Showbiz Sandbox 342: Box Office Growth in China Begins to Fizzle

October 31, 2016

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Hollywood has been talking up China’s explosive box office growth for years and the country is forecast to surpass North America as the largest movie market in the world as early as next year. However, the growth in China is slowing with ticket sales down 10% this year from last year’s figures. Ryan Faughnder, a staff writer with the Los Angeles Times, stops by to explain some of the reasons for the decline and what it means for major studios.

Faughnder also gives us the lowdown on how some studios, specifically Lionsgate, are turning to YouTube stars in search of their next big hit. Warner Bros. and Disney have similar efforts underway, though none have found the secret to success in transforming online talent into mainstream stars.

Meanwhile politicians and investment analysts have publicly expressed their concern over AT&T’s acquisition of TimeWarner. Some have gone so far as to say the deal can lead to “a whole bunch of different horribles for consumers”. For their part, AT&T is trying to assuage fears by moving head with its virtual cable plan.

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including why the creator of “Mad Men” signed with Amazon for his next series, why viewership of two popular sports has decreased significantly and how the pop group ABBA is reuniting for a live performance… sort of.

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Ryan Faughnder’s Bio and Stories at the Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/la-bio-ryan-faughnder-staff.html

comScore Announces Official Worldwide Box Office Results for Weekend of October 30, 2016
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/comscore-announces-official-worldwide-box-office-results-for-weekend-of-october-30-2016-300353833.html

Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association members undecided over release of ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/latest-hindi-movie-news-bollywood-movies-news-updates/bollywood/news/Cinema-Owners-and-Exhibitors-Association-members-undecided-over-release-of-Ae-Dil-Hai-Mushkil/articleshow/55028250.cms?

A Dramatic Box-Office Slowdown in China Has Hollywood Nervous
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-china-box-office-20161024-snap-story.html

The Studio Behind ‘The Hunger Games’ Wants to Turn YouTube Gurus Into Movie Stars
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-lionsgate-youtube-20161012-snap-story.html

Sequential Drawings Entry on BookFilter
http://bookfilter.com/2016/02/22/sequential-drawings/

Paul Beatty Wins Man Booker Prize With ‘The Sellout’
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/26/business/media/paul-beatty-wins-man-booker-prize-with-the-sellout.html

Bob Dylan Speaks, at Last, on His Nobel
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/29/arts/music/bob-dylan-nobel-prize-comment.html

Academy Ventures Into the Unknown With No Oscar Producer, No Host
https://variety.com/2016/tv/awards/oscars-venture-into-the-unknown-no-producer-host-1201895463/

‘Mad Men’ Creator Matthew Weiner Sets Drama Series Pact With Amazon, Weinstein Co.
https://variety.com/2016/tv/news/matt-weiner-mad-men-amazon-weinstein-co-1201901417/

Bryan Fuller Out as ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Showrunner
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/bryan-fuller-as-star-trek-discovery-showrunner-941587

Warner Bros. Sues Innovative Artists Over Screener Piracy
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/warner-bros-sues-innovative-artists-screener-piracy-940922

TV Viewership Falls in N.F.L. and Premier League: A Blip, or Something Worse?
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/27/sports/football/tv-viewership-falls-in-nfl-and-epl-a-blip-or-something-worse.html

ABBA Plan ‘Previously Unimagined’ Virtual Reality Experience
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/abba-plan-previously-unimagined-virtual-reality-experience-w446845

NBCUniversal Third-Quarter Earnings Rise, Helped by Rio Olympics
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/nbcuniversal-third-quarter-earnings-rise-helped-by-rio-olympics-941358

Glenn Close Will Star, Again, in ‘Sunset Boulevard’ on Broadway
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/26/theater/glenn-close-will-star-again-in-sunset-boulevard-on-broadway.html

AT&T Clarifies Its Intent to Buy Time Warner (Not a Similarly Named Cable Company)
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/at-t-clarifies-intent-buy-time-warner-not-time-warner-cable-940909

Individualized Ads on TV Could Be One Result of AT&T-Time Warner Merger
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/27/business/media/targeted-advertising-time-warner-merger.html

Seeking Ownership of Both the Information and the Superhighway
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/31/business/media/seeking-ownership-of-both-the-information-and-the-superhighway.html

Will DirecTV Now Drive Video Industry Margins to Zero…or Less? #goodluckbundle
http://www.btigresearch.com/2016/10/28/will-directv-now-drive-video-industry-margins-to-zero-or-less-goodluckbundle/

Comments

  • mgiltz

    Right now, China needs Hollywood more than Hollywood needs China. With their box office slowing and a huge new complex opened up just begging for Hollywood movies and TV shows to shoot there, Hollywood should use their leverage to demand a bigger cut of the box office grosses and an end to all the quotas on how many foreign films can open there each year. They won’t get it — but now is the time to start chipping away.