Current Status and Prospect of Co-production Films

2011/12/13 12:03:00 (Beijing Time)   Source:EntGroup Consulting    By:

According to EntGroup's "China Film Industry 2011", the co-production companies accepted the applications of 77 co-production films and foreign-invested films, 67 of which were approved by State Administration of Radio Film and Television in 2009, increasing about 60% compared with 2008. Not only the number of co-production films increased, the box office also improved accordingly, meanwhile, the types of co-production films became diversified. Among co-production countries or regions, Hong Kong still serves as the main co-production partner. Influenced by language and culture difference, the number of co-production films with USA, Japan, Korea, France and England still maintained a lower level.

In 2010, 95 films have applied to China Film Co-production Company for co-production or assisted-production, and 63 of them were approved.  According to statistics in the past decade, 70% of the co-productions are China-Hong Kong co-productions, 8% of them are China-Taiwan co-productions, and 10% are productions of China and the U.S. Since the U.S. has not signed any co-production treaty with China, the films approved in the past were “assisted co-productions” rather than co-productions. In other words, those films were financially supported by the U.S. companies but filmed in China, and Chinese companies provides facilities, equipments, location assistance as well as labors for the US projects, such as Kill Bill and Mission: Impossible III, which were both shot in China and categorized as “assisted co-productions”.

The possibility for Sino-foreign co-production has increased

The box office of Transformers 2 (RMB 428 million, about USD 62.66 million), 2012 (RMB 466 million, about USD 6.82million) and Avatar (RMB 1.323 billion, about USD 194 million) in China have continuously refreshed the box-office record of imported films in mainland, however, the percentage of share of revenue as imported film is very low and the Hollywood producers could only get 13%-17% of the box-office revenue, far lower than the 40-43% of co-production. With the expansion of the scale of Chinese film market, the foreign producers will have stronger wishes to cooperate with China than before for more profits.

Besides, for great impact of economic crisis on Euro-American film industry, many studios there have cut the production budget and Euro-American countries have adopted co-production mode in succession to alleviate financial pressure. Under such environment, their chances of cooperating with China have greatly increased.

China has been implementing the strategy of “going global” for a very long time, hoping that Chinese films can reach out to the world and influence the world; but for reasons of language, culture and quality of the film, especially for the last reason, just some Chinese swordsmen films and action films could reach out. Yet co-production could help Chinese films better reach out to the world, especially to the co-producing countries while cooperating with other countries. As a result, the Chinese government has been vigorously promoting co-production with other countries.
For great needs to co-produce of both China and other countries, the chances for Sino-foreign co-production will increase in the following years, and the number of it will probably increase, too. However, for cultural and language differences in co-production, problems of integration and trivial details will emerge in the cooperation between the two sides. As a result, whether there will be sharp increase in co-production or whether the expected performance can be fulfilled in the following years will all depend on specific operations of both sides.

EntGroup is China’s leading entertainment research service center, focusing on Chinese film and animation industry. We provide consulting services through comprehensive industry reports, customized research as well as enbase to meet the requests concerning Chinese entertainment business. EntGroup also operate online platform for entertainment industry at

Enbase, database of EntGroup, it includes information of over 300,000 films and television productions, data of Chinese cinemas and films (e.g. Box-office Records, Weekly attendance, Theatre revenue, etc)

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