Possibly of limited use to western movie makers, given China's current restrictions on foreign films, but Online Testing eXchange, a US consumer research outfit, has expanded its movie tracking service to cover China.
OTX already offers its clients movie tracking services in the US, Europe, Australia and Japan. The service provides customers in these regions with weekly reports on consumer awareness of and interest in feature film releases, allowing studios to fine-tune strategies or change their marketing campaigns for any film being tracked. Tracking is also used to gauge what box-office revenue might be expected upon opening.
In China, OTX is monitoring not just movie releases but also DVD titles.
China began importing foreign films back in 1994. Total box office revenue in China for 2006 reached $341m with distributors forecasting box office hitting $460m for 2007. Some distributors believe total box office in China could top $2.5bn in 10 years.
Elsewhere on the movie front:
Chinese movie-goers prefer western blockbusters to home-grown films. That's our reading of the disappointing first-week box-office revenues for The Secret of the Magic Gourd, Disney's first movie made for a Chinese audience. The film made more than 7.6m yuan in its first week of distribution in China. By comparison, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, earned ten times that figure, 80m yuan, in China in its first week. We wrote about the Magic Gourd here.