Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Customer is Always Right

China is a major part of Hollywood's business plan these days. Yeah, that will work out swell.

Hollywood is pivoting to China:

With its massive potential -- the nation is now building 10 movie screens a day for an estimated population of 1.35 billion -- Hollywood is leading the charge to find ways into the Chinese market. Insiders say co-productions and younger-skewing films targeting a new generation of moviegoers are the best way forward. ...

By the end of October, domestic box office had reached $2.87 billion (17.5 billion yuan), and with the Christmas season approaching, Huang believes full-year box office in China is on track for more than $3.28 billion (20 billion yuan). China's box office should overtake the U.S.' sometime in the next five years.

"From the point of view of box office, the Chinese film market is a gradually increasing process," says Huang.

China is controlled by a Communist Party, of course. The Hollywood Reporter doesn't really address that aspect of penetrating the China market. But a country with a Great Firewall that has an army of censors to keep the Internet tame and which set the terms for Google's entry into China isn't going to let Hollywood do what it wants.

So Hollywood's response to China's anti-access and China denial strategy is to conform to China's broader wishes on how China is portrayed in Hollywood films marketed to Chinese audiences, as Strategypage wrote:

The American movie industry has quietly agreed to become part of the Chinese Information War effort. Increasingly over the past decade U.S. film companies have agreed to not only censor their films before they are shown in China, but to edit scripts for the original versions of films so as to conform to the Chinese view of how China should be portrayed.

Free Tibet has been a fashionable Hollywood cause. That won't last much longer.