08 octobre 2009

China Production - World Cinema Stats (8)

Finally found some data on Chinese film production (a 1949-86 study). Pre-1949 films still wanted though, as well as 2 periods : 87-94 and 98-05.
If these figures are correct, it wasn't as large as I expected. However few come out to our markets, they are no competition (in size) to India, EU, USA or even Japan, contrary to what I assumed from the most populous country.
But it produced a greater number of educational/scientific films (5000) and documentaries (12000) between 1949 and 1984, mostly for propaganda purpose.
Note the dramatic "shortage" during the "Cultural Revolution" repression. Recently it is growing to a better shape according to China's population and economy.

More random infos:
  • 1979 : 29.3 million admissions (all time high at the time [1984])
  • 1994 : 5 millions admissions
  • 1985 : 182,948 travelling projectors to screen about 20 films/year in rural areas.
  • 1990 : travelling projectors drop to 100,000.
  • 1995 : still 100,000 travelling projectors
  • 1981-85 : 6th Quinquennial Plan (with an objective of about 120 new films/year)
  • 1982 : 6000 theatres in urban areas / 4000 in rural areas
  • 1983 : 99 theatres in Beijing
  • 1995 : 66 theatres (only 13 modern theatres) in Beijing (=10 millions inhabitants); 3000 rural theatres

Source :

8 commentaires:

HarryTuttle a dit…

related : trailer of the latest Chinese blockbuster commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Chinese communist Party with a casting plethora : The founding of a Republic (Sept 2009)

article at Global Voices Online

and if you know where to find more data on Chinese film production, please be kind to share.

Michael J. Anderson a dit…

Dear Harry,

It wasn't merely a 'shortage' during the Cultural Revolution; *no films* were produced for a period of three consecutive years (which it is kind of difficult to see in the graph). Here are some annual numbers as per Paul Clark's study:

Production during the Cultural Revolution
• 1958: 101 (pre-1966 PRC peak in production)
• 1966: 12
• 1967: 0
• 1968: 0
• 1969: 0
• 1970: 2
• 1971: 2
• 1972: 5
• 1973: 4
• 1974: 17
• 1975: 25
• 1976: 37 (Mao’s death)
• 1984: 143

HarryTuttle a dit…

related viewing:
"A Revolution on Screen" By Kevin B. Lee (Moving Image Source)
- Part 1: Movies for the masses—and the smuggling of art 10'29" (24 Sept 2009)
- Part 2: Chinese cinema's "Seventeen Years": The flowering before the fall 12'15" (28 Sept 2009)

HarryTuttle a dit…

Thanks Michael,
you're right, it didn't occur to me the zero appeared in red there. I should erase these columns.
Shortage was a bad choice of word too, it's more a suppression/censorship of cinema.

HarryTuttle a dit…

EDIT : graph updated, and all the detailed numbers are available in my spreadsheet (see link in post)

HarryTuttle a dit…

Graph updated : years 1987, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1994 added.

HarryTuttle a dit…

Graph updated: 2000-03, 2009-10

HarryTuttle a dit…

"The conference was initiated by three PhD students researching on Chinese cinema in London: Keith Wagner and Luke Vulpiani from King’s College London, and myself Tianqi Yu, from University of Westminster. For both domestic and international audiences alike, Chinese cinema has played an indispensable and compelling role in understanding the rapid transformation of contemporary Chinese society. For international audiences, their encounter with Chinese cinema has gone through a discursive process. Typically, international audiences first got to know Chinese language films through the Hong Kong martial art films that dominated local video and DVD stores. Recent Chinese blockbuster films, such as Zhang Yimou’s Hero recaptured international attention on Chinese cinema in the new millennium. After the Kung Fu films and the ‘Fifth Generation’ cinema, the ‘Sixth Generation’ filmmakers such as Jia Zhangke refreshed the global view on Chinese cinema through international film festivals and art house cinema."
On the Road: Post WTO New Chinese Cinema By Tianqi Yu (dGenerate films; 9 Nov 2011)