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银幕数量制约中国引进大片

更新时间:2014-2-18 13:38:40 来源:华尔街日报中文网 作者:佚名

For More Hollywood Movies, China Needs More Theaters
银幕数量制约中国引进大片

If Hollywood wants more of its movies shown in China, it might take more than diplomatic finesse. It might take a hammer and nails.

A need for more movie theaters is holding back government support for an expanded quota of foreign films allowed in Chinese theaters, according to Victor Koo, the chief executive of China's largest online video company, Youku Tudou Inc.

Chinese officials don't want to let in more foreign movies until they have the screens to accommodate them, said Mr. Koo. The quota system will be 'relaxed over time' as exhibitor infrastructure grows, he predicted in an interview last week with The Wall Street Journal. Youku has stepped up its efforts recently with Hollywood studios by using its site to promote American films and streaming whole movies not shown in Chinese theaters.

Mr. Koo didn't say what, if any, threshold of theaters is required to raise or eliminate the quota. He is part of a close-knit consortium of entertainment officials in China--a market second only to North America for box office sales--and Chinese consumers have shown a particular appetite for big-budget Hollywood spectacle.

But the market comes with strings attached--34, to be exact.

That's the maximum number of foreign titles the Chinese government allows into its nation's theaters every year, a quota in place to try to protect China's own nascent movie business. Hollywood studios have wondered when that number might be boosted--the last time was in February 2012, when Vice President Joe Biden announced a deal increasing the quota to the current 34 titles, from 20.

The construction crews are already apparently working around the clock: China currently has a total 17,740 movie screens, according to film-research company EntGroup. A Chinese state agency said in January that the country added more than 5,000 screens in 2013 alone. The United States has a population about one-fourth the size of China's, but had nearly 40,000 screens at the end of 2012, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners.

Mr. Koo's remarks come after a story in The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month anonymously quoted a source saying the Film Bureau in Beijing was mulling a decision to increase by 10 the number of foreign films allowed into the country.

An official at China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television told The Journal and China's official Xinhua Agency that the country has no plans to raise its film limits.

如果好莱坞想让它的更多影片在中国上映,需要的可能不光是外交手腕,还要拿起锤子和钉子切切实实地搞建设。

中国最大在线视频公司优酷土豆集团(Youku Tudou Inc. ADS, YOKU)的首席执行长古永锵(Victor Koo)说,影院数量有限正在阻碍政府增加外国影片引进数量的步伐。

古永锵上周接受《华尔街日报》(The Wall Street Journal)采访时说,中国官员不愿意引进更多的外国电影,除非国内有足够的银幕能够放映这些影片。他预计,随着影院基础设施的增加,政府将逐步放开引进限额。近期,优酷土豆加大了与好莱坞电影制片厂的合作力度,通过其网站推介美国电影,播映没有在中国院线上映的影片。

古永锵没有提到影院建设需要达到什么样的程度,中国政府才会提高或者取消外片引进限额。他是中国娱乐行业高管小团体中的一员。以票房销售计,中国的娱乐市场是仅次于北美的全球第二大市场,而中国消费者对好莱坞大片又有着特别强烈的兴趣。

但是中国每年允许进口的电影数量只有34部。

这是中国政府允许进入国内院线放映的外国影片的上限,设定限额是为了保护中国本土新生的电影产业。好莱坞的电影制作公司一直在关注限额何时能被提高,上一次提高是在2012年2月。当时美国副总统拜登(Joe Biden)宣布与中方达成协议,中国每年引进的外国影片数量将从20部增加到34部。

基建工作已经在如火如荼地展开。电影行业研究公司艺恩咨询(EntGroup)的数据显示,中国国内目前共有17,740块银幕。中国某政府机构1月份说,仅2013年中国银幕数量就增加超过五千块。美国的总人口只有中国的四分之一左右,但美国影院业主协会(National Association of Theatre Owners)称,2012年底美国全国有近四万块银幕。

本月早些时候,美国娱乐界行业日报《好莱坞报道》(The Hollywood Reporter)的一篇文章援引知情人士的话说,中国国家新闻出版广电总局(简称:广电总局)正在考虑将引进的外国电影数量增加10部。

但广电总局的一位官员向《华尔街日报》和新华社(Xinhua Agency)表示,中国没有提高影片进口限额的计划。

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