Headlines from China: Does the Success of ‘The Foreigner’ Indicate a Brighter Future for Co-Productions?

official still from ‘The Foreigner’

Does the Success of ‘The Foreigner’ Indicate a Brighter Future for Coproductions?

Along with a successful theatrical run in China, British-Chinese co-production ‘The Foreigner’ opened in North America on October 13, and has raked in $12.8 million during its opening weekend, ranking No. 3 in this region. The history has demonstrated that it is not easy for a China co-production to have fairly significant contributions from each producer, and achieve both commercial and critical success in both China and the west. It seems, though, ‘The Foreigner’ has managed to achieve all. So, does the success of ‘The Foreigner’ indicate a brighter future for co-productions? Gong Chun, an executive from Shanghai-based Croton Media, commented that, “The most challenging part is to find a story that resonates with audiences from different cultures, and ‘The Foreigner’ is not really a model that other films can follow. In most cases, producers have to make a decision about which market is their primary market, then find a story for this specific market, even though the story might not work well in other markets.” Read more on yiyuguancha

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On October 17 (Beijing Time), an unnamed news source reported that Stephen Chow had started shooting ‘Kung Fu Hystyle 2.’ In addition to Stephew Chow, the cast reportedly also includes Man Tat Ng, Sharla Cheung, and Show Luo (‘The Mermaid‘). In order to verify the authenticity of the news, a reporter from Mtime contacted Stephen Chow’s assistant and confirmed that the news was false. Released in 2004, ‘Kung Fu Hystyle’ succeeded both commercially and critically, and has become a classic to many cinephiles in China. In addition to ‘Kung Fu Hystyle,’ Chow’s other films released over the past five years all made more than 1 billion yuan ($151 million). No wonder news about his new films always stir up excitement. Read more on Mtime

Jack Gao Steps Down from Wanda and Legendary Entertainment

Jack Gao, Senior Vice President of Dalian Wanda Group and CEO of Wanda’s film subsidiary Legendary Entertainment, has stepped down from his job, according to sources familiar with the matter. Zeng Maojun, President of Wanda Film Holding, will act as the CEO of Legendary in the interim. Mark Parent will remain as the New Production Chief of the company. The sources also mentioned that Gao’s departure was related to the Chinese government’s recent crackdown on overseas investments. Read more on Ent Group 

European Union Film Festival Takes Place in 5 Chinese Cities

On October 16, the opening of the 10th European Union Film Festival took place in Beijing. The festival is organized annually by the Delegation of European Union to China to showcase the best and most recent European movies. This year, the festival will take place in 5 cities across China, including Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Jinan, and Shenzhen. This year’s lineup includes Cannes selections, such as ‘The Square,’ ‘Jupiter’s Moon,’ and ‘Directions,’ and Berlinale selections, such as ‘The Other Side of Hope,’ ‘Pokot,’ and ‘Ana mon amour.’ Read more on Mtime

Only Good Works Can Attract Young Audience Says Founder of Mahua Funage

After leading China’s National Day box office, comedy ‘Never Say Die‘ continues its strong momentum and has become the biggest single-market comedy ever with $280 M. The producer behind this box office victor is Mahua Funage, a production company that primarily specializes in stage comedy shows. In this article, founder of Mahua Funage, Zhang Chen, talks about the company’s latest musical ‘Xi Ha You Ji,’ which features characters from classical Chinese novel ‘Journal to the West’ (‘Xi You Ji’). When it comes to attracting young audience, Zhang Chen says that word-of-mouth marketing is crucial, especially for stage shows, and only good works can continuously bring audiences to theaters. In addition to the quality of their productions, Zhang Chen also emphasizes the efforts Mahua Funage spends in training actors. According to Zhang, Mahua’s actors all go through a vigorous training process before being given the opportunities to take leading roles, which is rare in China as most Chinese production companies don’t train actors. Read more on China News