China is now the world's second-biggest film market after America. The newly released 3D version [of "Titanic"] took $105m in its first two weeks of release, double the takings in North America over the same period. China's box-office revenues may overtake America's by 2020.
Until recently only 20 foreign films could be screened at Chinese cinemas each year. In February the number increased to 34—though only if the extra 14 are shown in 3D or large format.
"You can export more films to our country, Hollywood, but only if they're
good in 3D or IMAX."
related: "[Clash of the Titans] made two-thirds of its money overseas." Wrath of the Titans made 72%. Pirates of the Caribbean 4 made 77%.
The Dark Knight made 47%.
To guarantee their films are released in China, American studios are trying another ploy: seeking a Chinese partner. Co-productions are not classed as imports and so bypass the 34-a-year quota. Co-productions will not necessarily be filmed in China. The key is that Chinese producers will provide funding.
But co-produced films are scrutinised by censors at both script and post-production stages. Films must comply or risk being bounced from cinemas, which would be business suicide in a market where nine-tenths of revenue comes from box-office receipts (in America, it is closer to 30%).
Hollywood at the mercy of supposed Communists – ironic?
related: Zombie 108 is the first Taiwanese zombie flick.