Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan has shown his support for the Chinese film industry, claiming that the success of Warcraft has “scared the Americans”.
Speaking at the Shanghai International Film Festival, Chan said, “If we make a film that earns [$1.5 billion], then people from all over the world who study film will learn Chinese instead of us learning English.
He added that China had previously been regarded as a “nothing market” when it comes to films but now, the Chinese film industry must be seen in a very different light. Citing Legendary Entertainment’s Warcraft’s success in the Chinese box-office, Chan said,
“Warcraft made 600 million RMB ($91 million) in two days — this has scared the Americans.”
“If we can make a film that earns 10 billion ($1.5 billion), then people from all over the world who study film will learn Chinese, instead of us learning English,” he continued.
The US led Legendary studio was bought by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group for $3.5 billion in January.
Chan attended the Shanghai International Film Festival to promote his Jackie Chan Action Movie Week program. The program screens selections of Chan’s new and recent pictures from his films.
The annual box office in China hit $6.78 billion in 2015. Its projected earning are expected to top North America’s, which was $11 billion last year, to become the world’s largest theatrical market in 2017.
So far, the biggest Chinese/Hong Kong Chinese film to date is Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid, which hit $528.6 million in early 2016. The title of the highest grossing film worldwide still belongs to Avatar with $2.7 billion, whilst Star Wars: The Force Awakens took the title of the biggest film ever in a single territory, taking $936.6 million from North America alone.
For the past five years, the Chinese box office grew at an average annual rate of 30%. If it continues, it’s certainly conceivable that China could produce a $1.5 billion grosser within the next five to ten years.
“It is you, not us who makes China powerful,” Chan said, “so, thank you all — we hope the Chinese film industry gets even more powerful.”