Sci-fi feature Looper has benefitted from its status as a US-China co-production by becoming the first Hollywood film to open bigger in China than in America. Filmmaker Rian Johnson switched part of the story from a French to a Chinese setting so he could qualify as a co-production.
Producing films in China as a co-production offers international movies a major advantage as it allows them to bypass the country’s strict foreign-film quota, the Guardian reports. The Chinese Government allows just 34 international films to be screened in Chinese cinemas each year, but official co-productions are not included.
Censorship laws, however, still need to be navigated. Robert Cain is a producer and consultant with more than 20 years of experience working with the Chinese market and he spoke to the outlet: “Police officers are always honest people of integrity who always catch their man.
Horror is very difficult in China. You can’t have ghosts or gore; no demons or monsters.
Robert Cain, Producer/Consultant
“There is no bloody crime in China, no homosexuality, no nudity and no ‘excessively terrifying scenes’. Horror is very difficult in China. You can’t have ghosts or gore; no demons or monsters.”
Some of the top US studios and filmmakers are recognising the significance of the Chinese market. James Cameron is making his specialist 3D cameras available in China and may seek a co-production deal for his Avatar sequels, although he’s cautious of the censorship issue. Marvel is filming scenes for Iron Man 3 locally through a co-production deal with DMG Entertainment in Beijing.
(Images: Sony Pictures Entertainment)
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