Foreign Media Claims China “Fertile Ground” for Bad Hollywood Movies

Foreign Media Claims China “Fertile Ground” for Bad Hollywood Movies

China’s growing crowd of moviegoers and their interest in Hollywood has recently given many high-budget films a chance to recoup losses after they bombed in America and Europe. The phenomenon has become a sort of insurance policy for filmmakers, who use the Chinese market as a backup plan. In the past it has saved movies like Bait and The Expendables 3. Chinese netizens chalked up the success of bad movies in China to the extremely low quality of many Chinese-made movies, saying “They could be much worse and still be better than China’s awful movies.” and “The people are stupid and have a lot of money, come quickly.”

Source: Netease

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  • Jahar

    Damn Foreign media should just stay in Foreignland.

    • Bman

      True. The local media handles everything perfectly, with oodles of unbiased, honest and relevant information.

      Right?

      • David

        Not to mention the fantastic and varied entertainment available all the time. (yea, really best not to mention it)

  • guest

    Isn’t this a bit of a myth? I am not saying it’s fact but doesn’t China

    a) have tighter censorship laws plus fewer foreign films can get in.
    b) only let in a certain quota of foreign films in a year.

    So the idea of bad foreign films making it big in China may is a bit silly as it would be swapped with many more.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-26152190

    • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

      Yeah but the ones that get in make a ton of money, even after deductions. I’m sure Iron Man 3 added in that small extra scene for Chinese audiences only because they really like Chinese actors…

    • Dolph Grunt

      Top Foreign Films in China of all Time (as of currently)

      1. Fast & Furious 7 (2.4 billion RMB)
      2. Transformers: Age of Extinction (1.97 billion RMB)
      3. Avengers: Age of Ultron (1.4 billion RMB)
      4. Avatar (1.39 billion RMB)
      5. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (1.1 billion RMB)

      Top Films in China (from any country including China)

      1. Fast & Furious 7
      2. Transformers: Age of Extinction
      3. Avengers: Age of Ultron
      4. Avatar
      5. Lost in Thailand

      Not to mention, I recall both Smurf movies doing extremely well in China.

  • Amused

    Possibly Chinese moviegoers are a bit less familiar with the intricate points of good cinema. Or they just don’t know a turdsandwich when they see it yet.

    Rob Shneider and Pauly Shore should do a buddyflick/comeback movie based in Beijing and test these theories.

    • KamikaziPilot

      Well I think it’s up to each society and to a greater extent each person, to decide what makes a good movie. Possible Chinese and Americans have different values when it comes to good productions (ex. acting, storyline, realism, location). However, just based on observation and what I know, one must really take into account the fact that Chinese generally look up to the West, and America in particular, hence a foreign movie, no matter how bad, still has the status of being foreign. Being foreign would probably convince a certain segment of the Chinese population that the film is “good” or at least worth seeing. Just a theory of mine based on what I know of Chinese society.

      • Amused

        Dunno man, I think a good movie is pretty damn universal. I know I’ve seen TONS of great non-Hollywood flicks, and a few of those were Taiwanese, so its not strictly a culture thing.
        Maybe they just buy the hype from pre-release publicity more easily, what with not having been hosed into seeing one crappy film after another by Hollywood in their youth?

        • KamikaziPilot

          But then if what constitutes a good movie were universal, how would you explain this story? I would think there are Chinese movies that do well domestically that don’t do well internationally right? Are you saying Chinese don’t consider these foreign films good but are still going to see them in large numbers? That would be pretty pathetic. I guess the only way it’s possible is if after seeing the movies, the Chinese who saw them are thinking they just wasted their time and money on seeing a crappy movie.

          • Teacher in China

            Word of mouth doesn’t operate quickly enough in China, I guess. If you think about it, even if it takes a week for people to realize that a movie sucks ass and they shouldn’t see it, that’s still a week of movie sales for a country with over 1 billion people. Probably enough tickets get sold to recoup losses for a shitty movie.

            As for why they get imported, I think that’s a little easier. These movies are usually politically safe and don’t feature too much nudity, drug use, etc., so they can make it past the censors easily.

          • Amused

            Possibly you just hit the nail square on the head with your “word of mouth” theory man.

          • Jahar

            Everyone I talk to that watches movies like “Fast and the Furious 7” love them. It’s not that no one told them it was bad.

          • Teacher in China

            That’s a poor example though. Loads of people back home are into that shitty franchise as well.

          • KamikaziPilot

            But then why do so many see the movie in the first week? I’d think in this day and age there would be enough online reviews to at least form some opinion on whether a movie is worth seeing. Ex. that Expendables movie. Wouldn’t there be enough reviews online, albeit from overseas, that say this was a crap movie? But the Chinese still go and see it. I still think there is some higher status afforded to foreign western movies just because they’re foreign though. But you do have a point in your comment.

            On another note I’m really looking forward to Jurassic World. I only go to the theaters about once a year but I’m looking forward to seeing this in 3D. I hope it’s like Avatar where the 3D images are really intense. I’d say Jurassic World will probably make it to China right?

          • Teacher in China

            I think they see it in the first week precisely because they don’t read reviews. I’d bet only a fraction of people interested in foreign movies would be able to read English well enough to check out review sites, so they just go to it hoping to be entertained. But I think you’re right about the appeal of them just because they’re foreign (and especially Hollywood).

            Saw a preview of Jurassic World when I went to see the new Avengers flick, so it’s coming. Didn’t look so great to be honest. Check out http://www.mtime.com. If you scroll down a bit you can see a section where it shows which movies are coming with dates.

          • KamikaziPilot

            Okay that makes sense. I saw a preview too, about 2 minutes long. Now sure if it was the same one you saw but I thought it was pretty entertaining. Oh well different tastes I guess. It’s the 3D aspect that I’m looking forward to the most. I can’t read Chinese but did the website say Jurassic World was coming to China on June 10th? It opens here June 12th. I thought it comes to China after it opens in America.

          • Teacher in China

            Yep, June 10th, according to that website anyway. It hasn’t happened in a while, to my recollection, but it has happened before that a big budget movie opened here first. It was apparently meant to stave off some of the piracy that runs rampant here in China, what with people selling DVDs of hand held cam shots of movie and the like. Not sure it worked so well in the end, so I thought they had given up on it. Maybe this is just a way to “give face” to China or something? Throw them a premiere or two every year to get people psyched up to see the movie?

          • KamikaziPilot

            I have a feeling this movie is going to be pretty big worldwide so maybe showing it first in China is part of the strategy to earn more. And of course it’ll make Chinese think they’re important in the eyes of Hollywood, which of course they are financially.

      • Zappa Frank

        i agree with you. I still remember an otherwise quite smart girl that looked down upon other chinese movies….but when i asked what movies did she like she praised ‘transformers’

    • David

      I think the story has it right. MOST domestically made movies (excluding Hong Kong) are just crap. Bad plot, terrible acting, bad production values and special effects. Compared to that, even a badly written, well made movie looks good. I go to movies with my Chinese friends and for the most part they really like all the western (not just American) movies they see, even when they have to read subtitles).

    • Jahar

      As far as I know, it’s the cheesy action films that can’t seem to fail. I don’t think the comedy would be quite so successful.

  • Bman

    I think people just go see whats playing. What gets in, gets watched.
    Do people complain if they don’t like a movie? Is there a chinese version of “rotten tomatoes”? I really don’t know. Back home there are so many “critics” that you practically feel like you’ve seen a movie a day after it was released. Is it the same in China?

  • mr.wiener

    This is one of the reasons so many films are sequels now. A known product will automatically get bums on seats in asia.

  • chinese films only waste money and time!
    after twice i took my parents to cinema, they say they will never go there again.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Well in this case it would certainly help Mad Max recoup from the lukewarm box office it’s getting right now.

    • Dannisi

      Isn’t that too much violence for the ‘powers that be’?

      • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

        Not until it reaches ‘ripping Japanese soldiers in half with bare hands’.

  • actionjksn

    This new format with these one paragraph articles sucks balls. Please start making good articles again. You’re ruining your site. When your ratings start to tank be aware that this is why.

  • Zappa Frank

    i’ve read an article that said thanks to chinese we will probably have transformers 4-5-6

  • Foreign Devil

    hehe, I’ve always thought this as well. The Chinese LOVED transformers and Fast and Furious etc. . . Just lapping up the worst hollywood big budget action movie SFX spectacle.

  • ytuque

    Is Steven Segal is considered a great actor in China? If not, I’ll withhold any negative comment about Chinese moviegoers.

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