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Asia Minute: More Hollywood Movies for China?

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

President Trump spent part of his weekend golfing with Japan’s Prime Minister. Late last week, he spoke with the president of China. But the latest advance for one particular U.S. product in Asia may come from a different kind of negotiation. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.


China means big business for Hollywood.

It’s been that way for several years, and the pace has been picking up.

According to Chinese government figures, foreign films scored nearly $3 billion in revenue on movie screens across China last year, and the overwhelming majority came from the United States.

China uses a quota system—only 34 foreign films are allowed into the country each year.

That’s under the terms of an agreement reached five years ago—an agreement that’s about to expire.

On Friday, China’s state-run Global Times predicted that quota number is likely to go up with a new deal along with the share of box-office receipts that U.S. distributors will retain.

The Global Times is put out by the People’s Daily, which is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, so you’ve got to assume their government sourcing is pretty good on stories like this.

Another development over the past year: China’s film industry added more than 1,600 theaters across the country.

According to the National Association of Theater Owners, China now has more than 41,000 movie screens moving just ahead of the United States for the most of any country in the world.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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