The China Film Group Corporation (CFGC) yesterday denied a New York Times report that alleged China had stopped granting permission to US films to be screened in cinemas on the mainland.
The newspaper quoted anonymous US officials who alleged that the Chinese government was no longer approving American movies for release early next year. The reason for that, it said, was " an apparent trade dispute".
Asked for his reaction to the charge, CFGC spokesman Weng Li said: "I have never heard of such a thing, that is, my company hasn't received any instruction of the kind."
The CFGC, the only importer of foreign films in China, will release two foreign films next January - one made in Spain, and the other in Japan. "But that's only for January," he said. The decision for February has not yet been made.
Hollywood blockbusters, The Bourne Ultimatum and Live Free or Die Hard, were screened in Chinese cinemas last month.
An earlier Xinhua report said foreign films such as Spiderman 3 and Transformers reaped 400 million yuan (US$54.1 million) when they were shown in mainland theaters this summer.
China's box office revenue last year was 2.5 billion yuan (US$337.8 million), 1.1 billion yuan (US$148.6 million) of which came from foreign films.
(China Daily December 13, 2007)