Thai government lobbying China officials for better access, to Thai films entry, into China’s market

By Tammy; 4/20/2013

Thailand’s China embassy officials said the Thai government is holding talks with Chinese officials about the possibility of getting China to revise its current import quota system, which allows just 35 foreign films into the country’s cinemas for wide distribution each year, meaning Southeast Asian film companies must compete against Hollywood’s most bankable action films, such as Iron Man 3 orTransformers 4, to secure a spot accessing to the Chinese movie market, now the world’s second-largest. Thai officials have selected six popular movies that it thinks will have particular appeal for the Chinese public. The Thai government has been lobbying China to subdivide its foreign film allocation quota into Asian and non-Asian movie imports, giving regional players, whose film budgets are often one-hundredth of Hollywood’s, a better chance of access. “One possible way around the foreign movie quota would be for Thai studios to enter into joint ventures with a Chinese company and produce selected movies under a partnership,” said a Thai official. The co-production process in China is a notoriously challenging one to navigate. But the first quarter of 2013 at the Chinese box office has stood out for the major success of lighthearted comedies – a genre the Thai film industry consistently excels at – including Lost in Thailand ($202 million) and Seattle-set rom-com Finding Mr. Right, which is still on release and had pulled in $63.2 million as of April 8 (Source).

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