Handbooks of Research on Contemporary China series
Edited by Michael Keane
Chapter 16: The regionalization of co-production in the film industries of Hong Kong SAR and Mainland China
Since 1997, the Hong Kong film industry has shifted emphasis from local production to offshore co-production in Mainland China. The number of films produced in Hong Kong decreased – from 94 films in 1997 to only 42 in 2013 (Poon 2014). The catalyst was the enactment of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (hereafter the CEPA) signed in 2003. The CEPA is essentially a treaty that allows Hong Kong products, companies and residents preferential access to the Mainland market. Since that time the Hong Kong film industry has undergone a process of Sinicization (Lie 2014; Chung 2012b), which is evident in the growing cross-border trade relations between the two sides. In 2015, five co-produced movies, zhuo yao ji (Monster Hunt, 2015), xiyou: xiangmo pian (Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons, 2013), xiyouji zhi danao tiangong (The Monkey King, 2014), Aomen fengyun 2 (The Man from Macau II, 2015), zhiqu weihushan (The Taking of Tiger Mountain, 2014), shier shengxiao (CZ12, 2012) topped the list of the top ten most profitable ‘Chinese movies’ of all time in the Mainland market. The theatrical success of these films on the Mainland, however, has not translated into the same level of box office performance in Hong Kong.
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