Hollywood set to expand collaborations with China
Chinese audiences can now access the series Talking Zhou on one of China’s leading online video platforms iQiyi every Tuesday. The first online episode via iQiyi went on air on August 4. The show was first made available in China on May 29 on the state broadcaster’s movie channel CCTV 6.
The show — which is specifically catered to the Chinese audience – and partnership with iQiyi looks to be steps in the US film industry’s plan to tap the lucrative Chinese market. Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount Pictures, said that reception for the show, from both the audiences and the Hollywood stars, have been very positive. He cited how Tom Cruise, who is the featured star in the first episode, was so excited to be a part of the project that he decided to come up with an interesting segment in the show — taking host Betty Wang on an adrenaline-filled stunt driving demonstration on the set of the movie Mission:Impossible
“We brought Betty in as a producer as well because we needed someone who knows what the Chinese audience is interested in. Our knowledge of the movie business and Betty’s expertise in Chinese culture has been a really great combination,” said Moore.
China is currently home to the fastest growing film industry in the world and Deloitte predicts that the country’s movie market will surpass Hollywood to become the world’s largest by 2020. According to statistics from China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, box office revenues in China in 2014 hit 29.6 billion yuan ($4.76 billion), a surge of 36.2 percent from 2013.
Speaking at a media event in Shanghai on August 20, Moore told China Daily that there is great potential for the two major film industries to further collaborate. Apart from partnerships with media platforms in China and the creation of shows exclusive to the Chinese audience, Hollywood has also forged working relationships with studios in China. Shanghai-based animation company Oriental Dream Works Studio, for example, was created following a joint venture between acclaimed US studio DreamWorks Animation and Chinese organizations such as China Media Group and Shanghai Alliance Investment Limited.
“The Chinese movie business has gone through an amazing period of growth in terms of attendance and quality of movies made here…it has been developing well and has some giant hits of their own this summer,” said Moore, referringtoChina-madeshows such as MonsterHunt, which smashed domestic box office records this year by raking in more than 1.6 billion yuan.
“We’ll be looking forward to working with Chinese artistes and we have a number of co-productions that we are developing. We’re constantly looking for ways to engage the Chinese audience and work with the talented people here,” Moore added.
One of the recent collaborations involved Chinese musician Jane Zhang, who worked with US rapper Big Sean to produce a song titled FightingShadows for the soundtrack of the newly released TerminatorGenisys movie.
Host Betty Wang poses with TerminatorGenisys star Arnold Schwarzenegger.