Today, you can watch movies on your laptop, electronic tablet and even smartphone. If you want a "bigger" experience, however, you'll have to choose between staying home and going out to a movie theater. The answer is completely subjective.
By Tom Brook 21 October Hollywood is like an octopus with tentacles extending across the globe. For decades most of its sustenance came from domestic ticket sales within the United States but in recent years, overseas markets, particularly China and Russia, have become increasingly important. Speak to anyone in the film industry in Los Angeles and they will tell you that the growth in global box office is bringing about fundamental change in Hollywood.
Most notably, potential overseas ticket sales nowadays determine whether or not a studio executive gives the go-ahead to a movie. Content has been shaped accordingly. As David Hancock notes: To the dismay of some moviegoers, little effort is being made to deliver sophisticated storytelling with these international blockbusters.
The movies are crafted mainly to provoke a visceral — as opposed to intellectual — response. The increased importance of the international marketplace is also affecting casting. Actors are being chosen according to whether or not they will resonate with audiences in targeted markets.
China and Russia are both big expanding Cinema disadvantages. Although China imposes a quota on the number of US films that can be shown in its cinemas, Hollywood has been busy adapting to the needs of the Chinese moviegoer.
Culture clash US film critic Matt Singer has noted: If you saw the film at a movie theatre in China you had this extra subplot that involved Chinese characters. When word filtered through that the Hollywood invasion thriller Red Dawn — released last year — was going to feature Chinese villains there was strong criticism in the Chinese media.
In an unprecedented move the villains were then digitally removed in post-production and replaced by North Koreans.
Clearly, Hollywood has to tread carefully. After Earth producer Caleeb Pinkett sees the challenge in positive terms: As Matt Singer notes: There are countless examples of a picture stumbling at the US box office but doing well in global markets. The global marketplace is bringing profitability to pictures that would sink if they were relying just on the domestic box office.
As more countries around the world turn to Hollywood blockbusters for entertainment, the influence of these movies in shaping views of America, especially among young people, cannot be overlooked. Hollywood films seeking an international audience are a form of soft diplomacy through which America presents itself to the rest of the world.
They peddle American concepts of success, romance and heroism through stories of individual triumph in the face of adversity, tales of redemption and fantastic battles of good versus evil. They also often reflect the darker side of contemporary American life with their violence and portrayal of cultural anxieties.
The stories of African Americans, never well served by Hollywood at the best of times, have often had to struggle to find an audience in the international marketplace. Catering increasingly to international audiences may have its disadvantages, but the global marketplace is keeping the Hollywood studios pulsating with life.
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New data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) show that there are still about million – or one out of every five – children, adolescents and youth between the ages of 6 and 17 out of.