Dire Warning Sounded as Hong Kong Film Industry Slowdown Continues

The once vivid Hong Kong movie sector is battling to recuperate from the results of COVID and connected difficulties, a area report has warned.

The report determined difficulties with theatrical box workplace, area production, co-manufacturing with mainland China and movie expense.

The Motion Photograph Industry Association and Hong Kong Box Workplace Ltd. normal 50 % 12 months report showed that cinemas in the town experienced been closed for 104 days this yr, which includes Chinese New Year and Easter, each normally peak durations. Potential restrictions keep on being in put as town authorities waver involving attempting to reopen the economy and a ‘dynamic zero’ COVID policy.

Genuine cinema revenues in the initially 6 month were being very little modified at HK$357 million ($45.5 million), in comparison with HK$376 million ($47.9 million). But only due to the fact the first 50 percent of 2021 was equally affected by restrictions and cinemas have been only open up for 48 days.

The businesses be aware that box place of work takings had been 66% decrease than the $134 million registered in the to start with 6 months of 2019, the most latest pre-COVID calendar year.

Just 73 movies opened in the city’s cinemas for the duration of the initially 50 percent of 2022, the extensive majority of which have been international imports.

“It can be noticed that the Hong Kong film market, such as generation and theatrical distribution sectors, have been extremely severely influenced by the epidemic,” the report says.

“Film creation personnel have been contaminated and can’t shoot. Actors and creation groups in Hong Kong and [mainland] China are impacted by 14 conditions, this sort of as quarantine, which have impacted the development of performs and discouraged traders, resulting in a sharp fall in production considering that 2021,” the report claims. In recent several years, massive numbers of Hong Kong-initiated films have been co-created with Mainland China associates or finance, indicating that situations across the border have a spill-about effect in Hong Kong.

“Only 6 Hong Kong films have been unveiled in the initially 50 % of 2022. Output is reduced. Box workplace has plummeted. And no [local] movie realized HK$1 million in theaters, which is a depressing final result,” the report carries on.

In its heyday concerning the 1970s and 1990s, the Hong Kong movie market made above 300 videos per 12 months, such as many in various Chinese dialects. In the ten years right before COVID, Hong Kong movie output had fluctuated involving 50-70 videos for every year and the metropolis had retained a vital place in movie finance and legal rights income.

“The last Hong Kong governing administration did not provide any help to the film field, which is disappointing and a trigger for criticism,” the report explained. In actuality, metropolis authorities did give immediate subsidy to the cinema exhibition, but operators have been plagued with superior rents and extended cinema closures and the money injections did not stop the collapse of the UA cinema chain in May 2021.

“It is hoped that the latest governing administration and its new team will experience up to the challenges of the movie sector and lend a supporting hand,” reported the report. That is a reference to Hong Kong’s sixth time period government below Main Govt John Lee which took impact from July 1, 2022.

“Top Gun Maverick” was the top accomplishing movie of the interval with HK$85.5 million ($11.1 million) to June 30. It was adopted by “Doctor Weird in the Multiverse of Madness” with a HK$65.5 million ($8.35 million) haul. In contrast, the leading scoring Hong Kong-developed movie was “Breakout Brothers 3,” with just HK$713,000 ($91,000) of theatrical revenue.

Angelia S. Rico

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