LOS ANGELES/SINGAPORE: The film and television industry contributed a total USD 110 billion (RMB 727.7 billion yuan) to the Chinese economy in 2018, a 2.4 percent year on year uplift, according to a new report previewed by the Motion Picture Association Asia Pacific at the Asia Society’s U.S.-Asia Entertainment Summit in Los Angeles.
The Economic Contribution of Film and Television in China in 2018 report also found that the sector supported a total of 4.7 million jobs, and contributed a total of USD 21.7 billion (RMB 142.6 billion yuan) in tax revenue. Of particular interest, the report found that 41 percent of the total box office revenue was earned in tier 3-5 cities, indicating continued cinema attendance growth across the country.
The China market has rapidly developed over the last two decades, surpassing the U.S. market in the number of cinema screens, currently totalling more than 66,000. According to historical theatrical box office data, the Chinese market was just USD 116 million in 1999. The market has since achieved phenomenal growth in those twenty years to reach a staggering USD 9 billion in 2018.
The period witnessed China’s accession to the WTO in 2001 and expanded engagement between the U.S. and China film industries which included a range of MPA Asia Pacific outreach activities involving knowledge exchange programs, film workshops and masterclasses, screenings and forums.
On November 9, at the Golden Screen Awards in Los Angeles, in acknowledgement of the immense contribution made to the advancement of the relationship between the U.S. and Chinese screen industries over the last twenty one years, Mike Ellis, President and Managing Director, Asia Pacific, MPA was presented with the “Outstanding Contribution and Leadership Award”.
Presenting the Award, producer and China market expert André Morgan (The Cannonball Run, Perhaps Love, Million Dollar Baby, The Warlords), said “Tonight’s recipient has been instrumental – and I’ve seen this personally – in bringing Chinese films to audiences in the United States, and equally admirable is his leadership role in promoting both Chinese-international cooperation and bringing young Chinese filmmakers here to America to meet their counterparts. For all these years, to me and so many in the industry, Mike Ellis has been not only a dear friend and a colleague, but also a great supporter and advocate for filmed entertainment companies operating in China.”
Accepting the Award, Mike Ellis said, “It’s an honour to receive this award from someone for whom I respect so much as a filmmaker, a human being and a friend. When I look back at the last twenty-one years heading up the MPA Asia Pacific, the work and the friends that I have made in China have been something that I will truly cherish. I think that collectively, together, we have already made a big difference, though there is much more work to do. However rest assured that this Award will spur me on to do great work with all of you and to help in any way I can.”