China’s ruling class reserves more screens for propaganda films to ‘guide thought’

by WorldTribune Staff, February 14, 2018

China will devote 10 percent of its movie theaters to screen propaganda films which the ruling Communist Party says are intended to “guide thought and educate people,” a report said.

The patriotic film ‘Wolf Warrior 2’ topped China’s box office last year.

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) indicated the new “people’s theater front” will use 5,000 movie theaters and has quotas for propaganda films to be screened in each major city, province and autonomous region, The Associated Press reported on Feb. 13.

Movie ticket sales in China were over $8.6 billion last year, a 13.5 percent increase from 2016. China is the world’s second-largest film market, behind only the United States.

Chinese-made movies accounted for 54 percent of ticket sales last year. Nationalistic action thriller “Wolf Warrior 2” topped the box office. The patriotic blockbuster is China’s top-grossing film of all time.

The Communist Party has broad control over domestic movie scripts and shooting permits. It also routinely manipulates ticket sales and movie release dates, including limiting the number of foreign films that can be shown and banning them entirely for certain periods, the AP report said.

Patriotic themes don’t always win the Chinese box office, however. Recent successes have included films glorifying materialism and complex interpersonal relationships, such as the “Tiny Times” series.

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