Hollywood VS China: A Tale of Two Industries

The concept of ‘Hollywood’ has been a staple of mainstream cinema and is the highest grossing film industry, with the U.S/Canada grossing over US$11.1b in 2015.
However, the second highest grossing film industry in 2015 was China with US$6.8b (MPAA, 2015). It has also been suggested that by the end of 2017, China may surpass the U.S to become the largest movie industry in the world (McClintock, 2016).

As stated in a previous blog for BCM111, the concept of globalisation has allowed other film markets like China to develop quality productions – a larger amount of technology such as cameras and CGI has been made available, movies are able to be distributed worldwide and therefore there is a larger demand from consumers (O’Shaungnessy, 2012).

Movie poster for the Chinese film ‘The Sword’, 2015

While China has a large emphasis placed on their history, war and martial arts throughout its films, common ‘traditional’ themes such as romance have begun to hold a large presence in Chinese cinema as well – In 2016, the Chinese romantic comedy The Mermaid became the highest grossing film in Chinese history (Tartaglione, 2016). This sense of cultural diffusion – in layman’s terms, copying and pasting other ideas from different cultures – has added to the Chinese film market’s appeal with not only foreign audiences, but locally as well. In addition, most foreign films (depending on the demand) are being made available with English subtitles or even have English speakers voiced over them.

“Arguments about cultural homogenization, commodification, or Americanization have failed to account for the dynamics of local indigenizations of metropolitan forces.” (Ryoo, 2012; pp. 138)

These types of media that have been spread globally have allowed for ‘traditional’ cultures to witness other cultures make film and ultimately discover something different -and vise versa. As touched on previously, for films from the United States and China to gain traction on a global scale, they also have to be popular on a local scale (Ryoo, 2009). The success of every film, especially those developed in China, obviously have the traction and put simply – deserve to be world-renowned and have the attention of global filmmakers and film-watchers alike. In a world that is constantly evolving and becoming more multi-cultural, the film industry can no longer be dominated by ‘Hollywood’.



Sources/Further Readings:

Tartaglione, N 2016, ‘The Mermaid, China’s Biggest Movie Ever, will hit $400M At Weekend’, reporting for Deadline.com, viewed on 7 September 2016,

McClintock, P 2016, ‘Global 2015 Box Office’, reporting for The Hollywood Reporter, viewed 6 September 2016,

O’Shaugnessy, M 2012, ‘Globalisation’, in Media and society

Ryoo, W 2009, ‘Globalisation, or the logic of cultural hybridisation: the case of the Korean Wave’ in Asian journal of communication

Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), 2015, ‘Theatrical Market Statistics 2015’, viewed 6 September 2016,


Welcome to Globalisation101

The concept of Globalisation has changed the way humans interact with each other, from a variety of viewpoints – economically and politically as well as influencing technological innovation and development. Although in theory globalisation is generally seen as a ‘utopia’, it can involve negative connotations as well (O’ Shaunghnessy, 2012).

Globalisation has lead to the concept of the ‘global village’. Coined by Marshall McLuhan, it describes how such a large world can be accessed within a number of seconds via the Internet and people can brought closer despite their locations. It has allowed international treaties and organisations such as the United Nations or the World Trade Organisation to be developed, as well as news outlets to expand on a global scale and provide information quickly and with ease.

However, it is hard to believe that something that can offer some people so much can destroy others. Some cultures have have faced culturally imperialistic ideals and even social exclusion due to Westernised monopolies dominating media markets and some countries not having access to the internet. In addition, O’Shaunghnessy states that the gap between the wealthiest and poorest people has widened due to loss of jobs (especially in media industries) and often a companies control over particular cultures (2012).

Some suggest that our global communities have become too interrelated – the World Trade Centre attacks on September 11, 2001 caused stock market crashes that reached Europe and Asia; as well as the ability to spread unverified information quickly and with ease; or even has promoted Western culture throughout the world while causing other cultures to become rejected or isolated due to this pursuit of ‘traditional’ cultures (Sabir, 2014; O’Shaunghnessy, 2012).

Globalisation has allowed for many innovations and an accessible world – yet this process has also been met with an anti-globalisation movement in pursuit of maintaining cultures and preventing social exclusion.
As students of international media, globalisation has allowed for a better understanding towards other cultures and enables us to continue through a multicultural 21st century.



O’Shaughnessy, M 2012, ‘Globalisation’, in Media and society,  5th ed, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, VIC, pp. 45-471

Sabir, M 2014, ‘Impact of Globalisation on Human Rights’, in Journal of political science.

International education, simple socialisation


You see the images displayed all over Australian universities – students of different cultural backgrounds sitting down, laughing together. It is the image that anyone is happy to see, but how much are domestic and study abroad (students primarily from the USA, Canada and Great Britain) actually interacting with international students and vice versa?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), in 2009 22% of tertiary students studying in Australia are international (2011). Maginson (2012) stated that these students were typically hard-working and motivated to do well, as well as determined to make the most of their time in Australia.
However, “most international students want closer interaction with local students and are prepared to take risks to achieve this” (Marginson 2012) – yet local students tend not to extend the same invitation.  Although personally I have seen this during my time at International House in 2015, I also see it from the opposite point of view – that often international students do not participate or socialise with domestic/study abroad students despite the efforts of mentors, student engagement officers and the local students themselves. I think it should also be said that, like visiting any foreign country, an international student should endeavour to learn the basics of English to assist with social interactions- without this, it proves inherently difficult for either party to help each other and create a positive educational and social experience.



It is important to note that as difficult as it may feel for an international student to communicate and interact positively with a domestic one, the feelings may be mutual – but it is the international students who suffer greater in the end: “Some… are personally isolated and face a struggle to survive” (Marginson, 2012). Often Australia’s ethnocentric attitude and this notion that we are ‘superior’ in someway is not only detrimental, but has also been wrongly intertwined with a patriotic mindset.

Due to this, it is then vital that communications between domestic and international students should have a greater emphasis placed on understanding and respect. By doing this, students of all backgrounds can learn to appreciate each other and therefore begin to stop a behaviour that causes more harm than good.

The positive aspects of communication between domestic and international students are endless. At iHouse, weekly events played an enormous part in creating friendships and mutual understandings. I saw so many international students come out of their shell and came to witness their fabulous personalities, talents and often love for Australian culture and slang. Marginson discusses this in his discussion about hybridity: “the international student combines and synthesizes different cultural and relational elements, blending them together, into a newly formed self” (2012) – their identity can change from interactions with local students and it is vital for their well-being that this is positive.

As International Media and Communications students, it is imperative that we learn to facilitate these interactions and are aware of the positive outcomes due to this knowledge. In addition, we must use this information in order to work effectively throughout our lifetime – an ever increasing international workforce and global market means that we must become flexible in our communication approaches in the future.




Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011

Simon Marginson, 2012
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