office surge in China?  Online technology and mobile apps are part of the answer.

The day will be capped off with a Gala Dinner and awards presented by the Asia Society. Honorees include:

Zhang Yimou, China’s most critically acclaimed director, will be honored for his lifetime achievement. Zhang created award winners from his very first film, Red Sorghum (1987), received an Academy Award nomination for Ju Dou (1989) and cemented his international reputation with Raise the Red Lantern (1992.) His body of work continues to grow, with the recent release of Coming Home and the highly anticipated film, The Great Wall, a major Chinese-U.S. co-production.

Zhang Zhao, Chief Executive Officer of Le Vision Pictures, will be honored for his film industry leadership. Zhang founded Le Vision Pictures, one of the largest private-sector studios in China, and has steered its impressive growth in China and abroad. Le Vision has partnered with Legendary Entertainment, China Film Co. and Universal Pictures for The Great Wall, directed by fellow honoree Zhang Yimou. Le Vision is expanding its work with other U.S. studios as well as investing in online services and related media being developed by affiliate Letv.

The Beijing Film Academy will be honored for its role cultivating talented actors, directors and entrepreneurs who have elevated Chinese film and taken it global. BFA’s distinguished graduates include directors Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige and Tian Zhuangzhuang and leading actors, including previous Film Summit honorees Zhao Wei and Huang Xiaoming, who are at the forefront of Chinese cinema and the growing bonds with Hollywood. BFA has encouraged those ties by opening up to international students and visiting professors. BFA will be represented at the Summit by Hou Guangming, Chairman of the Academy Council, senior administrators and faculty.

For more information and to register for the event, please click on this link.  I look forward to seeing you there!

Robert Cain is a producer and entertainment industry consultant who has been doing business in China since 1987. He can be reached at rob@pacificbridgepics.com and at www.pacificbridgepics.com.

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‘Lost in Hong Kong’ First Week Ahead of ‘Monster Hunt’ Numbers


by Robert Cain for China Film Biz

Terminator Genisys

Just a week into its release in PRC theaters, Lost in Hong Kong will easily surpass the 1 billion Chinese renminbi (US$160 million) mark. The sequel to the 2012 megahit Lost in Thailand now stands 7% ahead of the opening week pace of all-time box office champion Monster Hunt.

It took the Xu Zheng directed comedy only 5 days to cruise past Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation, which is in its 23rd day of release in China, and to enter the ranks of the 8 highest grossing movies there this year. The film will meet little resistance in climbing past Jian Bing Man, Jurassic World and Avengers: Age of Ultron into the year’s top 3. Whether it has the legs to catch up with Furious 7 and Monster Hunt, each at just over 2.4 billion RMB, remains to be seen.

One factor that could slow Lost in Hong Kong down is that it faces a slew of competing releases this week as the National Day holiday week begins. One such competitor, Lu Chuan’s The Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe, took first place on Wednesday with a solid $14.2 million opening day, compared to Lost in Hong Kong’s $13.7 million for the day.

LiHK vs MH

Among other releases that will attempt to cut down the Lost juggernaut are a pair of Disney imports: Pixar’s Inside Out, opening October 6th, and Marvel’s Ant Man, opening October 16th.  Inside Out should open on about 15 to 20 percent of China’s movie screens, but its impact there will likely be limited, for two reasons. First, Pixar has struggled in China, with most of its films underperforming there relative to their success in the rest of the world. Second, a pirated HD version of the film is already widely available, which will unfortunately allow many families with kids to view it at home rather than at the multiplex. Such are the hazards of China, where releases like Inside Out can be delayed for 6 months or more.

Of course, Monster Hunt also scored its 2.44 billion RMB ($392 million) record gross despite hefty completion from Jian Bing Man and Monkey King: Hero is Back. All three films played in China’s multiplexes at the same time in August, yet they managed to notch the number 1, number 5 and number 7 rankings among all films for the year so far.

Top Grossers 2015

Whatever its final tally, Lost in Hong Kong will put China that much closer to achieving a $7 billion aggregate box office gross by year’s end, a remarkable achievement for a territory that was worth only $1.5 billion in annual box office in 2010.

Follow me on Twitter @robcain or Sina Weibo @robcain, or connect with me on LinkedIn.

‘Lost’ Finds Whopping $106 Million 3-Day Debut In China

‘Lost’ Finds Whopping $106 Million 3-Day Debut In China


‘Lost’ Finds Whopping $106 Million 3-Day Debut In China

by Robert Cain for China Film Biz

LiHK 3

Taking advantage of its prime opening weekend slot during the Harvest Moon Festival, Lost in Hong Kong grossed more than $32 million per day in each of its first 3 days for a spectacular $106 million weekend, the best ever for a Chinese movie. Only Furious 7, which debuted to $121 million in its Sunday-Tuesday opening in April, has ever notched a bigger 3-day opening in China.  Keep reading in Forbes…

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Director Raman Hui Discusses His Monster Hit ‘Monster Hunt’


Director Raman Hui Discusses His Monster Hit ‘Monster Hunt’

by Robert Cain for China Film Biz

Raman Hui

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Raman Hui, the Hong Kong born director of Monster Hunt, a hybrid live-action and CG family film that has now surpassed Furious 7 to become the highest grossing movie in Chinese box office history.  Keep reading in Forbes…

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‘Lost in Hong Kong’ Romps To New China Box Office Record


‘Lost in Hong Kong’ Romps To New China Box Office Record

by Robert Cain for China Film Biz

LiHK2

Lost in Hong Kong, actor-writer-director Xu Zheng’s long anticipated sequel to his 2012 smash hit comedy Lost in Thailand, set new box office records on Friday for locally made Chinese films, with a $1.8 million gross for its midnight screenings and a $32 million opening day. The latter figure gives the picture the third biggest debut overall in China behind Furious 7 and Avengers: Age of Ultron.  Keep reading in Forbes…

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‘Terminator Genisys’ Blitzes China Blackout With $26 Million Opening Day


‘Terminator Genisys’ Blitzes China Blackout With $26 Million Opening Day

by Robert Cain for China Film Biz

Terminator Genisys

Once again Chinese audiences have stepped up to support a Hollywood movie that badly needed an international boost, in this case the $155 million budgeted Terminator Genisys. The franchise reboot, which sees the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger to the 31 year-old sci-fi series after a 12-year hiatus, took in $26 million (166.1 million RMB) in its first day of release on Sunday, including midnight screenings.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robcain/2015/08/24/terminator-genisys-rocks-china-with-26-million-opening-day/
Follow me on Twitter @robcain or Sina Weibo @robcain, or connect with me on LinkedIn.

‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ Should Gross Massive $250 Million In China


‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ Should Gross Massive $250 Million In China

by Robert Cain for China Film Biz

The 20 year-old franchise is on solid ground in China.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robcain/2015/08/01/chinas-national-summer-blackout-is-a-roaring-success/
Follow me on Twitter @robcain or Sina Weibo @robcain, or connect with me on LinkedIn.

China’s National Summer Blackout Is A Roaring Success


China’s National Summer Blackout Is A Roaring Success

by Robert Cain for China Film Biz

China’s economy may be slowing down, but its movie business keeps steamrolling ahead.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robcain/2015/08/01/chinas-national-summer-blackout-is-a-roaring-success/
Follow me on Twitter @robcain or Sina Weibo @robcain, or connect with me on LinkedIn.

8 Reasons Why A China Economic Slowdown Won’t Crash Its Movie Business


8 Reasons Why A China Economic Slowdown Won’t Crash Its Movie Business

by Robert Cain for China Film Biz

China’s economy may be slowing down, but its movie business keeps steamrolling ahead.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robcain/2015/07/27/8-reasons-why-a-china-economic-slowdown-wont-crash-its-movie-business/
Follow me on Twitter @robcain or Sina Weibo @robcain, or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Which 15 Movies Will Get China’s Remaining 2015 Import Slots?


Which 15 Movies Will Get China’s Remaining 2015 Import Slots?