Chinese films less popular in the West

Updated: 2012-02-23 17:49

By Liu Lu (

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Western moviegoers aren't interested in Chinese films

Although the Chinese film industry has maintained a robust growth in recent years, Chinese films still fall flat in Western box offices, a new report finds.

The survey, conducted by the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture of Beijing Normal University, is the first of its kind that comprehensively reports on the performance of Chinese films in overseas markets.

"The influence of Chinese films isn't keeping pace with the country's economic development," says Huang Huilin, head of the academy, who is also the chief writer of the survey.

More than 1,300 people who are mainly from Europe and North America took the survey. One-third of the respondents said they didn't know anything about Chinese films, and only one-fifth said they are interested in Chinese films.

The survey also reveals Chinese action movies have surpassed any other kind of films to become the most favorite film genre among Western audiences.

But industry analysts warned that the popularity of Chinese action movies and kungfu movies reflect that many good Chinese film productions have not yet reached the mainstream audiences overseas.

"Chinese culture is definitely more than just martial arts. Many excellent films were not successfully introduced to overseas markets due to inadequate marketing efforts," Huang said.

The survey also says that foreign audiences expect to see more urban-themed Chinese films to learn more about contemporary China.

"China does not lack good movies, but needs to explore effective ways to promote itself overseas," Huang said.