China Vies for its Own Hollywood
The Chinese government recently announced an ambitious plan to more than double the size of its entertainment and other cultural industries in the next five years — see the story here by the WSJ’s Laurie Burkitt – adding more weight to the fight between Hollywood and China for the country’s entertainment dollars.
The plan focuses on the development of film and television production in China, a strategy designed to stimulate the domestic industry as well as increase China’s cultural sway throughout the world.
Already, Chinese film studios produced 15% more films in 2010 compared with the year before, according to media research firm EntGroup Inc. Those domestic films reaped $532 million overseas in box office receipts last year, according to the government.
Hollywood is undoubtedly watching closely. China allows only 20 foreign movies to be screened in the country’s theaters each year — a system that rankles U.S. studios who want a bigger chunk of this budding moviegoing market. The issue has gone all the way to the World Trade Organization, which has demanded that China open up its film market to a higher number of foreign films. China will address the WTO on the issue this month, and some observers say the country will acquiesce and allow more foreign access.