Hollywood hires China stars to boost box office results
Fan Bingbing’s appearance in the Marvel film ‘Iron Man 3’ was only seen by Chinese audience. In ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’, she was only given one line and her role was just cameo or a “flower vase.”
BEIJING: Money is the main reason behind Hollywood’s hiring of Chinese stars, a new book, “Hollywood Made in China” by Aynne Kokas, stated.
Major Hollywood studios get Chinese actors for their films to help boost the movie’s box office results, not so much for their acting chops, according to the book.
The more than 1.3 billion population of China is solid proof of the country’s importance in the eyes of Hollywood producers which is why China would largely determine the shape of the future of film, PSMag reported. This, despite American legislators alarmed by the amount of Chinese money used to snap entertainment assets in the US.
However, in terms of content, most of the time, the role of Chinese actors in such movies are limited that the producers could edit them out in international versions of the film. Such was the case for Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing whose appearance in the Marvel film ‘Iron Man 3’ was only seen by Chinese audience. In ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’, she was only given one line and her role was just cameo or a “flower vase.”
Beyond movies, Hollywood also aims for Chinese wealth by building theme parks in China such as the Shanghai Disneyland which cost US$5.5 billion to build. At the theme park, besides charging for entrance and the rides, Disney gets to sell a lot of T-shirts, hats and other souvenir to park visitors. Outside theme parks, Disney has established and sponsored schools in China where English language is taught using a lot of animation and live-action films produced by the American studio.
Hit film ‘Beauty and the Beast’, which had the same Mar 17 opening date in China as the US, premiered in Shanghai Disneyland in late February, Shanghaiist noted. Besides gracing the premiere night, actress Emma Watson also tried some of the rides at the theme park.
However, Chinese do not mind the entry of Hollywood influence in their lives because they view Hollywood as a means to attain and extend China’s global reach which is a “soft power” the Asian giant also wields, Kokas, an assistant professor of media studies at the University of Virginia said.