Sunday, 19 February 2012

A Scripted Happy Ending

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping has ended his trip to the United States on a high note -- with his American hosts pleased that more Hollywood movies will be seen legitimately in China.

Xi's US counterpart Joe Biden announced China had agreed to make it easier for Hollywood to distribute movies to China's audiences, particularly 3D, Imax and other enhanced-format movies on favourable commercial terms.

"This agreement with China will make it easier than ever before for US studios and independent filmmakers to reach the fast-growing Chinese audience, supporting thousands of American jobs in and around the film industry," Biden said.

Biden didn't give out a figure, but the Motion Picture Association said the deal would allow more than 50 percent more American movies to China.

Right now the quota is around 20 movies a year and most of them are the usual blockbuster action movies and not necessarily Oscar-quality films.

In 2009 the World Trade Organization ruled against Chinese limits on the import of film, DVDs, music and books. And Hollywood has been lobbying for greater access to China for years; it finally got its wish.

More American films shown in Chinese movie theatres does not necessarily mean a drop in the extensive fake DVD market -- with movie ticket prices still expensive for many people, a cheap copy will do.

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