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More screening time demanded for domestic films

[ 2010-01-27 14:12]     字号 [] [] []  
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As Avatar continues to smash box-office records in China, the government has reminded domestic cinemas that the screening time of imported movies be no more than a third of the total.

The requirement was included along with newly-released guidelines by the State Council, or the cabinet, to boost the country's film industry and build up its soft power.

The document, posted yesterday on the central government website www.gov.cn, put forward 10 measures. The measures ranged from increasing financial support for the domestic film industry to raising technological innovation.

It told domestic cinemas to "strictly abide by the rule that the screening time of domestic movies should be no less than two-thirds of the annual total".

Industry insiders said the requirement was highlighted because the rule, which came into force in 2002, has never been strictly followed.

Gao Jun, vice-president of New Film Association, one of the top five cinema chains in the country, said the popularity of imported movies is obvious with hits like 2012 and Avatar raking in nearly 1 billion yuan ($147 million) across the country.

"We should further open the film market and let the box office speak. Improving the quality of domestic films to attract more people to cinemas is the key, not increasing screen time for small audiences," Gao said.

Last year, imported films accounted for about 45 percent of total box office takings and the top four made more than 1.3 billion yuan, he said.

With China becoming a growing market, many fans are looking for more imported movies, failing which they said they may be forced to turn to pirated films.

"The limits on foreign films only boost the piracy market, because we do not have other choices," Liu Yi, a worker at China Science and Technology Museum, said yesterday.

She has just seen the pirated version of The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which was released last November across most of the world except China.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

More screening time demanded for domestic films

More screening time demanded for domestic films

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for China Daily for one year.