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Movie Industry

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
china, hollywood, piracy, red dawn

mgm, mpaa

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.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jun 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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