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iQIYI looks to replicate success of 'Light on Theater' in the action genre

By Yang Xiaoyu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-02-02 16:00

Song Jia, vice president of iQIYI and general manager of its film center [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

"Increasing the online supply of action films to fill the market gap is another reason why we doubled down on our efforts to build 'Action Master Season' on the Cloud Cinema," said Song Jia, vice president of iQIYI and general manager of its film center. 

Song observed that, although China is known for its action films, especially those in the Wuxia (martial arts heroes) category, and Chinese audiences love action films or films with action elements, there has been a deficiency of theatrical releases of this genre in recent years while Chinese moviegoers' interest in Hollywood blockbusters has also diminished.

Wei Junzi, a film critic and general producer of the  Eye for an Eye series [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Wei Junzi, a film critic and general producer of the Eye for an Eye series, also rued the fact that there have been fewer Chinese action films, especially Wuxia films, made in the last few years. 

"I specialize in Hong Kong cinema, known worldwide for its Wuxia films. However, it's been over ten years since many of the great action films were produced," Wei said. 

"Is our audience no longer interested in action films? The answer seems no," he added.

Wei argued that it is because of a dearth of action talent in the film industry. "Training classes for action actors in Hong Kong in the 1970s and '80s gave rise to the heyday of its action genre in the '90s, and the action stars we are familiar with all came from those training classes, but such classes discontinued in the 1990s," he said.

He remarked that in the 2000s, Hong Kong's action films were mainly big-budget ones featuring heavyweight actors and fight choreographers, but fledgling actors needed to grow through low-and-mid-budget films. 

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