• Premiere Of Sony Pictures' 'Walk Hard: The Dewy Cox Story' - Arrivals

Premiere Of Sony Pictures' 'Walk Hard: The Dewy Cox Story' - Arrivals (Photo : Getty Images/Frazer Harrison)

Based on the impressive performance of “The Fate of the Furious” in China as well as globally, movie experts agree that the huge Chinese movie market cannot be taken for granted by Hollywood. At the rate it is accelerating, film market observers believe by the end of 2017, box-office receipts from China would exceed the U.S.

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Staggering Numbers

With China’s population of more than 1 billion, the number of moviegoers are staggering, Arnie Zipursky, executive producer of “Iron Road,” a historical drama about the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, said that while North Americans are excited if 1 million or 2 million people watched their movies, the number is a drop in the bucket when benchmarked against the Chinese movie market.

Another indicator of how important the market has become is that Warner Bros. opened in March a new office in Beijing. The movie giant just joined other production houses that have set up in the capital city of China, The Star reported.

Lynette Ong, the acting director of the Dr. David Chu Program in Contemporary Asian Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs, pointed out that with China’s political and economic expansion came more global influence through hard and soft power. The hard power is evident in how China built infrastructure in some South China Sea islands even if these territories are being disputed by other Asian nations.

Soft Chinese Power

The soft power includes diplomacy and academic such as the establishment of Confucius Institutes in colleges overseas. Or controlling what people – not just Chinese – would watch.

China Digital Times reported that when U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Florida, among the topics they discussed was increasing the number of Hollywood movies to be shown in China from the current 34 a year. Hollywood producers are even willing to please the Chinese censors just for their movies to be shown in the world’s second-largest movie market.