Now China is gunning for the Hellmouth:
In a dramatic turn for the major studios, Hollywood’s share of China’s box office is in free fall, reportedly collapsing to less than 10 percent as Beijing aims to bolster its domestic movie industry while continuing to block major Hollywood releases from playing in Chinese cinemas.
The result is a potential existential crisis for Hollywood, which has bent over backwards to please China’s Communist dictators in the hopes of maintaining access to the lucrative Chinese market.
But the reverse has happened. Hollywood’s share of the China box office market has plummeted to just 9.5 percent so far this year, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway, as reported by Variety.
The stark decline comes as Hollywood imports are being edged out by domestic releases.
Last year, only two Hollywood releases cracked China’s top-ten grossing movies — Tenet and The Croods: A New Age. For 2019, only Avengers: Endgame and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw made the top-ten list. A decade ago, Hollywood accounted for eight of China’s top-ten grossing movies.
Chinese audiences are instead gravitating toward home-grown movies in larger numbers, lifting the time-traveling comedy Hi, Mom and the buddy-cop adventure Detective Chinatown 3 to blockbuster status. Meanwhile, recent Hollywood titles like Disney-Pixar’s Luca and Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon have failed to resonate with local audiences.
Even Universal’s dependable Fast & Furious franchise, which has been enormously popular in China, is showing signs of fatigue. The latest installment, F9, saw its China grosses plummet in the second week by a stunning 85 percent.
Hollywood’s decline in China comes as the Communist country has overtaken the United States to become the world’s largest movie market.
If you think it’s an accident that China increasingly appears to be targeting the neoclown strongholds in the USA, well, you’re not paying attention. It’s obvious that China is not so much focusing its “unrestricted warfare” on the USA per se anymore as on a specific and influential foreign demographic. My guess is that the media will be next, followed by Wall Street.
Believe it or not, there is not only considerably more freedom in the Chinese media than in the US media – by which I mean there are far fewer no-go zones – the rules are considerably more coherent and stable. Remember, I’ve not only been interviewed on Chinese state TV about trade and cryptocurrencies, I was asked more than once to return, most likely because both my predictions – contra the other experts – were correct. Do you think that would ever happen on Fox, CBS, ESPN, or even the Disney Channel?
Remember, China’s primary goal is to be left to their own devices. And their increasing engagement with the West appears to have taught them that unlike China, the USA is not a nation.