News / USA

China-Hollywood Connection Changes Movie Business

China-Hollywood Connection Changes Movie Businessi
X
January 26, 2013 3:11 AM
China has become the world's second-largest market for films, after North America, and China's box office revenues are growing by 30 percent a year. The country also is expanding its joint ventures in entertainment, and as VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, it is changing the way Hollywood does business.

China-Hollywood Connection Changes Movie Business

Mike O'Sullivan
China has become the world's second-largest market for films, after North America, and China's box office revenues are growing by 30 percent a year. The country also is expanding its joint ventures in entertainment, and it is changing the way Hollywood does business.

A foreign army invaded the United States in last year's remake of Red Dawn. But producers made a change before the film was released.  The story of Americans fighting off invaders originally had Chinese soldiers as the villains. Now, they're North Koreans. The filmmaker did not want to offend Chinese audiences, or censors.

Films shot or shown in China are reviewed by a board of censors, and the spy thriller Skyfall was a recent film that had scenes cut. The science fiction film Cloud Atlas lost 40 minutes, mostly scenes showing sex and violence. Films also are cut if they have negative references to China or its government.

Some big action films have a direct China connection.  

The upcoming adventure Iron Man 3 was partly filmed in China, so its script was subject to scrutiny by Chinese officials. Chinese sensibilities also influence other films, like the disaster tale 2012, says Stanley Rosen at the University of Southern California. He studies China's film industry.

“Even if you're not shooting in China, a film like 2012 will be very careful to include positive references to China. Negative references will simply kill the market.”

Chinese audiences love big movies with special effects. Hollywood films account for half of the receipts from Chinese theaters, and Chinese officials last year raised the annual quota of film imports from 20 to 34.

Chinese moviegoers loved the recent Life of Pi, the story of an Indian boy shipwrecked with a Bengal tiger, from Taiwan-born director Ang Lee.   

Lee also has brought Chinese-themed stories to international audiences. His Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon won the Oscar for best foreign language film in 2001.

Chinese-born actress Lisa Lu has a long history in Hollywood. She played China's dowager empress in Bernardo Bertolucci's 1987 epic The Last Emperor, a Chinese co-production mostly filmed in China.

She said today's international market has created solid roles for Asian actors.

That was not true in the 1950s.

“All they wrote were either laborers or wash women or dragon lady who has a restaurant,” said Lu.

China's growing middle class has given a boost to the country's domestic film industry. Last year's comedy Lost in Thailand from director Xu Zheng was the second all time earning film in China, after the Hollywood blockbuster Avatar.

Lu said China is an attractive filming location with low production costs and great facilities.

“You go there and you can have everything that you need,” she said.

Stanley Rosen said more Hollywood studios are finding Chinese partners for co-productions, and Disney and DreamWorks Animation are investing in tourist attractions in Shanghai.

“It's an evolving relationship, and Hollywood needs China, as the North American market has been flat. But China needs Hollywood, as well, as you see with DreamWorks going in, Disney going in,” said Rosen.

And China is coming to Hollywood. The Chinese company TCL has purchased the right to rename the historic Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard,. And the Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has bought a major American theater chain, AMC. The ties between China and Hollywood are expected to grow further in the future.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
January 27, 2013 7:13 PM
We call that the soft power. China is influencing the world, no doubt.
As China keeps growing with high speed, you will see more of that influence.


by: montegobay from: Sunnyvale, CA
January 26, 2013 11:51 AM
I hope Hollywood and US producers stop being condescending and racist showing white American heroes "rescuing" Chinese or Asian people from the villians in the TV or movies. Another aspect of that condescending attitude is it's very rare to see American women being the love interest of Asian men...but to see Asian women being the love interest is almost mandatory in any movie or TV show involving an Asian topic.


by: Kitagawa Keikoh from: Daikanyama, JPN
January 26, 2013 8:20 AM
China has a big market. That's why they have a big influence on the market. But China is not a democratic country and that means only country's officials has big right. The country officials are thinking only how they can get country's money through holes of law.

In Response

by: skullandheart from: China
January 27, 2013 11:08 AM
But how much do you really know about China buddy?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid