Issue 02-13-17   |   Reviewer:   Duane Helleloid, Ph.D.


In 2012, China and the U.S. reached an agreement regarding Chinese access to U.S. movies and the portion of revenue U.S.-based studios would receive. This agreement settled a complaint against China that had been filed with the World Trade Organization. That agreement is due to expire this year, and the U.S. film industry is nervously awaiting how the new administration will address the issue.

Currently it is not clear who in the Trump administration is leading the range of issues that must be negotiated with China, nor how this issue fits into their priorities. For the film industry, however, it is an important negotiation that must take place. The theater box office market in China is growing much faster than most other markets, and now makes up 19 percent of worldwide box office revenues. (Zootopia earned more in Chinese theaters than it did in U.S. theaters, for example.) Chinese firms have also invested in U.S. film production, movie studios, and theaters, and hope to use these investments to help exports of China-based productions.

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