Headlines from China: Is TVB Becoming “Foxconn” for China’s Streaming Sites?

Official still of ‘Line Walker 2.’

Is TVB Becoming “Foxconn” for China’s Streaming Sites?

For audiences in mainland China, TVB shows are a part of their childhood and youthhood memories. However, over the past a few years, we can barely think of a TVB show that is truly memorable. Until recently, when TV series ‘Line Walker 2′ is released on Tencent Video, TVB, as a co-producer of the show, gets noticed once again. In addition to ‘Line Walker 2,’ a few other TV shows co-produced by TVB and Chinese streaming sites have been scheduled to release online in near future. While it is true that TVB facilitates the growth and success of Chinese streaming sites, it is probably more true to say that Chinese streaming sites give TVB the opportunity and capital it needs to revive. Read more on yiqipaidianying

Zhang Ziyi to Star in Her First TV Series?

China’s television industry is a big business and the real generator of big stars for China’s entertainment scene. Looking at the a-listers in today’s China, most of them, including Yang Mi, Zhao Wei, Zhou Xun, Huang Xiaoming, and Yang Yang, gained their initial fame through hit TV shows. Nowadays, these stars make waves through various activities, but they still constantly go back to act in TV series, for the higher financial return as well as the exposure they can get. Recently, the industry even sees filmmakers and actors, who once solely focused on filmmaking, start tapping into the TV sector. In addition to Wong Kar-wai directing drama series for Amazon, film star Zhang Ziyi, who has never acted in a TV show before, will star in her first drama series ‘Diwang Ye.’ Read more on Wenhuiyuan No.3

Why ‘Sky Hunter’ Can’t Become the Next ‘Wolf Warrior 2’

Before Chinese war film ‘Sky Hunter‘ was released, it bared the expectation of becoming the next ‘Wolf Warrior 2,’ as both films are action flicks that touch upon nationalism. However, ‘Sky Hunter’ has been failing in box office and receiving mostly negative reviews since its release on September 29. This article tries to explain why this happened: First, ‘Sky Hunter’ received funding from China’s military department and faces the challenge of making the film both a promotional video for the Chinese military and a hollywood-esque action movie for general audience. In addition, while ‘Wolf Warrior 2’ highlights an individual as a hero, characters in ‘Sky Hunter’ are more of embodiments of collectivism. Last, ‘Sky Hunter’ shows director Li Chen’s lack of experience in controlling pace and instructing actors, which is not surprising though, as the film is Li’s directorial debut. Read more on Paper Bullets

China Sees A New Generation of Wealthy and Influential Celebrities

The Forbes China Celebrity 100 is a list published annually by Forbes which ranks the influence and income of Chinese celebrities. Since the release of its first edition in 2004, top 10 celebrities on the list pretty much remain the same with only minor changes every year. From 2004 to 2016, we see familiar names, including Yao Ming, Fan Bingbing, Jackie Chan, Jay Chou, and Andy Lau, appeared on the top 10 list the whole time. However, this year, several new names, including Lu Han, Yang Mi, Zhao Liying, Yang Yang, and Kris Wu, show up on the list for the first time. In addition, the average annual income of top Chinese celebrities has also increased significantly compared to that in 2004. Read more on TMT Post

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Can Ticket Subsidy Save China’s Box Office?

This year’s National Day holiday season sees the resurgence of ticket subsidy activities. It obviously is a good news for the Chinese audience as they can buy movie tickets at lower prices. However, for producers and distributors, is ticket subsidy effective? Here is what they say: Ticket subsidy can be helpful mainly due to two reasons. First, the box office of a film is closely related to the number of screenings a film gets per day, and ticket subsidy helps with pre-sale, hence encourages film exhibitors to schedule more screenings for a film. Second, word of mouth marketing is crucial, especially in China. Discounted pre-sale tickets usually boost a film’s box office on its opening day, hence generate more buzz on social media around the film’s release.  Read more on Ent Group