Hollywood may very well continue its campaign to capture the Chinese audiences at the expense of Americans due to the fact that all numbers indicate the communist country’s box office has overtaken the U.S.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, as the world suffers the COVID-19 pandemic, which China helped bring about, movie ticket sales in the country climbed to $1.988 billion over the weekend compared to North America’s $1.937 billion.
“Analysts have long predicted that the world’s most populous country would one day top the global charts. But the results still represent a historic sea change: North America has been the global box office’s center of gravity since the dawn of the motion picture business,” reported THR.
THR goes on to inaccurately praise the communist country’s COVID-19 containment efforts, attributing it to its successful box office numbers.
“It only took a pandemic to accelerate the transition,” THR glowingly stated. “Thanks to China’s effective containment of COVID-19, the country’s tens of thousands of theaters are operating at 75 percent of usual seating capacity, while filmgoers are demonstrating little hesitation about returning to the multiplex.”
In North America, movie theaters in the biggest markets (Los Angeles, New York) still remain closed or are forced to operate at limited capacity due to local and state regulations. John Fithian, head of the National Association of Theatre Owners, recently blamed New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to keep cinemas closed on box office failures.
“If New York remains closed to theater operations, other movies scheduled for 2020 will move as well. And I just don’t understand it. I know the governor has done a fantastic job combatting the virus,” Fithian told Variety. “I know he’s got some increases of infections in some limited areas in the state. But restaurants in New York are open, gyms are open, churches are open, indoor dining is being offered. Our recommendation, our urgent plea, is for Gov. Cuomo to allow movie theaters to reopen in the portions of the state that aren’t having spikes in the virus. There are now only two states that are entirely closed to moviegoing — New York and New Mexico.”
Movie studios have gone to great lengths to appeal to Chinese audiences by presenting the country as a technologically advanced superpower, as in the cases of “The Martian,” “2012,” “Gravity,” and “Looper.” Beyond that, some movies have been subjected to self-censorship, sometimes changing whole plotlines in order to break into the Chinese market.
“When the creators of ‘Pixels’ wanted to show aliens blasting a hole in the Great Wall of China, Sony executives worried that the scene might prevent the 2015 movie’s release in China, leaked studio emails show. They blew up the Taj Mahal instead,” reported The New York Times. “In the 2016 movie ‘Doctor Strange,’ the Ancient One is Celtic, played by the white actress Tilda Swinton. Moviemakers decided to change the character’s ethnicity early in the process, reportedly to avoid offending the Chinese government.”
Speaking at the Nixon Library in California this past July, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a lengthy speech about the dangers of the United States doing anything and everything possible to squeeze cheap dollars out of the Chinese Communist regime and condemned Hollywood’s practice of appeasement.
“In Hollywood, not too far from here – the epicenter of American creative freedom, and self-appointed arbiters of social justice – self-censors even the most mildly unfavorable reference to China,” said Pompeo. “This corporate acquiescence to the CCP happens all over the world, too.”
“And how has this corporate fealty worked? Is its flattery rewarded? I’ll give you a quote from the speech that General Barr gave, Attorney General Barr. In a speech last week, he said that ‘The ultimate ambition of China’s rulers isn’t to trade with the United States. It is to raid the United States,'” he continued.
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