Is China really changing Hollywood?
ticket prices were adjusted around Lunar New Year, consumer demand went down.
“They weren’t as willing to buy movie tickets that were normal prices, so we saw a little bit of a slowdown from that,” said Papish.
More aggressive accounting practices also went into effect this year after regulators looked into claims that distributors and producers were manipulating box office statistics in their favor. Ip Man 3, a martial arts movie starring Donnie Yen and Mike Tyson, was investigated on a claim that it had inflated sales numbers. is still looking for a recipe for a hit, for a way to best capture the attention of a “fickle market,” but Papish said that he doesn’t think “many lessons were learned in 2016 or 2015, unfortunately.”
Kokas echoed Papish’s sentiments: “We may be seeing some kind of fatigue of American big budget blockbusters — they’re not getting the same numbers as they once did.”
Though movies getting released in the next year or two have already been in the making for years, Hollywood can go forward by investing more in the Chinese film industry and focusing on movies that the Chinese like, as opposed to repackaging movies meant for a Western audience and at times pandering to Chinese audiences with one-off Chinese actors or product placement, Kokas said.
Money into money
“I think money putting money into domestic films is one option, and I think also making better movies in Hollywood is another option, and a more diverse range of movies, more specifically, which run very much against the current revenue model, but we may be coming to the point where that revenue model needs to change,” she said.
Analysts have said that Disney has been better at adapting to the Chinese market than other studios, which may play out in the box office next month with the release of Star Wars spinoff Rogue One. The movie cast two of China’s biggest stars, Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen, in major roles instead of what other studios have been doing, putting Chinese actors and actresses in peripheral roles that serve no plot-driving function.
USC’s Rosen said similarly that Hollywood needs to drop the “one size fits all” attitude: “One thing that Hollywood can do is to partner with Chinese companies to do local language films — which some of them are already doing — and not worry about the international market for those kinds of films, but treat the China market as a separate market and make films for that market alone.”
Contact the writer at amyhe@china dailyusa.com
As the film was getting ready to meet Chinese audiences in March, people pass a poster outside a cinema in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province.