Hollywood can’t live without China Why?
The hidden influence of China in the American film industry.. Richard changed a model
China’s film industry has expanded production and viewing, moving to second place behind the United States in terms of film revenue, but ahead in the numbers of movie theaters.
This new reality is salivating for American filmmakers to seize the opportunity to expand in China, show their films there, and make millions of additional dollars; but entering the Chinese market is not like entering other markets flooded by American films, where the Beijing government decides on a limited quota for foreign films, and strictly controls the contents of selected films.
Giant cinema market
China has traditionally been a major market for American films, but it has also grown increasingly self-reliant in recent years, with an increasing number of high-quality domestic films, competing with imported foreign films.
Increased consumption of cinema in China significantly with the growth of the middle class, and economic capital over the last two decades. According to specialized, the movie tickets sold in China increased 3-fold since 2011, compared with the United States, which did not change the level of ticket sales during the same period.
The Chinese cinema market expanded to دولار 9.2 billion in 2019 from just دولار 800 million in 2009, and at the same time the US cinema market reached دولار 11.1 billion; that is, it surpasses China by onlyاري 2 billion, and as current rates continue, the Chinese market will soon surpass its American counterpart.
“10 years ago we never thought of China, but now it seems we can’t live without China,” Adam Goodman, former director of Paramount Pictures, told The Wall Street Journal.
China influences what Americans watch
In a speech by former Justice Secretary William Barr on China’s rising risks, which represent an unprecedented challenge to the United States, Barr attacked Hollywood companies; because of the nature of their relationship with China, accusing them of bowing to the Chinese government for profits, Barr offered Washington’s reaction to Beijing’s global ambitions, and described the Chinese challenge as “an intergenerational
Barr considered that Hollywood (American film industry companies) are abandoning American values in order to exist in the lucrative Chinese market, and he also attacked actors, producers and directors, who “pride themselves on freedom and human spirit every year at the Oscars.. But Hollywood now regularly monitors its own films to appease the Chinese Communist Party, the world’s most powerful human rights violator,” he said.
“This self-censorship is not only about film releases, which are shown in China; but also many films that are shown in American theaters for the American audience,”Barr stressed.
Barr cited a number of films whose parts, footage or images have been changed to avoid offending the government of China, and to avoid losing access to the cinema market in the world’s most populous country.
In recent years, American filmmakers have been reluctant to provoke the Communist Party, for example, in a new version of “Red Dawn,” Chinese soldiers invading an American town have been replaced by North Korean soldiers, in a pre-emptive act to avoid angering the Chinese authorities.
Double control mechanism
The Chinese authorities adopt a dual strategy in line with their political orientation, improving the quality of the domestic film product on the one hand, and on the other hand imposing their conditions on those who want to show their films within the vast Chinese market, and punishing anyone who is negatively exposed to Chinese policies.
The Chinese authorities impose a limited quota for foreign films, which are allowed to be shown in domestic theaters to no more than 34 films per year. China has built Giant Studios in tinsel town, attracting filmmakers from both inside and outside China.
Expanding domestic film production in China is bad news for Hollywood, which for years has sought more access to China’s huge and lucrative market, and China no longer relies on American films filling cinemas around the world, but Hollywood needs the Chinese market to make its films financially successful.
This approach is in line with what the Chinese Communist Party has been aiming for at least a decade: in an October 2011 statement, the party spoke of the urgent need to strengthen the soft power and international influence of Chinese culture.
Professor Ying Zhou, professor of media culture at the Staten Island College of the City University of New York, is concerned about China’s growing market power, which gives the Communist Party too much influence over Hollywood.
“Chinese censorship can act as a global film police on how China is portrayed, how the Chinese government can be portrayed in Hollywood movies, and then movies that criticize the Chinese government will be completely taboo,”says Zhou.
In 2007 there were 14 American films in the top 25 in terms of revenue in Chinese theaters, and in 2019 there were 17 Chinese films in the top 25 in terms of revenue within China, representing a clear decline in demand for American film, as opposed to a significant increase in demand for Chinese film.
Richard changed a model
The famous actor Richard Gere has not appeared in any important film since 2008, due to the great and hidden influence of China, which the world has known through a number of famous films and roles such as “beautiful woman” 1994 and “Chicago” 2002, he is no longer a favorite actor of Hollywood filmmakers.
During the 2003 Oscars, Geer went out of script, denounced the human rights situation in Tibet and then led a campaign to boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics because of the Chinese government’s poor human rights record.
Richard Gere’s anti-China attitudes cost him a lot of film roles, and after Hollywood moved away from him, he was forced to work in television series or independent films with limited budgets.
Richard Gere says that he pays a high professional price for his long-term activity in Tibet, saying in an interview that “there are definitely films in which I can not act; because the Chinese will say it can not be shown, and a film producer frankly stated that he cannot finance a film in which I participate; because it will upset the Chinese”.