Film studios fight for fans in China

The world's biggest movie market is becoming harder for Hollywood to navigate

Liu Yifei (foreground, centre) in Walt Disney's Mulan, which was criticised for its portrayal of Chinese culture and for filming in the Xinjiang region, where the government is accused of oppressing Muslim-minority Uighurs.
Liu Yifei (foreground, centre) in Walt Disney's Mulan, which was criticised for its portrayal of Chinese culture and for filming in the Xinjiang region, where the government is accused of oppressing Muslim-minority Uighurs.PHOTO: THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY

HONG KONG • With China's box-office takings expected to return to near pre-pandemic highs this year, the world's largest movie market is becoming more attractive - and more tricky - for Hollywood studios.

Ticket sales from movie theatres in China, which has largely contained the coronavirus, may jump to 60 billion yuan (S$12.3 billion) this year, according to Mr Rance Pow, founder of consultancy Artisan Gateway, closing in on 2019's record haul of 64 billion yuan.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2021, with the headline 'Film studios fight for fans in China'. Subscribe