Tag Archives: China

Hollywood does China: varying degrees of success

Today’s RSS feeds bring in 2 interesting pieces about China:

A Variety Asia piece on how Hollywood studios are seriously reconsidering their plans in China.

A quick summary:

– co-productions not working as well as initially assumed
– import quotas for foreign movies
– unpredictable censorship & no standard classification system.
– “chronically weak filmgoing culture”.
– online, DVD piracy provide better alternatives

Still, China is an extremely lucrative market:
– Box office this year is expected to hit $590 million, up 21% from last year’s $489 million.
– Growing local film industry: 400 local film productions expected this year, a big jump from 350 last year.
– China Film Group now joined by state-backed companies such as Bona or private firms Huayi Bros.. Others like Chengtian have foreign capital and are pulling together production and distribution slates that make them credible partners.

But recently China authorities have become stricter on content regulation.

Market changes possible, but elements are beyond the control of Hollywood studios:
1. If more multiplexes increase demand for new, fresh content
2. If more private sector companies in production and distribution sectors emerge, which studios can partner with

While Hollywood studios are scratching their heads, other Hollywood players have made further inroads, like CAA. Variety Asia analyses the reasons for their (relative) success in this article. Even if you think CAA’s strategy is coherent in hindsight, the article’s still worth scanning for the differences between US and Chinese/Taiwan/HK styles of doing business in the media sector.


Randomness #681J

Things go from bad to worse in Tibet. Have been shuttling between The Peking Duck and the BBC for coverage.

Vantan visited a panel with interesting scenarios of what the future of social networking technology might be like.

This is the weirdest SXSW panel I’ve ever been to.

The setting is a funeral parlour or church, with a fake pastor (complete with black suit) gives a final sermon to a fictitious porn star whose 13” penis has been copyrighted by Disney, thus he could not show it in public for the last 20 years of his life.

Which sounds like Warren Ellis scripted it.

I’ve had to create “scenarios” about the future before and I wish I could’ve come up with something that outrageous yet plausible. Too much social conditioning in the workplace I tell ya…

Read the post on Vantan’s blog.

The Savages

Didn’t know Chris Ware designed the poster for The Savages.

I’m not sure if funny and sad are really so terribly different things; I’ve been to violent films that I find patronizing, dishonest and depressing, yet the people around me are all laughing their heads off. As a half-writer myself, I try not to think of what’s funny and sad in a story but simply to think of what, to the best of my ability, seems truest; whether it’s funny or sad is simply how it settles with the reader. In the wake of any horrible natural disaster some well-known religious figure is inevitably asked, “How can a good God allow something as bad as this to happen?” Really, though, what difference does it make to God whether 10,000 people or 10,000 fish die? Good and bad, like funny and sad, are phenomena relative to the perspective of the organism that’s laughing or dying.

Read the whole interview

I’m still in the throes of having seen the Evangelion movie – Evangelion 1.0 – You Are (Not) Alone, and am still impressed by There Will Be Blood. Am trying to wrestle my thoughts down so I can write something coherent. Eva first.

Randomness #785D

  • R.I.P. Gary Gygax. Found out from, of all places, How The World Works:

    In the deep structure of ancient Internet culture, where the same computer programmers who helped build the Net often spent their leisure time pretending to be online wizards and warlocks, there’s no underestimating the genetic influence of Dungeons & Dragons. Gygax’s legacy is built into the infrastructure. I hope he took pleasure in that as the years went by, and I hope Gygax always knew how much millions of gamers and fantasy-dwellers, whiling away their hours on online quests, owe to him and his co-author Dave Arneson.

    Order of the Stick has a charming tribute too.

  • Zhou Enlai was born today, 5th March 1898. My impression of him was that of the model civil servant (not necessarily a compliment), managing to survive while Mao offed all his contemporaries. But what was he thinking on the inside? What kind of conscience did he have? I bought Gao Wenqian’s The Last Perfect Revolutionary with those questions and others in mind. Only managed to read a bit before being distracted by other books — should go back to it soon.
  • Jottings From The Granite Studio also informs us that 5th March was the start of the “Learn from Lei Feng” campaign too. Ah, a man for all (propaganda) seasons
  • When in London, why not visit the Stanley Kubrick Archive?
  • Turns out that the rumours of a new lime-green Lamy Safari are true. Here’s one for sale on eBay.