If China’s film market is a flame burning bright, the country’s online literature is increasingly itsfuel.
The world’s second-largest film market, with a box office haul of $6.8 billion in 2015, ischurning out top-grossing movies inspired by popular novels published online.
As the self-publishing phenomenon has shaken up the literary scene in the West, writers inChina have increasingly eschewed conventional publishing models and found readers on theinternet. Online-only publishers have sprung up, and their releases are proving hugelypopular.
Online novels have amassed hundreds of millions of readers, and now they are being tappedfor their potential to reach an even broader audience once adapted into films. Mojin: The LostLegend, an Indiana Jones-style thriller adapted from the online novel Guichuideng, was thethird-highest-grossing Chinese film last year.
More movies based on online literary hits are expected to give Hollywood a run for its moneyin this summer’s blockbuster season, and online novels have also been adapted into TVdramas and video games with great commercial success. It seems only a matter of timebefore China gets its first major media franchise based on an online novel.