I have started going to China since Sept 2015. Since then, I have made many good friends and learnt a lot about their market. So far, I have been to Hunan, Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Qingdao, Hangzhou.
This is what I learnt from my recent trips to China. Hope you find it useful.
Many investors feel safer to target at pre school content for feature film. This is rather different as compared to US.
Most of these films are of lower quality and lower budget. It is tapping on their tv series publicity.
Age group 6 to 12 is not an easy group to target as most kids are busy studying like in Korea.
In China, they do have an interesting youth market where this group is not easy to manage in overseas. The youth market is targeted at 13 to 26 age group. Your IP should probably involve more mature genre, life style, music and computer games market etc.
Example 1: 13 to 26 Age Group
Monkey King: Hero is back – Box Office: USD$153M
Example 2: 13 to 26 Age Group
Big Fish & Begonia – Box Office: USD$85,023,628M
One unusual thing that I have observed in China. Globally I thought the stereoscopic 3d market is dead. But there still seems to be a demand in Chinese Cinema. Until when, I do not know. For now, it still seems quite popular. Every movie must be in 3d.
SAFE BUDGET FOR ANIMATED FILMS
If you are targeting ONLY the China box office and want to have a better chance to recoup, the advise I have gotten is to make sure the budget do not go beyond USD$2M. Many companies who has a good TV series running in China will normally work at this budget. However, do not expect the quality like PIXAR or Dreamworks film. It is more like watching the TV Series on a big screen.
For those with budget close to USD$7M, they are probably targeting at higher quality and aiming for a box office at least close to 60M. (Last 2 years seems to get harder)
Those who dare to push the budget at 10M need to have past track record of box office beyond 100M like Monkey King: Hero is back. USD$153M
Current there are about 100 animated films in China in production or raising funds. They are paying a lot of attention to IP and globalization these days. How many will evetually make it to the cinema is still a question. Since Monkey King: Hero has hit USD$153M. Many companies are trying their luck rolling out more CG Movies. Its like the initial stage in the US when Pixar and Dreamworks have started the trend of rolling 2 CG movies a year. But in China, it is a lot more. I supposed eventually the bubble will burst. That is why opportunities is in the next 2 to 3 years.
POTENTIAL BOX OFFICE
USD$40M to USD$60M is considered to be decent box office. Anything below this is not too good.
Potential box office in China these days is close to US. Which is close to USD$400M.
In 2016 – There seems to be a chance to hit 40M to 60M
In 2017 – The numbers seems to drop in this year. Average only about 6M for Animated Films.
CHINA ANIMATED FILM PERFORMANCE AT THE CHINESE BOX OFFICE
These films have a good fan based because of their TV series.
Hence distributor are more keen to distribute them.
Boonie Bears: Entangled Worlds – Box Office $76,630,780
GG Bond: Guarding – Box Office $6,649,192
FOREIGN ANIMATED FILM PERFORMANCE AT THE CHINESE BOX OFFICE
Foreign Animated Films (Normally has huge marketing dollar)
Zootopia – Box Office USD$235,591,257
Kung Fu Panda 3 – Box Office USD$154,304,371
The Angry Bird Movie – Box Office USD$75,872.971
Ice Age: Collision Course – Box Office USD$66,059,140
Sing – Box Office $31,379,920
The LEGO Batman Movie – Box Office $6,372,757
Kubo and the Two Strings – Box Office $6,114,589
Recently there is a lot of interest in Anime content. Tencent is investing a lot in such IP.
Your Name did very well in China – Box Office $83,678,210