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Film

Overview

Hong Kong Top 10 Films in 2013

Rank

Title

Country of Origin

Gross Receipts
(US$ million)

1

Iron Man 3

U.S.

10.3

2

Monsters University

U.S.

9.9

3

Ji Zhan (Unbeatable)

Hong Kong

5.8

4

World War Z

U.S./U.K.

5.5

5

Thor: The Dark World

U.S.

4.7

6

Man of Steel

U.S.

4.3

7

Despicable Me 2

U.S.

4.2

8

The White Storm

Hong Kong

4.1

9

Pacific Rim

U.S.

4.0

10

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

U.S.

4.0

Source: Box Office Mojo

Hong Kong’s total box office revenues in 2013 reached $210 million, representing a 4.2 percent increase from 2012. The rise is matched by a similar increase in the total number of releases, which climbed 3 percent to 310, compared to 301 in 2012. The number of local films released fell from 52 in 2012 to 42 in 2013, reflecting a severe tumble of 20 percent; while foreign films released increased by 7 percent from 249 to 268. Foreign films grossed approximately $164 million. The highest-grossing film is Iron Man 3, and eight out of ten highest-grossing films in 2013 were imported from the U.S.

The major theater operators in Hong Kong are:

1. AMC and Broadway which are owned by Edko Films Limited: total of 65 screens and 10,600 seats

2. UA owned by UA Cinema Circuit Limited: total of 52 screens and 8,800 seats

3. MCL owned by Intercontinental Group: total of 37 screens and 5,600 seats

4. Golden Harvest owned by Orange Sky Golden Harvest: total of 34 screens and 5,800 seats

These top theaters account for over 80 percent of screens and total box office performance. Theater operators are investing over millions to enhance their competitiveness. New multiplexes such as The Sky operated by Orange Sky Golden Harvest has recently brought in the D-BOX technology motion systems seats where the seats will move according to the storyline. UA operated Cine Times (UA) also introduced Dolby Atmos sound technology, stadium seating layout, and even special food menu to provide demanding cinema-goers with an enhanced movie-going experience.

There are over 100 film distributors registered with the Hong Kong Film Services Office. Several theatrical distribution companies serve as local distributors for the major studios, which includes Intercontinental Video Limited (exclusive distributor for Walt Disney, Universal and Paramount), Delta Mac (Warner Brothers and Fox), and Era Movies (Sony). Local film distributors include Media Asia, Panasia/Golden Harvest Entertainment, Edko, Newport and Sil-Metropole. Smaller distributors include Golden Scene, Lark Film, Sundream, Applause Pictures, Celestial Pictures, Gala, and Mandarin Film. Distributors have preferential revenue-sharing agreements with both film producers and film exhibitors, and typically advance the up-front costs for marketing and producing 35mm prints or digital copies of the film. Under the Film Censorship Ordinance of 1988, Hong Kong has a three-tier system of film classification. All films must be approved by the Commissioner for Television and Entertainment Licensing before being distributed to the public.

The Hong Kong government has demonstrated support for the film sector with the establishment of the Film Development Council and Create Hong Kong within the Commerce and Economic Bureau. Create Hong Kong is intended to integrate existing policy and funding initiatives across government departments to boost the development of Hong Kong’s creative industries. Hong Kong’s film sector is also benefiting from the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) with China where Hong Kong firms in film distribution and production enjoy preferential access to mainland China.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

Opportunities for U.S. firms go beyond the box office to include film production technology, multi-media content, and related services. Best Prospects in Hong Kong and Macau are:

  • U.S. independent feature or documentary films and videos that Hong Kong firms can distribute in Asia, especially mainland China;
  • Co-productions between U.S. and Hong Kong firms for distribution in China and Asia;
  • U.S. technology products used in movie theaters in China and elsewhere in Asia;
  • Cooperative agreements with U.S. film education and training institutions;
  • U.S. film financing and deal-structuring techniques and services.

Opportunities

Hong Kong is a significant market for media and entertainment and an important spring board for entering the mainland China entertainment market and industry, which is one of the fastest growing in the world right now.

Opportunities in Hong Kong’s market for U.S. firms include M&E services that Hong Kong firms can distribute in Asia, particularly in mainland China, as well as U.S. technology products that can be used in Hong Kong and elsewhere in China.

U.S. exporters may take advantage of selling content licenses to TV stations and Hong Kong agents for distribution rights in both Hong Kong and around Asia. In 2013, two more free-to-air licenses are granted to PCCW’s Now TV and Wharf’s iCable. This presents business opportunities for U.S. companies to sell movies and television programs to these new licensees. TV Broadcasters (TVB & ATV) in Hong Kong would typically pay $5,000 to $15,000 per episode for a foreign series such as a six-part, one hour per episode documentary. For outsourced production, broadcasters and programmers in the region pay five to ten times those figures or more, if for example, sophisticated animation of well-known talent is required.

U.S. film companies can also access Asia’s growing market for multi-media products in Hong Kong. Local consumers are keen to see new content and related applications for games, comic books, and mobile phone downloads, in addition to films and TV programs. Merchandising for these products as well as the technology required for their maintenance will accompany this growing demand in the market. In- flight entertainment should also not be overlooked. There is increasing demand for digital content in general across all platforms.

Web Resources

Major Trade Shows

Filmart 2015
Dates: March 23-26, 2015
Venue: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, Hong Kong
Website: http://www.hkfilmart.com/filmart/index.htm

Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum 2015
Dates: March 22-25, 2015
Venue: Hall 1, Hong Kong Conventional and Exhibition Center, Hong Kong
Website: http://www.haf.org.hk/haf/

Trade Associations

Hong Kong Film Development Council: http://www.fdc.gov.hk/en/home/index.htm
Hong Kong International Film Festival: http://www.hkfilmart.com/filmart/chi/buyreg.htm
Hong Kong International Screen Association Limited: http://www.hkisal.org

Film Journals

Film Business Asia: http://www.filmbiz.asia/
Hollywood Reporter: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/topic/asia

U.S. Commercial Service Hong Kong

For more information, contact our colleague who covers this industry sector:

Contact: Ms. Fanny Chau, Commercial Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2521-3721
Fax: (852) 2845-9800
Email: fanny.chau@trade.gov
Website: http://export.gov/hongkong