字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 Even if you've never seen a "Star Wars" film, you know the phrase George Lucas's space opera is a cornerstone of the modern film industry and a cultural phenomenon around the globe. Struggle, if you would pardon my stealing of film line In the U.S., the ten films in the "Star Wars" franchise have grossed more than $4.5 billion since the first film was released in 1977. Outside the U.S., it's garnered more than 4.6 billion. But there's one place that "Star Wars" hasn't quite had the same success, China. The original "Star Wars" trilogy wasn't shown in China. So while a lot of people around the world were having their formative cinematic experience within that "Star Wars" universe. In China, that just wasn't happening. "Star Wars" was an instant sensation with American audiences. It changed not only how people viewed movies, but how they were made. The commercial success of "Star Wars" created a boom in state of the art special effects in the late 1970s, and along with the movie, "Jaws," started the tradition of summer blockbuster films. It also created the model for production companies to create trilogies and multi-film series and show that merchandising rights were just as lucrative as the film itself. On playgrounds, children pretended to use the force, honed their light saber skills with broom handles and sticks and recreated Luke Skywalker's is Death Star run in makeshift cardboard box x-wings. That first installment known at the time has just "Star Wars" hauled in $322 million, a massive score for 20th Century Fox and Lucasfilm. This made it far and away, the highest grossing film in 1977, outpacing "Smokey and the Bandit "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." "Star Wars" was nominated for ten Academy Awards and took home six 1977 when the first "Star Wars" was released, China was still at the tail end of the Cultural Revolution. So they were watching model operas and propagandistic films about socialism and workers and soldiers. And so it was a very, very different universe. If you want to talk about a galaxy far, far away. China's strict ban on Western cultural influences made it so the only film shown in the country where government produced. At least if we go back to 1977, there was no context for science fiction. And of course, American films were not distributed in China during that time. So there was just no way for it to get a foothold. Outside of China, "Star Wars" flourished. Its success allowed Lucas to continue the story of idealistic farm boy Luke Skywalker, scoundrel Han Solo and rebel leader Leah Organa. "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back" arrived in theaters in 1980 The second installment earned $222 million domestically. Once again, the runaway success of the Empire Strikes Back allowed Lucas to produce a third film. "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi" hit theaters in 1983 and hauled in a whopping $263 million in the U.S. When the original star was released in 1977, it was a kind of an anomaly. Nobody had ever seen a film like that. It was kind of inventing this whole new universe. More than two decades passed before Lucas returned to the Skywalker saga. In the decades between "Return of the Jedi" and Lucas's new trilogy, China had relaxed its ban on Western films and launched a quota system in 1994 to allow a certain number of foreign films to get a wide release in the country. At first, only 10 films were allowed per year. However, over the last two decades, that has expanded to more than 30 films per year, with the provision that at least 14 of those films must either be 3-D or IMAX compatible. There was this incredible appetite in China for consuming American products, Hollywood products, Coca-Cola, music, Michael Jackson. All of this stuff started coming in. The first American film released theatrically in China was 1994's "The Fugitive", starring Harrison Ford. Five years later, "Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace" became the first "Star Wars" film to get a theatrical release in China. In the U.S., crowds of moviegoers flocked to theaters. The children that had grown up on "Star Wars" eagerly awaited Lucas's new films, bringing their own children in tow. The original kenner toy's they had once coveted had long been handed down to the next generation. While fans in North America shelled out $431 million for the first prequel film, without a connection to the original "Star Wars" saga, ticket sales in China were extremely anemic. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the films hauled in more than $1.1 billion. The "Star Wars" prequels also likely suffered because of China's massive bootleg market. You also have the incredibly robust bootleg market. And so bootleg DVD in the 1990s, that's where a lot of people are watching their Hollywood films. Censorship laws in the country drove up the demand for film contraband, leading to a rampant industry of pirated films and television shows. As China has loosened its grip on what media is allowed into the country and strengthened its crackdown on piracy, its film industry has flourished. Having seen the disconnect between Chinese audiences and the "Star Wars" brand. Disney decided to take a different tactic when it bought Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion in cash and stock in 2012. The company planned to pick up where Lucas left off and bring the final three films in the Skywalker saga to the big screen. Three years later in 2015, "Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens" arrived to theaters. "Star Wars" finally had a hit in China "The Force Awakens" earned $122.8 million dollars in China, thanks in part to Disney's expert marketing tactics and a shift in Chinese movie-going culture. Still, it's box office haul wasn't as high as some analysts had hoped. When you compare that to a film like "Furious 7" or some of the, you know, the "Transformers" films, that's a very small number. And I think there was this anticipation that China would add so much money to the bottom line that it could have propelled "The Force Awakens" to be the biggest worldwide reforming film of all time. That didn't happen because China just didn't generate the kind of box office that a lot of people might have thought, not knowing the history of the "Star Wars" films in that country. "Furious 7" made $390 million in China, a whopping 25% of its total box office haul. "Transformers: Age of Extinction" took in $320 million from China, 28% of its global gross. For comparison, "The Force Awakens" made less than 6% of its total global ticket sales from China. Globally, the film made more than $2.06 billion. Had "The Force Awakens" fared better in China, it could have surpassed "Titanic" to become the second highest grossing film of all-time and made a run for the top spot currently held by "Avatar." While "The Force Awakens" doesn't have the same ticket sales comparisons as other Hollywood flicks in China, it still had the best performance of any "Star Wars" film previously. This was due in part to Disney's massive marketing campaign in China ahead of the release of the seventh film the "Star Wars saga," which included placing 500 storm troopers on the Great Wall. The company also made all six previous films available online on Chinese streaming service Tencent and released a music video featuring Chinese pop star Lu Han, often called the Justin Bieber of China. Disney even cast Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen, two of the most popular male actors in China in its spinoff movie "Rogue one: A Star Wars Story." Not to mention movie theater chains in China were in the midst of adding new theaters with better seating and larger screens. Well, I think here in the U.S. and a lot of maybe European countries, we look at film as this very diverse medium, where you can go and see an intimate love story or an experimental film or a documentary or a popcorn style blockbuster. There are all these types of films that we go to the theater to enjoy and experience. What the quota system, one thing that it's changed is that you can only get 10 films a year in China, or 25 to 34 films that, you know, it keeps going up. But if you have a very limited quota of films released into China, you're not going to release your quirky documentary or your intimate love story or your, you know, experimental film. It's going to be your "Avengers 4" or it's going to be "Iron Man 3" or, you know, "Alien." You know, basically the big tentpole blockbuster spectacle films, because that's where they know they're gonna get their return and more bang for their buck. And so what's happened is over the course of the last 15, 20 years, what Chinese audiences, when they go to the multiplex, that's what they see in terms of foreign films. The big explosions, "Fast & Furious," car chases, these types of films. However, the "Star Wars" phenomenon waned with each new film that was released. "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" earned $71 million. "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" earned $40 million. And "Solo: A Star Wars Story" earned just $16 million. Meanwhile, those three films grossed $2.3 billion in North America and $2.5 billion internationally. There's still one more film in the Skywalker saga yet to be released. The "Star Wars: Episode 9" is due out in theaters in December. So why is it so important that films like "Star Wars" get a foothold in China? China is becoming an increasingly important part of Hollywood's bottom line. The Chinese film industry is booming and expected to eclipse the U.S. as the largest film market in the world. In February, ticket sales in the U.S. reached $637 million dollars, a 38% decline compared with last year. This was the U.S. film industry's lowest February take since 2006. During the same time frame, sales in China reached $1.66 billion. The U.S. movie slate for February was always going to be hard pressed to beat the monumental box office sales of the same month a year ago. Last year, "Black Panther" helped boost sales to a whopping $1 billion for the month, the best February ever. The growing success of the Chinese film industry is a big reason that production companies and distributors are paying more attention to Asia when it comes to these big Hollywood releases. China is a massive movie market, it's second only to North America in terms of box office and it's catching up fast. It's also why the end of the Skywalker saga bodes so well for Disney in China. Disney has hired, "Game of Thrones" writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to pen a standalone "Star Wars" trilogy. Disney has also tapped "The Last Jedi" director, Rian Johnson, to write a separate "Star Wars" trilogy. Without being tied to the Star Wars canon of the original films from the 70s, these new films have a chance of success in China. And so I think the Chinese audiences are kind of building up an appreciation for this genre and so there's definitely that opportunity for them to succeed. But I think they just have to do it on their own merits. They can't count on the brand name per-say as as much as American audiences.