Why Hollywood Might Need China's Massive Film Market to Keep the Money Flowing
China’s inclination towards the film industry is compensating for the slow Hollywood ticket sales in America. It is speculated that China is going to be the world's biggest film market soon.
The box office revenue of China, which had managed to exceed the U.S. in 2018 for the first time, is anticipated to reach $15.5 billion by 2023.
Stanley Rosen, a professor of political science at the University of Southern California, says that one has to be mindful about shooting the script because the Chinese market is enormous.
Approximately 70% of a blockbuster film's box office comes from overseas and not North America, with China being a big part.
That should explain why Hollywood takes the Chinese market into consideration during its productions. China now wants its own films to win the box office, but the local film market struggles to keep up with Hollywood productions.
"China wants to be the largest film market in the world as quickly as possible, and Hollywood is absolutely essential to that," says Rosen.
There is no doubt that China comes in second in terms of box office revenue, right after America. The Chinese box office is too lucrative for Hollywood to avoid doing business with, but that means having to submit to the whims of the erratic Chinese government.
The population of 330 million people is undoubtedly an advantage. The Chinese box office revenue is around 8.6 billion dollars. In America, that figure is a little over 11 billion dollars. At this rate, the former is likely to catch up soon.
Doing business in China means that Hollywood has to adhere to the Chinese rules. If a movie is so lucky to have been chosen, then the script is supposed to be submitted first to the Chinese censor.
The Chinese censor is known for avoiding any allusion to the Tiananmen massacre, Tibet, and Taiwan.
Now, U.S. scriptwriters and producers have started to alter their creations and bend them as per the demands of the censorship boards in China. They've begun writing films that they know will be able to pass the test of China.
The Communist Party of China has even gone so far as to ban the Hollywood stars who have spoken out on the countries forbidden issues. Celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, Brad Pitt, Anastasia Lin, Selena Gomez, Sharon Stone, Richard Gere, Bjork, and Harrison Ford are big-time actors banned from China.
These celebrities either supported Dalai Lama and the Tibetan independence or spoke out against China's ultra-authoritarian tendencies. On a similar note, some movies have also been restricted in the country due to their mention and acknowledgment of the same issues.
A prime example would be the banned references overnight to the Chinese Filmmaker Chloe Zhao's Nomadland, a movie that won three Academy Awards this year; solely because the director had claimed her homeland "full of lies" in a 2013 interview.
But the film already has a good reception in the U.S. to make up for it.