February became a historic month in Chinese film history. The Chinese industry, the second largest (economically), for the first time overtook Hollywood in its takings financially, taking in a total of $650 million which is $10 million more than the US total for February. Although it is arguable that some Hollywood films played a part in this total, the top five highest grossing films in China last month were all Chinese films.

This spike is not a shock for two reasons; one is that the Chinese New Year holiday traditionally sees a spike in cinema goers across China. During this period foreign features are discouraged, which brings us to the second reason behind the rapid growth of the Chinese film industry.

Chinese film policy is catered for allowing China’s own cinematic culture to be preserved and not dominated by Hollywood. It does this by only importing thirty-four films per year. This has been productive, with China making up 36 per cent of the global box office (the UK making up 11 per cent). This has also created massive intrigue in Hollywood with many films now tailored for the Chinese market, for example Iron Man 3 (2013) filmed additional scenes containing Chinese film star Fan Bingbing.

This proves that the Chinese method works as a way to develop a strong national cinema industry without the outside influence of Hollywood. Does this mean that could work with other nations, for example Britain?

No, in short. Although decreasing the amount of imported films coming into the UK would raise incentive for more British films, we must take into account that the Chinese economy is much larger than our own, and that they allow state funding for cinema, which we do not. There is no government backing for film in the UK, with independent organisations such as the British Film Institute and Film 4 producing most of our films. There is simply a lack of funding for such a method to work.

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