Headlines from China: New Year Films Ready for Fierce Competition

New Year Films Ready for Fierce Competition

The releases of “Youth” and “The Thousand Faces of Dunjia” signal the premiering of more holiday movies to come during the 2018 New Year season. There are reportedly 21 films to be released within the 19-day holiday period, including “Namiya,” a Japanese novel adaptation, action film “Operation Red Sea,” and the crime film “The Liquidator.” The New Year film market has always been known as lucrative, and thus competitive; for the 2018 New Year season in particular, many of the films have brought on multiple investors, partnered with streaming platforms, and employed creative online marketing strategies to ensure the highest return on investment. Read more on TMT

Feng Xiaogang’s “Youth” Unlocks Untapped Market

Feng Xiaogang’s “Youth” quickly dominated the Chinese box office after its premiere last Friday, cashing in $48 million the first weekend. What is more surprising was that the film attracted many older viewers who are not traditionally considered frequent moviegoers, making its success even more noteworthy. The nostalgic film is backed by multiple investors and stands out in quality and storytelling, which differs from many recent Chinese films that try to make up for quality with popular actors and dazzling visual effects. There is room for improvement for both the filmmakers and the cinemas to reach a wider audience and strive for a more sustainable film industry.  Read more on entgroup.cn

Gong Li and Mark Chao to Star in Lou Ye’s ‘Lyceum Theatre’

Production has begun for director Lou Ye’s new film “Lyceum Theatre,” featuring actress Gong Li as Yu Jin, a famed Chinese actress in the 1940s, and actor Mark Chao. The story revolves around Gong Li’s character, an actress and a spy for the allied forces, who risked her life to obtain intelligence before the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941. Read more on Mtime

‘Youth’ Beats ‘Dunjia’ in half a day  

Although having been released a full day later than “The Thousand Faces of Dunjia,” Feng Xiaogang’s “Youth” quickly caught up to the previous box office winner “Dunjia,” and surpassing it by the end of the day. This came as a surprise as “Dunjia” had been highly anticipated by many and a clear winner during presales. Many attributed the box office success of “Youth” to its ratings and reviews before its official release; it was rated 7.9/10 on review site Douban, while “Dunjia” was only rated 4.9/10. The fact that “Youth” was able to attract a significant number of older viewers also contributed to its success. Read more on yiyuguancha