Relaxed film policy leads to bigger box office

2017-03-27 00:44:31 | From:

Chinese box office revenue ranked second in the world in 2016, mostly due to a relaxation in film regulation policies which led to faster domestic production schedules.

China's film industry has made great breakthroughs after loosening the previous strict regulations since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, the Guangming Daily reported Sunday.

The new rules mean that producers only need to submit the outline of a film for approval instead of the whole script, and filming can begin 20 days after that.

The China Film Industry Promotion Law, which came into effect on March 1, also stipulates that Chinese film companies can make co-productions with foreign companies after receiving film bureau approval.

The law forbids co-productions that contain anything that will harm the dignity, honor and the interests of the State, harm the stability of society, or hurt the feelings of the people, and does not allow any individual who has engaged in such behavior to be hired.

Before the new law, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) was responsible for examining films, recording and approving film scripts and approving film festivals. Now SAPPRFT has delegated this power to provincial and municipal administrations.

The new law also simplifies the process of censoring, regulates the procedure of setting film censorship standards, and makes this transparent, to avoid the difference between the national level and local level.

SAPPRFT Deputy Director Yan Xiaohong said at a press conference in March that streamlining administration, delegating power to the lower levels and activating the market is an important way to speed up the reform of China's film industry.

"China has become an emerging film industry thanks to reform in the marketization of China's film industry," said Yin Hong, professor at Tsinghua University's School of Journalism and Communication.

From 2005 to 2015, the box office revenue of Chinese films maintained an annual average increase of 30 percent. In 2005, box office revenue in the Chinese mainland was 2 billion yuan ($289 million), about 2.8 percent of what the North American box office ($8.84 billion) earned that year.

However, in 2016, Chinese mainland box office revenue reached 49.2 billion yuan, making it the second-highest in the world that year after the North America's $11.4 billion.

Yin said that if it were not for the reform, China's film industry would not have come so far. He added that the reform gives the market a bigger role to play and also gives regulators and film producers' clear rules in order to prevent disorderliness in this industry.

However, Zhang Hongsen, director of SAPPRFT's film bureau, told the People's Daily in March that there are some problems in the industry, including the lack of excellent films, the poor development of film technologies, and weak overseas marketing capabilities.

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