The Chinese film industry topped box office sales in 2010, setting a world record within the film industry.
With more than ever of the Chinese population opting for the big screen, China grossed 10.17 billion yuan (£965 million) in box office sales alone – a 63.9% on previous years.
Director of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television’s State Film Bureau, Tong Gang said “ten billion yuan is just something to feel good about, but not to show about.”
He added “so far, it has not been possible to compete with such films as ‘Avatar’ and ‘Inception’. Far too few domestic films are well received by the public.”
A combination of Hollywood’s sci-fi fantasy “Avatar” and thriller “Inception” were responsible alone for a fifth of China’s total, while the highest-grossing domestic film “Aftershock”, earned only 673 million yuan.
Tong added “China still lacks good films.”
526 feature films were made in China during 2010 – 15% more than 2009, making it the third largest film producer in the world; following Bollywood and Hollywood.
One of the country’s most successful commercial directors; “Aftershock” director Feng Xiaogangsay suggests censors at the State Administrationof Radio, Film and Television often block the kind of originality needed to make great films. He said “this is not an era that can produce masters.”
Currently, there is a limit on the number of foreign films screened in Chinese cinemas – capping at 20 a year. However in March the organisation is due to address the World Trade Organisation’s call for China to open up its film market.