Chinese production, distribution and exhibition company Bona Film Group started trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York on Thursday (Dec 9), with chairman Yu Dong and actress Gong Li on hand to ring the opening bell.

The company sold 11.7 million American Depositary Shares (ADS), raising $83.8m from the offering. It had set the price of the shares at $8.50 each, at the higher end of the indicated $7-9 range. However the shares had a bumpy debut, dropping more than 20% to $6.6 on their opening day.

Bona said it would used the proceeds for investments in production and distribution, and to acquire more cinemas in China.

“We hope we can use the international capital to develop the Chinese film industry and make more excellent Chinese movies, raising the international competitiveness of Chinese movies,” said Yu Dong, founder, chairman and CEO of Bona Film Group after the launch of the company’s IPO.

Commenting on the drop of its share price, Bona’s chief financial officer Xu Liang later said it would take the company a little more time to communicate with investors and help them understand Bona’s position in the rising Chinese film industry.

Bona is the largest private film distribution company in China and in recent years has started investing in some of the films that it distributes. In 2009, films that Bona distributed or invested in took 44% of the box office of the top 20 local films.

Upcoming releases include Tsui Hark’s 3D action drama Flying Swords Of Dragon Gate and Chen Daming’s Chinese remake of Paramount’s What Women Want. On the eve of the company’s IPO, Taiwanese actress Annie Wu joined Bona’s artist management company.

Bona’s IPO coincides with the Nasdaq launch of several other Chinese companies such as video-sharing website and online book retailer 

Youku’s share price rose 161% on its first of trading Wednesday (Dec 8) while on Monday (Dec 6) Dangdang raised 14.3% more than its expected price.