>> Hollywood knocks on China's door
Embedding Chinese elements in Hollywood films has become a fashion. Some Hollywood film tycoons, who have always been thinking highly of the promising potential of Chinese box office, are "snapping up" Chinese novels nowadays. The film copyrights of The Tibet Code, The Adventures of Three Tomb Raiders and other best-selling novels have been bought by Hollywood.
Some people think this is exciting news for Chinese screenwriters because they now have a chance to adapt screenplays for Hollywood; this is stirring news for Chinese actors because they have an opportunity to go to Hollywood; this is also long-awaited good news for Chinese movie fans. Some people also hold the view that Hollywood "snapping up" Chinese novels not only benefits the writer and publisher, but also promotes Chinese culture.
Those views are absolutely right, but we shouldn't be too optimistic about it, and we shouldn't overlook the harsh reality: the reason that Hollywood spares no efforts to "snap up" and adapt Chinese novels is that it has its eyes on Chinese film market and audiences. It is reported that Chinese films took 17 billion yuan at the box office in 2012 and has kept an increasing rate of 30 percent for five years in a row. It is predicted that the box office receipts can climb to 25 billion yuan in 2013, and China will become the second largest film market in the world. Some best-selling novels such as The Tibet Code, The Adventures of Three Tomb Raiders have tens of millions readers who are the potential film audiences. Due to word-of-mouth effect, adapting these best-selling novels can bring considerable benefits, maybe that's the biggest motive for shrewd Hollywood to "snap up" Chinese novels.
Therefore, the news is not that exciting. Considering Hollywood's conduct as "respecting Chinese creativity", "flattering China" or "surrendering in the field of art" is a kind of false pride and "psychology victory". Hollywood is aiming at Chinese people's pockets and our promising film box office. Our domestic films are bound to face fiercer competition.
Why we have good novels but lack good films? Domestic films have no reason to "beg for help while holding a golden bowl". Domestic films are not doing well in adapting novels into films. We don't have exciting stories, profound humanistic thinking or original advanced technology, no wonder the fans of The Adventures of Three Tomb Raiders are looking forward to foreign director adapting Chinese novels. But, who can we blame?