Cinemas are popping up in malls like these all over China, and that's because the movie industry here is booming.
Hollywood's ticket sales are slowing at home thanks to piracy and streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.
But China's growing appetite for the movies is helping to make up the difference.
With a massive population of nearly 1.4 billion people, China is the world's most populous country and has become a lucrative market for many industries.
And in the first quarter of 2018, it surpassed the U.S. in box office revenue for the first time.
So, perhaps it's no wonder why Hollywood is now catering to a whole new audience.
China's box office cashed in $9 billion in 2018, just behind the U.S. and Canada, which brought in a total of $11.9 billion in 2018.
In 2017, China, which was building around 25 cinema screens a day, surpassed the U.S. in number of total screens.
And in 2018, more than 9,000 screens were added across China, taking its total tally to more than 60,000 screens, compared to the about 40,000 screens in the U.S.
Those astronomical numbers mean China is now on the mind of producers and writers alike.
You have to be very careful before you shoot a script knowing how big the Chinese market is, to make sure that you get China right.
Stanley Rosen is a professor of political science at the University of Southern California.
It's not easy to find things.
- Has anyone ever made the Kindle joke in here? - Uh.. no - Time to get a Kindle?
A Kindle, well, I've come close to getting a Kindle.
As much as 70% or more of a blockbuster film's box office comes from overseas, not from North America, and China is a big part of that.
You've really have to get the China portion right.
Under an official government quota, China only allows 38 foreign films into the cinemas each year. That's to preserve its cultural and financial interests.
But in recent years, that number has quietly grown.
In 2017, China imported 40 films, and in 2018, it rose to 42.
But that's still a small fraction of the hundreds of movies released in the U.S. and Canada every year.
The trend in box office sales has prompted Hollywood to now seriously consider the Chinese audience.
In some cases, casting specific actors, and even re-writing movie scripts.
In Tom Cruise's "Top Gun" sequel, the Japanese and Taiwanese flags were allegedly removed to appease China.
And if you watched "Bohemian Rhapsody" in China, well, the movie was about 3 minutes shorter after references to Freddie Mercury's sexuality were removed from the original release.
Meanwhile, China halted the release of Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon A Time in Hollywood" after Bruce Lee's daughter reportedly complained to China's National Film Administration about the film's unflattering portrayal of her father.
It's not just foreign films getting censored.
In 2019, China blocked domestic films "The Eight Hundred" and "The Hidden Sword," blaming technical and market reasons.
Experts, meanwhile, say they were censored because of political sensitivities in the lead up to the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
But, naturally, China wants its own films to win the box office, both for financial reasons and as a matter of national pride.
And that's why it's building its own studios.
In 2018, Dalian Wanda Group opened the world's biggest movie studio, which was touted as China's answer to Hollywood.
That same company bought iconic American cinema giant, AMC.
It was founded in 1920 in Kansas City, Missouri, and in 2012, Dalian Wanda Group paid $2.6 billion to acquire the company.
The acquisition would make AMC the largest movie theater chain in the world.
It later sold part of its stake due to mounting debts.
Hollywood wants two things from China.
They want the film market in China, and they want Chinese money.
But Chinese money is now drying up compared to the past, but the film market is still there, and that hasn't changed.
And so, now you're seeing more either co-productions or assisted productions.
Just take a look at this.
Between 1997 and 2013, China helped finance a mere dozen Hollywood movies of the annual top hundred highest-grossing films worldwide.
But within the next five years, China co-financed a staggering 41 Hollywood films.
For example, Alibaba invested and promoted Paramount Picture's "Mission Impossible" films "Fallout" and "Rogue Nation," while China's Bona Film group funded "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" despite never making it to Chinese screens.
China wants to be the largest film market in the world as quickly as possible.
And Hollywood is absolutely essential to that.
You see, while Chinese investment has made its mark on Hollywood, the domestic film industry is struggling.
After a decade of rapid growth, the Chinese government's crackdown on tax evasion means that movie producers are struggling to get the funding they used to.
Profits at all but three of the China's 15 listed TV and movie companies fell in 2018.
And even China's best paid actress Fan Bingbing mysteriously disappeared from the public eye for three months.
When she appeared again, she promised to pay back taxes and more than a $100 million in fines to tax authorities.
Experts predict that by 2020, China will be the world's largest cinema market, with box office revenue expected to jump from $9.9 billion in 2018 to $15.5 billion by 2023.
And it will have Hollywood to thank.
More than a third of China's highest grossing films over the last two years were made in the U.S.
Is Hollywood selling out or cashing in?
Hollywood is in the business of selling out and cashing in, the two go together.
Hey guys, it's Uptin.
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