Hol­ly­wood set to ex­pand col­lab­o­ra­tions with China

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By ALY­WIN CHEW

aly­win@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

PHOTO PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Host Betty Wang poses with Ter­mi­na­torGenisys star Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger.

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