A poster for Ne Zha (Photo/worker.cn)
October Meng Ma, an animation producer participating in post-production of the animated blockbuster Ne Zha, earned little profit from the film, which brought in 2.8 billion yuan in box office revenue after hitting cinemas.
October Meng Ma and other companies, all based in Suzhou, east China, completed 400 visual effect shots in Ne Zha. These other companies, like October Meng Ma, didn’t make much money.
Industry insiders said that the average profit of each sector of the film and television supply chain is more than 20 percent, but the post-production of special effects hovered in the region of 5 percent.
To climb out of this low-profit dilemma, Suzhou cartoon companies started to produce original animations with the support of investors instead of merely providing post-production services.
Statistics show that China’s animation industry saw 65 financing activities in 2018. Several cartoon producers in the Suzhou Xiangcheng film and television industrial park have raised funds from major enterprises such as Enlight Media and have made over 20 animated cartoons.
“It takes at least three years to design and release an animation. We need to take action to help upgrade the animation industry,” said Qiu Jiawei, head of October Meng Ma.
The Suzhou industrial park has also infused animations into the game industry, with over 100 cartoon game companies bringing an annual output value of 7.5 billion yuan.