Box office data show that the only movie to have major success in the Chinese market this year, a scene in “Jurassic World Dominion” made $158 million.United International Pictures Thailand
Hollywood studio executives responsible for forecasting global box office numbers put $0 in the China column. Baccarat tables in Macau are empty. The singer skips a concert her hall in Shanghai on tour.
The US entertainment and leisure industry faces a volatile reality. Access to Chinese wallets is becoming increasingly difficult.
Film, concert and casino businesses, which have resumed activity in many parts of the world after the Covid-19 shutdown, have been hit hardest as access to China’s middle class continues to be restricted.
Companies that once saw China as a key growth market have lost billions on $100 concert tickets, $12 matinee stubs and $5 bets.
China’s pressure on America’s entertainment industry ranges from repeated coronavirus lockdowns to censorship and political headwinds, all of which present an opportunity to capture the leisure time of China’s 1.4 billion citizens. is delaying
Over the past few months, Beijing’s ‘zero Covid’ policy, which the government claims is necessary to save lives, has trapped millions of Chinese residents at home for weeks at a time. .
“Chinese consumers are nervous and discretionary spending is down,” said Craig Allen, chairman of the US-China Business Council. “A lot of it has to do with sentiment, and sentiment is not good. .”
Hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office for Hollywood studios has run out.
In 2019, seven Hollywood import films had collected more than $100 million at the Chinese box office by mid-August. Only one so far this year.
Traffic to Macau’s casino hubs plummeted by more than 80% over the same period. And in music, the market is too unpredictable to book a live performance.
“We haven’t booked anything in China because we don’t want to book something that will be canceled,” said one music executive.
The U.S. entertainment industry has been in China for a relatively short period of time, with movies beginning to flow into China in the 1990s. Concerts and gambling in Macau continued into the 2000s.
All three expansions are examples of the globalized markets envisioned by American and Chinese leaders when China joined the World Trade Organization, giving Western companies eager to grow a growing middle class. This is the development that introduced the
The Chinese government has rejected several Hollywood blockbusters this year, including six of Walt Disney’s hugely successful Marvel Studios, according to people familiar with the matter.
The only film to have a major market success this year is jurassic world dominionaccording to box office data, $158 million.
For Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal, jurassic world dominionthe news is mixed.
company’s animated film Minions: Rise of Gruwas approved for release in China, and its Universal Beijing resort opened last fall, but closed for several weeks in May as the Covid-19 outbreak in the capital worsened.
Studios such as Comcast-owned Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Discovery have stopped booking box office revenue from China when approving certain movies, according to people familiar with the matter. Instead, management says it will wait to see if the film is approved for release and treat ticket sales as found money.
Lin Ziyi, a 24-year-old consultant in Beijing, said her movie attendance has dwindled to a few outings a year since Covid-19.
Only two recent Hollywood releases — Batman When Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secret — was among the things she saw recently.
Youth unemployment is rising in China, and the general public is saving more than before, Allen said. Allen’s U.S.-China Business Council is a bipartisan organization of more than 270 U.S. companies doing business in China.
“Over the past decade, the Chinese economy has grown at a pace of 6-8%, and we are used to it,” he said. “Those days are over”
Over the past decade, following requests from Western acts for rubber-stamped concert tours, Chinese leaders have stepped up the crackdown on lyrics, requiring lyrics to be submitted for approval before shows take place. said a music industry executive.
Business executives say the Chinese government appears to be gaining more Western influence ahead of the Communist Party’s 20th National Congress later this year. .
Covid-related challenges won’t last forever, but they’re impacting the tour plans of some of the world’s most popular artists today.
In 2019, global superstars such as Backstreet Boys, Shawn Mendes, Kacey Musgraves, Ed Sheeran and Maroon 5 stopped in China during their world tours before the Covid-19 pandemic started in China.
Even as big acts begin to return to tours this year, executives say China isn’t included in the Asian leg of any tour due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions.
In Macau, a gambling enclave, Covid-19 policies have drawn millions of people from mainland China, where gambling is illegal, a shift away from the pre-pandemic days when Macau’s casinos were moneymakers for US gambling companies. caused a reversal.
US-based casino giants Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International have opened high-rise gambling resorts since the 2000s.
Wynn derived about 70% of its 2019 revenue from the region, while Las Vegas Sands reported about 64% of its revenue from Macau.
In 2019, Macau hit a record high with over 39 million visitors. Gambling revenue is around $36 billion. Last year, it had just 7.7 million arrivals and generated about $10.8 billion in revenue.
Still, some executives seem to believe in the future. This week, the China division of MGM Resorts announced plans to invest his $600 million in a casino operator in Macau.