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1. General Introduction

Yingjin Zhang

Subject Media Studies » Film Studies
Media System » Cinema and Film

Place Eastern Asia » China

Key-Topics cinema, film

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444330298.2012.00001.x


At the time when the world had just entered the new millennium, I ventured to track the exciting development of Chinese cinema through its “box-office boom and academic investment” ( Y. Zhang 2002 : 16–18). Ten years down the road, Chinese cinema has continued its extraordinary expansion in all aspects, very much like the red-hot Chinese economy, which became the world's second largest when China's GDP (US$1.33 trillion) surpassed Japan's (US$1.28 trillion) in the second quarter of 2010 ( Time 2010 ). Yet, even before the awe-inspiring ceremonies at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, masterminded by the world-renowned Chinese film director Zhang Yimou (b. 1950), were televised live to captivated audiences globally ( Curtin 2010 : 118), a series of impressive achievements in Chinese cinema had already occurred. In terms of box office in the United States, two successful Chinese art films from the early 1990s could barely compare to two Chinese blockbusters a decade later: on the one hand, The Wedding Banquet ( Ang Lee, 1993 ) was screened in 113 US theaters and grossed US$6.9 million, while Farewell My Concubine ( Chen Kaige, 1993 ) opened in three theaters only but grossed $5.2 million; on the other hand, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon ( Ang Lee, 2000 ) was screened in 2,027 theaters and grossed $128.1 million, while Hero ( Zhang Yimou, 2002 ) was screened in 2,175 theaters ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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