James Cameron, director of “Avatar” and “Titanic,” said his venture with the Chinese government will probably at least double in size as demand for 3-D movies expands in the world’s second-biggest economy.
“We’ve got to double or triple in size just to be able to manage the potential of this market in the next couple of years,” he said in an interview yesterday in Beijing.
The Oscar-winning director, who spent 10 years developing a 3-D camera system, formed a venture with two state-owned companies in China that he said will help him forge similar agreements in Russia, France and other countries. The 3-D version of “Titanic” made more money in China than in all other markets combined excluding North America, Cameron said.
“We will absolutely show this template in Russia, France and wherever and say, ’Look what we’re doing in China and how China perceives 3-D,’” Cameron said. “Wake up people.”
Cameron Pace Group, which he founded with cinematographer Vince Pace, formed CPG China with state-owned Tianjin North Film Group and Tianjin High-tech Holding Group. The company, which will provide camera systems, 3-D production solutions and other services, will be based in the northern port city of Tianjin.
The 3-D version of “Titanic,” released in April, exceeded earnings expectations in China by “a factor of 3” while it “underperformed” in North America, Cameron said. “We feel that the government, the filmmakers and everybody are all leaning forward to create this giant upgrade from 2-D to 3-D. That’s exactly where we want to be.”
He and Pace declined to give financial details about their Chinese venture, which has 75 to 80 employees.
Box office sales in China may exceed $5 billion by 2015 and pass U.S. box office revenue of $11 billion by 2020, Cameron Pace Group said in a statement, without saying where the information comes from.
China’s box-office receipts grew more than 30 percent to surpass $2 billion last year, making it the world’s second-biggest film market, the company said.
— With assistance by Regina Tan