Learning how to please Chinese audiences without alienating moviegoers in the US is becoming crucial for Hollywood as box office receipts stagnate in home market but explode in China. Quarterly ticket revenues in China surpassed those in North America for the first time ever in the first three months of 2018, with Chinese cinemas netting $3.15 billion compared to $2.85 billion in Canada and the US. Those figures were boosted by massive takings during the Lunar New Year holiday, always a peak time for Chinese cinemas, but China could become the world’s largest film market in whole-year terms in 2019.
Wang Jianlin, Wanda’s CEO, the richest man in Asia once said, “Our goal is to make Wanda a brand like Walmart or IBM or Google, a brand known by everyone in the world, a brand from China.” Dalian Wanda, with assets of over $96 billion, has grown from a property company to a large conglomerate, and has its fingers in many pies: from real estate and retail to sports and entertainment. It is also leading a world-wide buying spree, acquiring top assets such as AMC Theatres, Legendary Pictures, World Triathlon Corporation, and Infront Sports & Media. While trying hard to diversify its business, real estate still takes the largest portion in its revenue structure. But how stable is Wanda empire’s future?
As one of the more influential components of the so-called “soft power” push, China’s film industry reflects the overall weak cultural impact of the whole. Even as economic ties multiply between China and the outside world, the flow of cultural exchange remains imbalanced. Chinese works, traditional or modern, consistently struggle to find the same acceptance abroad as Western works enjoy on the mainland. While money remains at the heart of China’s soft power push abroad, time is also required for fulfilling China’s creative potential—it’s going to be a long process towards change.
The unlikely partnership of China and Hollywood is creating big blockbusters like Iron Man 3 and Furious 7. But why are such co-production arrangements necessary?
Chinese outbound investment in entertainment is growing phenomenally. A look at the big deals like Dalian Wanda’s purchase of US-based AMC Entertainment.
The week that was: Transformers raked in the riches in China; Chinese brands stole market share from global brands; Tencent picked up a stake in China’s Craigslist 58.com; and the exchange rate for the RMB was further liberalized. Transformers in China: Age of Prosperity Michael Bay’s latest movie doesn’t have the apocalyptic undertones in China […]
Last time I discussed how important movie-release timing is to box office sales in the US and how studios play a game of “chicken” to obtain the choicest time slots. This time I talk about how differently things work in China. Last time I talked about how studios play a game of “chicken” when scheduling movie releases […]
Box office sales are a function of movie release timings, but warding off competition is a different ball game altogether. If you have ever watched James Dean in the movie Rebel Without a Cause, you probably remember the famous scene in which Dean’s character Jim Stark plays a game of “chicken” against the […]