Sunday, September 02, 2012

Stampede

Or at least a rush to get in through the door.

... Since the February DreamWorks announcement [to construct a studio in China], four other Hollywood companies went public with the development of joint Chinese ventures: Walt Disney and Marvel Studios will be producing the next Iron Man movie in conjunction with Beijing-based DMG Entertainment; James Cameron’s 3-D technology company Cameron Pace Group will partner with both Tianjin North Film Group and Tianjin Binhai Hi-Tech Development Group; comic-book legend Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment signed up to create the next generation of superhero with Beijing’s National Film Capital. Even News Corp. is getting in on the Chinese film industry. ...

There's been a general frenzy among the conglomerates to establish a beach head inside the Middle Kingdom. So why do I have the feeling that their Chinese adventures might not work quite as splendidly as they suppose?

5 comments:

Paul Burrows said...

Its too bad that California taxes are driving the companies out of the country.

Kevin Koch said...

These moves are not about avoiding California taxes, they're about getting into the Chinese market.

Bob Foster said...

Just my opinion -

In one of the links you'll find this quote:

"The Chinese film industry needs Hollywood expertise and Hollywood needs the Chinese market," Liu Yuan, co-chairman and president of National Film Capital's American unit, said in an email statement. "We are the perfect one-stop China turn-key partner for Hollywood."

I think this is a carrot on a stick. We don't need the Chinese Market any more than we need genetically modified Twinkies. This isn't entirely about getting into the Chinese market - it's also about getting into the cheap Chinese labor market.

The average monthly wage in Shanghai is $200. All the millions and billions that big movies have raked in didn't come from Chinese ticket buyers - they came from people who earned enough money to be able to buy tickets at $10 - $20 each.

The tax incentives argument might be a valid one, but it's not the lone scapegoat in this equation. Tax incentives might help, but those jobs that go overseas rarely come back.

Kevin's point is a good one, though. Perhaps they do have the best interests of future American workers in mind by expanding into a new market that has a lot of people with no disposable income. Great target market there. Whoo-Hoo!

Are taxes putting the corporations out of business? I doubt it. It's all about making MORE money than they're already making, keeping more pie, and exporting American jobs in order to achieve that. OINK! OINK! OINK!

But getting into the Chinese market isn't going to be of much help to us. I think it'll create more work for the local labor pool in China, wages will be a tenth of what they are here, and "quality" will be an old school concept.

Steven Gordon said...

American films have actually been benefiting from very good box office in China as well as many other overseas countries that have been all but ignored in the past.
Things have changed quite a bit in China. Last time I was there the streets were no longer clogged with bicycles but clogged with automobiles.
In the meantime, no studio is leaving SoCal despite the "horrible taxes" here. They're just exploring ways to make films cheaper and to find another avenue of income.

Steve Hulett said...

Its too bad that California taxes are driving the companies out of the country.

It would even be worse if the above were true.

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