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Inception dreams up box-office winner

0 CommentsPrint E-mail, September 15, 2010
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Christopher Nolan's sci-fi thriller Inception, which has become a global sensation, hit Chinese mainland theaters, untouched by censors.

China imports 20 foreign films a year - including those from Hollywood - for theatrical release. The films may have their content cut by censors.

Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard, has passed through without losing a minute of its 148 minutes, following close on the heels of local box office champion Aftershock and Hollywood blockbuster Shrek 4.

A 10-year dream-come-true for Nolan, Inception centers on DiCaprio's Dom Cobb, a skilled thief who steals valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during a person's dream state. Cobb's rare ability makes him a coveted player of corporate espionage, but also turns him into an international fugitive. One last job could give him back his life, but instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse; their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one.

The nation's rise as a booming film market can be gleaned from box office revenues that have seen a more than 30 percent rise over the past five years to reach a record 6.2 billion yuan ($912 million) last year.

However, the 20 foreign films, mainly Hollywood productions, accounted for almost half the revenue last year. And of the 4.8 billion yuan grossed in the first half of this year, 1.3 billion yuan was contributed by Avatar alone. That proves a Hollywood blockbuster can make as much in China as in other traditionally profitable markets such as Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Local filmmakers are gearing up to face the competition.

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