Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Great March to China

With a billion and a quarter pairs of eyes to watch product, our fine entertainment conglomerates are interested.

... Big studios are trying to push further into China, where box office receipts rose more than a third last year to $2 billion. China represents one of the most attractive growth opportunities for the US movie industry, which is facing declining North American theater revenue and slumping DVD sales.

For the last decade, China has allowed only 20 foreign films a year — mostly big-budget Hollywood fare — to get national distribution. But it opened the door a little more last month when it changed the rules to allow in up to 14 more films a year as long as they are made in 3-D or for the big-screen Imax format. ...

It's dawned on corporate leaders that most of the revenue derived from big, tent-pole productions come from overseas. And here in the 21st century, animated features are definitely holding up big tents. Kung Fu Panda 2 made over $75 million in China, which might explain part of the reason Jeffrey Katzenberg was in the Middle Kingdom Monday and Tuesday.

... Katzenberg said there are seven animation proposals competing for Oriental DreamWorks' maiden production, Xinhua reported.

He said the joint venture, promoted as a Chinese family entertainment brand, will closely link elements of Chinese history, culture and literature in its various productions.

For 2012, work will focus on assembling talents into a competent team, Katzenberg said, adding that a studio will be set up with leading DreamWorks expertise, especially on three-dimensional (3D) technologies. ...

Putting studios into China isn't so much about low wages as it is about big audiences. Because low wages inexorably rise.


Anonymous said...

And the inevitable Outsourcing from the US doesn't hurt either, right?

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