Headlines from China: Chinese Moviegoers Prefer Engaging Storytelling Over Visual Extravaganza

Chinese Moviegoers Show Preference For Engaging Storytelling Over Visual Extravaganza

Tsui Hark’s Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings, the third installment of the Detective Dee series, opened in Chinese theaters on July 27. While many praise Tsui Hark’s technical innovation and imagination, the film’s box office doesn’t seem to measure up. Hello Mr. Billionaire, a comedy released on the same day, has earned four times more so far. After being disappointed by several VFX-heavy local films, such as Asura, and moved by reality-based dark comedy Dying to Survive, Chinese moviegoers show increasing preference for engaging storytelling over visual extravaganza. Read more on TMT Post

Tax Evasion Investigation Continues to Affect Huayi Brothers 

As Chinese authorities’ tax evasion investigation continues, concerns about Huayi Brothers’ stocks also rose due to the company’s close tie to actress Fan Bingbing. Although Huayi Brothers claimed yesterday that the company was not under investigation, its stock price declined by almost 7% today. Currently, the mildly successful box office of Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings, a film produced by Huayi Brothers, is able to help boost Huayi Brothers’ stock price back up a little. Yet many are concerned that the status of Fan Bingbing’s case will affect Huayi Brothers’ upcoming film Cell Phone 2 and the company’s overall reputation and performance. Read more on yulechanye

Why It Takes Longer to Produce A Drama Series in China

In countries such as The United States, South Korea and Japan, it’s common to start broadcasting a drama series on TV or releasing it on a streaming site before the entire series has been produced. However, it’s almost impossible to do the same in China. Because all TV content has to pass the country’s censorship before release, TV stations and video platforms are unwilling to acquire a TV series before it has been reviewed and approved by the authorities. In addition, many Chinese TV series are lengthy costume dramas, and therefore the costume and art departments usually prefer to receive the script of the whole series in order to take their time to design sets and costumes beforehand. Read more on zhipianrenneican