The salaries vary from movie to movie, depending on where the movie is made. Most of the movies in this post are made in China. There are several reasons for this. First, China has been relatively open in allowing foreign films, and the Chinese films are far behind most Hollywood movie productions in terms of quality and budget (except maybe the latest Pirates of the Caribbean). Second, the Chinese market is incredibly saturated with films. While the numbers vary somewhat, if they reach 50% of the market in a film, they can make enough money to support a movie with a budget in the 20-50 million dollar range. Third, the average Chinese film studio usually holds some sort of percentage equity stake in the film, which increases the chances of the film reaching profitability, even when it is making a low budget film.
The bottom line is that the salaries for a Chinese film director and producing team are extremely high, making it very competitive to be chosen. As an example, a salary for a first person shooter would run more than $70,000, if you include the cost of travel and lodging (and the additional fee for the film). When looking at salary statistics, the Chinese average salary is around $30,000 (including expenses, though it will change depending on the location).
Why choose China to make films in?
The biggest reason of all is the enormous market opportunity that exists in China. China is the largest film producing market in the world in terms of total gross and worldwide audience growth. In fact, in 2015, gross market share of foreign film revenue (which includes foreign TV, home video, and video on demand services) for foreign films was around 22% while China accounted for around 40%. That means that, for every dollar of revenue in Japan (for example), there is $19.88. That equates to $10,933.48 in China with the potential to more than quadruple if the Chinese movie community takes off.
But this growth of China’s film market is coming at a high cost. The average wage for a movie production in China is around $7,400, which is very high compared to the U.S. where the pay for a high-end TV series can be as high as $10,000. In other words, high salaries in China simply do not give a big enough return on investment for studios to consider. Also, the quality of the wages in China is extremely low when compared to the west, meaning that filmmakers cannot make a
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