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Hollywood movie studios need more Chinese stars to reach Chinese audiences

China makes up the second-largest movie market in the world, selling $5 billion in movie tickets this year alone compared to about $8 billion in the U.S., according to the Wall Street Journal. Though ticket sales have remained stagnant this year, China is expected to surpass the U.S. Additionally, American movie studios seem to be losing touch with Chinese audiences as imported movies made up 46.9% of ticket sales in China in the first half of this year, down from 53.5% last year.

中国是全球第二大电影市场,今年电影票房就已达到50亿美元,而美国约为80亿美元。尽管今年票房增长迟缓,但中国的票房规模预计将超越美国。同时,美国电影公司似乎和中国观众越走越远,原因是今年上半年进口影片占中国票房的46.9%,低于去年的53.5%。

Western films have attempted to appeal to audiences in China by incorporating Chinese stars, but critics have suggested that the effort comes off as artificial. They use the phrase "flower vases"—Chinese actors, especially women, whose appearances in movies seem like nothing more than props.

西方电影试图通过使用中国演员来吸引中国观众,但批评人士指出,此举乃刻意为之。他们用"花瓶"来描述中国演员,特别是女演员,因为后者在电影中的镜头几乎与道具无异。

"That's where people have struggled a bit," Rob Moore, vice chairman at Paramount Pictures, told the Journal. "Not acting like the person is product placement, like the way you would find a beer can in a movie." An example of that would be Chinese actress Fan Bingbing's role in the Chinese version of Iron Man 3, which state-run newspaper Beijing Daily described as "quite embarrassing."

派拉蒙影业副董事长罗布•摩尔对《华尔街日报》表示:"这个问题有点难办。没有像样的表演就跟植入广告一样,就像大家在电影中看到的啤酒罐。"演员范冰冰在电影《钢铁侠3》国语版中的角色就是一例,官方媒体《北京日报》对此的评价是"相当尴尬"。

However, having Chinese actors in Western movies is important for U.S. studios to reach Chinese audiences. Because regulations in the country limit traditional marketing, such as billboards and commercials, and it's an advantage to work with a Chinese star that has a large social media following. The actor Tweeting or linking to movie promo on Facebook FB -0.01% could help get the word out.

然而,把中国演员放到他们的电影里是美国电影公司笼络中国观众的重要手段。由于中国的法规对广告牌和商业广告等传统营销方式有限制,和拥有大批社交媒体拥趸的中国影星合作就成了一项优势。演员在推特上发帖或者把电影预告片链接放在Facebook上可能有助于影片的宣传。

Additionally, Chinese stars want to be in American movies. As Darren Boghosian, an agent at United Talent Agency, told the Journal: "If you're famous in America, you're famous all over the world. If you're famous in China, you're only famous in China."

此外,中国影星也想参与到美国电影中。正如United Talent Agency经纪人达伦•博格霍西安接受《华尔街日报》采访时所说:"如果在美国很有名,你就是个国际名人。如果在中国很有名,你就只是个中国名人。"

What studios need to do is ensure that Chinese actors aren't perceived as "flower vases," but instead they're put into more significant roles. This includes offering Chinese men and women lead film roles.

电影公司要做的是确保中国演员不被视为"花瓶",并且扮演更有分量的角色,甚至让他们担任主角。

Hollywood has long been accused of "whitewashing" Asian roles, with the most recent backlash centering around a rumor actress Jennifer Lawrence was cast to play Mulan in the live-action version of the Disney DIS 0.35% film. Controversy also swirled when news broke Matt Damon was cast as the lead in The Great Wall, though director Zhang Yimou said "the movie is the opposite of what is being suggested."

长期以来,好莱坞一直因为"洗白"电影中的亚洲人而受到指责。最新的争议点是有传闻称詹妮弗•劳伦斯将在迪斯尼动画电影《花木兰》的真人版中扮演花木兰。同样引起轩然大波的还有马特•达蒙在影片《长城》中担任主演的消息,尽管导演张艺谋称"这部影片和人们说的恰恰相反"。

But Qiu Jie, chief executive of Beijing-based Leomus Pictures International, knows the former is easier to move forward.

不过,总部设在北京的狮鼠影业首席执行官邱杰知道,第一项要求更容易得到推进。

"We emphasized that the added Chinese actor in [a] film should be meaningful and proper," Jie told the Journal. "We understand that a Chinese character will not be a lead role in the film. But if you can at least do that, the local audiences will not criticize it."

邱杰对《华尔街日报》表示:"我们要强调的是中国演员应该在影片中得到有意义的、恰当的角色。我们清楚中国演员不会担任主角。但如果至少可以做到前一点,就不会受到国内观众的批评。"

Source: WSJ

2016-09-27

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