Showbiz Sandbox 315: China Becomes A Global Movie Superpower

In recent years, Chinese-owned companies have become the film industry’s biggest power players by scooping up production companies and cinema chains. The latest example came when AMC Theatres, owned by China’s richest man Wang Jianlin, announced it will acquire Carmike Cinemas to become the world’s largest motion picture exhibitor.

It’s easy to see why the Chinese are so hot on the cinema business given that their box office surpassed that of North America during the month of February for the second time ever. Yet if you were to ask some financial analysts, Hollywood Hollywood is starting to look like the video game industry before it imploded; bigger budgets, fewer winners and more losers. Is Hollywood about to shrivel up like Pac-Man?

Then there are those like Sean Parker, one of the founders of Napster and Facebook, who are trying to convince Hollywood that it’s time to start making big movies available in consumer’s homes the same day they hit theaters. Is there any business model in which that could actually work?

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including the authors nominated for this year’s prestigious Man Booker Prize, music sales in France plummet and Kevin Spacey won’t be heading up Relativity Media after all.

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‘Spotlight’s’ Best Picture Oscar Boosts Box Office Around the Globe
https://variety.com/2016/film/box-office/spotlight-best-picture-oscar-win-box-office-1201726461/

‘Zootopia’ Roars to Record $25M Saturday in China, Nears $100M
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/box-office-zootopia-roars-record-874827

China Box Office Pulls in Massive $1B in February, Topping North America
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/china-box-office-pulls-massive-871688

‘The Mermaid’ Reaches $500 Million at Chinese Box Office
https://variety.com/2016/film/asia/the-mermaid-500-million-at-chinese-box-office-1201723721/

China Grants Hollywood Films More Favorable Spring Release Schedule
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/china-grants-hollywood-films-more-873782

From Factory Manager to Chinese Mogul: ‘Ip Man 3’ Financier Shi Jianxiang Draws Scrutiny
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-ct-china-box-office-fraud-jianxiang-20160308-story.html

‘Increasingly Dire’ Film Industry Has Fewer Winning Films, Studios
https://variety.com/2016/film/news/hollywood-dire-outlook-tentpoles-1201722775/

China Cracks Down on Online Television
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/03/03/china-cracks-down-on-online-television/

Three Missing Hong Kong Booksellers To Be Freed On Bail
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/03/three-missing-hong-kong-booksellers-to-be-freed-on-bail-say-police

Kevin Spacey Pulls Out of Relativity Chairman Role
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/kevin-spacey-pulls-relativity-chairman-868903

‘Dead Poets Society’ Screenwriter Is Turning Film Into a Play
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/02/29/dead-poets-society-pacific-overtures-will-be-part-of-classic-stage-season/

ESPN Digital Sees Banner January Tatings
http://www.rapidtvnews.com/2016030141935/espn-digital-sees-banner-january-ratings.html

French Music Sales Plummet
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2016/03/draft.html

Former ‘Sabado Gigante’ Host Don Francisco Joins Telemundo
https://variety.com/2016/tv/news/don-francisco-sabado-gigante-telemundo-news-correspondent-1201718879/

Man Booker International 2016 Longlist Includes Banned and Pseudonymous Authors
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/mar/10/man-booker-international-longlist-elena-ferrante-orhan-pamuk

Paramount Claims Crowdfunded ‘Star Trek’ Film Infringes Copyright to Klingon Language
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/paramount-claims-crowdfunded-star-trek-874985

ABC’s Oscar Contract Renegotiations: Who’ll Get Creative Control?
https://variety.com/2016/tv/news/abc-academy-oscars-deal-renegotiations-oscars-2016-1201718452/

Amazon’s Second Bricks and Mortar to Open in San Diego
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/69591-amazon-s-second-bricks-and-mortar-to-open-in-san-diego.html

HBO Will Not Release Any ‘Game of Thrones’ Screeners for Season 6
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/hbo-will-not-release-any-872197

YouTube Promises Changes To Policy Enforcement
https://thestack.com/world/2016/03/01/youtube-promises-changes-to-copyright-claim-policy/

The 41st Annual IRA Film Awards — “Tangerine,” “The Tribe” Triumph
http://popsurfing.blogspot.com/2016/03/the-41st-annual-ira-film-awards.html

AMC Buys Carmike Theater Chain in $1.1 Billion Deal
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/amc-buys-carmike-theater-chain-872653

AMC’s Carmike Deal: Justice Department Review Could Impact Licensing of Blockbuster Movies
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/amcs-carmike-deal-justice-department-872761

Cinemark CEO Says Exhibitor Is Poised to Buy Theaters
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/cinemark-ceo-says-exhibitor-is-873440

Studios, Exhibitors Consider Revolutionary Plan for Day-and-Date Movies at Home
https://variety.com/2016/film/news/studios-exhibitors-consider-revolutionary-plan-for-day-and-date-movies-at-home-exclusive-1201725168/

Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, Peter Jackson Backing Sean Parker’s Bold Home Movie Plan
https://variety.com/2016/film/news/steven-spielberg-j-j-abrams-peter-jackson-sean-parker-screening-room-1201728374/

Theater Owner Rejects Proposed $50 Home Movie Service: “It Feels Like a Half-Baked Plan”
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/theater-owner-rejects-proposed-50-874835

Pat Conroy, Author of ‘The Prince of Tides’ and ‘The Great Santini,’ Dies at 70
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/05/books/pat-conroy-who-wove-his-family-strife-into-novels-of-carolina-dies-at-70.html

Kathryn Trosper Popper, Last Living ‘Citizen Kane’ Castmember, Dies at 100
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/kathryn-trosper-popper-dead-last-873587

George Martin, Redefining Producer Who Guided the Beatles, Dies at 90
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/10/arts/music/george-martin-producer-of-the-beatles-dies-at-90.html?_r=0