Taiwanese-born filmmaker Ang Lee predicted Friday that the Chinese film market was about to explode, not only overtaking but dwarfing the American box office in a matter of years.
The two-time Oscar winner said executives in the world’s second economy used to rely on him as a bridge to Hollywood, but the newly-confident Chinese film industry no longer finds it necessary.
“It’s huge, it’s going to be bigger in a few years,” the 62-year-old told reporters on the red carpet at the glitzy BAFTA Britannia Awards in Beverly Hills.
“In a few years it’s probably going to be bigger (than the US) and then in the years to come a lot bigger. They’ve got many people and, most importantly, film has been lacking in the past in the culture, so it’s still fresh.”
PricewaterhouseCoopers projects China’s box office will rise from $4.3 billion in 2014 to $8.9 billion in 2019, outstripping the US.
Hollywood studios have been looking to capitalize on the burgeoning market through partnerships with Chinese companies.
Meanwhile, Beijing has ambitions to increase China’s “soft power,” unleashing a wave of Chinese money into Hollywood.
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