Three Major Genres Occupy 70% B.O. Office

2013/7/4 10:54:00(Beijing Time)    by: EntGroup Consulting

Statistics from entFilmbase reveal that there were 300 films released in China Mainland a year period from June 1 2012 to May 31 2013, the total box office reached 18.5 billion yuan ($3.02 billion).

Romance, action, and comedy are the three main genres among the films released. Action films take a dominant lead with 40% box office shares and an average box office of 127.6 million yuan ($20.8 million) per film. These three genres account for nearly 70% of the total receipts.

Yet from the perspective of many Chinese moviegoers, repetitive themes and highly identical genres are still the main problems with Chinese genre films, according to Entgroup’s Chinese Moviegoers Survey 2012-2013.

The Bandwagon effect is prominent. The success of a film will immediately trigger an explosion of films with similar genres and themes. Though ventures from outside the industry dwindled and the speculation of film investment cooled down in recent 2 years, China’s film market is still filled with identical products, which exacerbates the imbalance of supply and demand.

Also, over half of the audiences think that the domestic films are conservative in themes and lack of innovation, the Survey shows. One of the root causes is that there is currently no explicit film rating system and the censorship remains murky, which creates numerous barriers for the innovation of films. Creative ideas may be censored and the films will bear high risks of never being able to screen, the risks that few producers are willing to take on.

Another reason lies in China’s less-developed film industry that fails to reach the requirements of advanced film production. The development of genre films in China cannot solely rely on the innovation of a few companies and individuals, but the more mature and industrialized film production. Some companies are trying to learn from Hollywood’s ways of producing films that establish various subdivisions to specialize in a specific task and cooperate with each other, yet most companies still remain small “workshops.” It is difficult for those small “workshops” to virtually produce blockbusters that require specialization and cooperation between subdivisions. And that is why the industry is unable to masterfully duplicate the success of a certain films.


To cope with the existing issues with domestic genre films—vague genres and confounding elements—Huayi’s strategy offers something to learn. Of the 21 films released by Huayi in the past 3 years, 13 grossed over 100 million yuan. Majority of them comprise outstanding elements such as action, romance and comedy; based on different themes, films are also mixed with elements like magic, adventures and crime. This strategy of combining different elements while have outstanding themes that are most favorable among audiences contribute to the success of those films.

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