China’s Film Industry Expanding around the World

Early this year, Time Magazine reported How China Is Remaking the Global Film Industry. “Chinese companies have snapped up Hollywood studios, theaters and production companies. Last year Dalian Wanda Group, the Chinese real estate and entertainment conglomerate, announced it was buying Legendary Entertainment studio — producer of blockbusters like Jurassic World — for $3.5 billion …”

For instance, The Great Wall, starring William Dafoe, Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal and produced by China’s Zhang Yimou cost $150 million to make, but only made about $45 million in the United States while raking in more than $289 million outside of the U.S.  The money for this film came from China.  I saw the film, and I enjoyed it. If you know about China’s Great Wall, imagine what it must have been like when it was still being used long before it became a tourist attraction. This film gives us an idea of what that must have been like even if the film was based on fiction.

There are more videos on YouTube with other segments from the film.

It also appears that the Chinese government has done some forgiving. reports, “Zhang Zhao fled China for the U.S. soon after the crushing of the 1989 student democracy movement. But Mr. Zhang returned to China in 1998, and now he’s the man with the money: As head of Enlight Pictures, a unit of Enlight Media and one of the new film companies aspiring to tell Chinese stories to a rapidly expanding domestic audience, he has plans for an initial slate of 40 movies, and no problem with financing.”

Then there is Huayi Brothers Media, which the May issue of “The Hollywood Reporter” says raised $160 million in an IPO on the Zhenzhen stock exchange.  The Huayi brothers have already released over 50 films, most of them huge box office hits in China.

“Five years ago,” Wang Zhongjun said, “we hoped (the Hollywood studios) could bring us support and investments. Now we’re helping them,” reports The Hollywood Reporter. In 2016, China’s box office total was $6.58 billion.

Discover Anna May Wong, the American actress who died a thousand times.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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