China is currently the second largest global cinema market, and Hollywood films have both relied on and profited by the Chinese box office, even if they have failed at domestically. As China comes to wield more power over the global film market, Chinese moviegoers are raising their demands and expectations on the cinematic experience.
The box office potential for 3D tech provides highly desirable products, and ticket prices accordingly are higher than conventional 2D releases, especially since Chinese audiences have welcomed 3D in recent years.
Of the top 25 films at the Chinese box office so far this year, 20 have been released in 3D.
Moving forward, Hollywood’s producers must understand and respect the audience’s demands, and truly hope that every customer in the market is able to choose a film format that corresponds to their viewing preferences. Hollywood films have gained a large degree of access to China, but conversely, China needs to be represented better in Hollywood as well.
Previously, audiences used to be excited by the presence of Chinese product placement in Hollywood blockbusters, such as the Yili low-lactose milk and China Construction Bank advertisements in the latest installments of the Transformers films series, which was a massive success in the Chinese box office.
Now, however, audiences are beginning to suspect that Hollywood broadly sees Chinese actors as stepping stones into the country’s vast and ever-expanding market. This claim is given weight by the fleeting cameos given to Chinese stars: Fan Bingbing, for example, appears only in the Chinese release of Iron Man 3, while Yang Ying’s role in Independence Day: Resurgence bears no relevance to the story.
The Chinese film industry is still considered a growing recently tapped market, with sights growing past the 100 Billion RMB mark, but the development of the Chinese audience is beginning to slow down. The Chinese film market is expected to be the number one film market by 2020, and Hollywood producers must now transition from Chinese releases with the intent of commercial gain to releases with artistic merit if they wish to keep their audiences enthused.