Home / Culture / Film and TV

Notable films of 2016

By Raymond Zhou | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-29 07:19

Notable films of 2016

Your Name is among the best-received films of 2016 on China's big screens. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Five memorable imports

Most chart-topping foreign fare belongs to the category of franchise movies, so that makes this selection special. It covers a wide range when it comes to earnings, but the films all won Chinese hearts.

Hacksaw Ridge

Mel Gibson's version of the real-life conscientious objector Desmond Doss tugged at more heartstrings in China than in his homeland. It has been widely hailed here as the greatest war film since Saving Private Ryan. Many screenings ended with spontaneous applause and many viewers reported a sense of catharsis.

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Ang Lee's experiment with new technology met with suspicion in the United States, but in China the director's vaulted stature ensured maximum exposure and utmost respect. The character study sparked an avalanche of analyses, but the box office stalled at 165 million yuan.


At 1.5 billion yuan, this Disney animation is the second-highest-grossing film in China this year. More importantly, it shows that a good story, even without the support of a franchise, can turn every moviegoer into a volunteer promoter. Scenes from the film got amateur dubbing treatment, often to hilarious effect.


Thanks to its wide and loyal fan base, this game adaptation made more money in China than elsewhere in the world. It was almost the flip side of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which does not have a sizeable base in the Middle Kingdom and depended on across-the-Pacific publicity.

Your Name

The breakout of this Japanese animation was influenced by its market performance in its home country. But it shows that not every animation hit has to come from Hollywood. As a matter of fact, Japanese cartoons, with their distinct style, have always found a special place in the hearts of the Chinese.

Contact the writer at raymondzhou@chinadaily.com.cn

Editor's picks