Hollywood Bending Over Backwards To Appease China

from the and-i-thought-they-were-all-thieves dept

For decades, we've been hearing complaints from the entertainment industry about just how evil China was, and how rampant "piracy" was in China and how the country needed to crack down... blah, blah, blah. But a funny thing happened on the way to the Great Wall, it seems that Hollywood has finally realized that there are over a billion people in China, and a lot of them are interested in paying for American movies. Back in March, when the MPAA's yearly numbers came out (showing continued growth, of course), the report repeatedly mentioned the rapidly growing Chinese market.

What's interesting, though, is that this is now causing Hollywood to actually rethink how movies represent people in China. That link is to a recent segment from the radio show On the Media, where they talk about how Hollywood suddenly is bending over backwards to make Chinese consumers happy -- including changing the content of movies so as not to offend the Chinese. The key story: when MGM remade the movie Red Dawn (yes, another remake), it replaced the "Soviet" enemy threat from the original with a Chinese threat. Except... after the movie was done, the studio realized that might cut out the Chinese market, so they went back in and re-edited the film to make the Chinese people into North Koreans instead.
The studio is now digitally removing Chinese flags and military symbols from the movie and are hard at work re-recording dialogue so that no one mistakes the brazen invaders for the Chinese.
There seems to be something rather ironic in the fact that Hollywood spent so much time bitching about the awful Chinese market... and now they're making massive changes to movies just to appease that market... But, of course, there's a bigger lesson here: actually providing markets with what they want, rather than worrying about piracy, seems to be a pretty good way of making money. It's just too bad that Hollywood hasn't realized that back here at home yet.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    BeachBumCowboy (profile), Jun 5th, 2012 @ 12:03pm

    Pirates

    But I thought all those Chinese viewers were actually pirates, unwilling to pay for movies and other media. Why would the studios want to be appease pirates. I guess they better start digitally removing all the junk boats from the movies too.

     

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      gorehound (profile), Jun 5th, 2012 @ 6:05pm

      Re: Pirates

      While Hollywood plays its dumb games that only fool the unintelligent or the uninformed our Government pushes TPP & ACTA whose underlying not ever mentioned thingie is to hammer back at China.
      I may not quite have worded this properly but you guys are smart and in the know so you get the drift.
      These Gov & MAFIAA think the whole Nation is a bunch of idiots or something.

       

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    Mesonoxian Eve (profile), Jun 5th, 2012 @ 12:05pm

    "There seems to be something rather ironic..."
    What does "Screw over the Chinese market, the last on earth willing to pay for plastic disks" have to do with irony?

    I thought it was called "grasping at straws"?

    Huh.

    /jolly good time

     

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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Jun 5th, 2012 @ 12:08pm

    Maybe they were trying to appeal to the lobbyists that still live in the McCarthy era.

     

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    PlagueSD (profile), Jun 5th, 2012 @ 12:16pm

    They're not appeasing the Chinese people, they're appeasing the Chinese Government. Anything that depicts a bad image for China gets "censored" by the Government and is a "lost" sale. Keep the China Government happy, the movie is allowed to be sold to the billions of people in China. Hollywood makes bank...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2012 @ 12:27pm

    Hollywood (is) changing the content of movies so as not to offend the Chinese....MGM remade the movie Red Dawn ...replaced ... "Soviet" ... with ...Chinese...the studio realized that might cut out the Chinese market ...they went back ... to make the Chinese people into North Koreans

    One MGM official was heard to say "I hope the military-industrial complex (also known as the US 'government') has finally made up their fuckin' minds who the US hates and brands "evil" this week - all these changes are costing us money!"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2012 @ 12:46pm

    America is a whorehouse... where the revolutionary ideals of your forefathers... are corrupted and sold in alleys by vendors of capitalism...

     

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    Prashanth (profile), Jun 5th, 2012 @ 12:53pm

    Sounds like Microsoft

    Abroad, Microsoft is OK with piracy because at least it locks consumers into Microsoft products. At home, they'll go after it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2012 @ 1:06pm

    Oh how luvley it must be to pick and choose who you want portrayed as the "bad guy"

    Nothing to see here folks, no wolf, no boy, no crying, nada, zip, zilch.....move along

     

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    Not That Chris (profile), Jun 5th, 2012 @ 1:38pm

    Homefront

    Wait, changing China to North Korea now makes this a movie version of the video game "Homefront," right?

    So does that mean Hollywood gets sued? Or maybe they can market it as not a remake? I mean, come on, nobody really played that game anyway.

    Genius!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2012 @ 1:56pm

    Red Dawn?

    North Korea invading the United States? Sounds more like a remake of a Peter Sellers movie.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2012 @ 2:31pm

      Re: Red Dawn?

      The movie ends with the North Koreans throwing down their weapons and surrendering when one American citizen offers the invaders a sandwich.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2012 @ 7:00pm

    I think a hit Taiwan made movie based on story written by a famous novel writter has to be heavily edited in order to get approval. And that writter is not happy about that and once said he wouldn't show up in the first show there because of this...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2012 @ 1:29am

    Money talks, jim. Money talks.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 6th, 2012 @ 1:30am

    Money talks, jim. Money talks.

     

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    relghuar, Jun 7th, 2012 @ 4:11am

    "and-i-thought-they-were-all-thieves"

    ... you really couldn't have thought wronger!
    THEY are a "perspective new emerging market", which makes them a fresh full cow to be pampered so that it can milked. Besides, THEY live on the other side of the planet and under completely different (and not very friendly) government, which makes them pretty much untouchable.
    YOU, on the other hand, are just a lazy entitled sons-of-bitches they've been getting nice money from for decades that just recently decided (WRONGLY!!!) they don't want to pay them same old money for same old shit - which makes YOU not only a thief, but also an idiot, because you live close enough to be ... touched.

    Allow me a short joke told here in Slovakia during the commies times :-)
    You know what's the difference between Castro and Dubcek?
    Castro forgot the Soviet Union is too far...
    Dubcek forgot it's too close.

     

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