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Looking back on the year in media and entertainment, 2014 will mark when China took big bite of Hollywood.
The year saw more Chinese money flowing into American entertainment. Chinese investment in U.S. entertainment, including film, has grown to around $2.7 billion from 2000 to the second quarter of this year, according to the Rhodium Group, which tracks Chinese direct investment in the U.S. The second half of 2014 also saw a pickup in Chinese film and media companies opening U.S. shops.
The U.S. film industry for years has been pre-selling movies in foreign markets, including Asia, to help bankroll domestic production. Now in a twist on changing box-office dynamics, what North Americans like to see in theaters is no longer the only deciding factor. More locally produced films in Asia, for example, are outpacing foreign imports.
And even film markets like China, which has been challenging for foreign media companies to crack, are inking new relationships and altering the global film landscape.
For example, 2014 was an important year for movie industry ties between China and South Korea. In July this year, the two countries' culture ministries signed a pact that will treat co-productions of films as local titles, according The Hollywood Reporter.
This pact is important because it guarantees the co-produced films a spot in theaters in China. Foreign films, in contrast, are more regulated and fall under China's film quota system that includes revenue-sharing provisions.
So what to watch for next year?
Whether foreign studios can plant big stakes in China with content, and take advantage of China's big population and growth in movie theaters. China includes more than 400 cities with populations of 100,000 or more—all with a growing middle class and entertainment income to spend.
Domestic box-office receipts, in contrast, are nearly flat. The U.S. movie industry is on track to gross roughly $10.22 billion in 2014, which would be around 6.4 percent lower than $10.92 billion for 2013, according to Boxoffice.com figures.
Another development to monitor? Whether upstart studios funded by Chinese investors—including former Warner Bros. executive Jeff Robinov and his Studio 8—can deliver.
Go here to read the full article from The Hollywood Reporter.