Hollywood’s Superheroes, Family Movies Boosted by China in 2016 

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The revenue from the world’s second-largest movie market accounted for 13 percent of the $13.5 billion generated by the top 20 movies from U.S. studios.

Lisa Richwine reports: China’s moviegoers embraced big-screen superheroes, cartoon animals and a video game-turned-action flick in 2016, adding $1.8 billion in ticket sales to Hollywood’s 20 highest-grossing films of the year.

The revenue from the world’s second-largest movie market accounted for 13 percent of the $13.5 billion generated by the top 20 movies from U.S. studios, according to a Reuters analysis of data from tracking firm Box Office Mojo. That was triple the 4 percent level five years ago.

The numbers illustrate China’s growing importance to U.S. studios such as Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N) Disney Studios, Time Warner Inc‘s (TWX.N) Warner Bros. and Comcast Corp’s (CMCSA.O) Universal Pictures.

While China’s booming box office growth stalled this year in single digits, the country remains vital for Hollywood studios, box office analysts said. In 2016, China overtook the United States as the country with the largest number of movie screens.

Most of the top Hollywood movies would have reached the top of the film charts without China. But the additional revenue is significant, especially for blockbuster films that can cost $200 million or more to make.

“You can grab an extra hundred million (dollars) of revenue from the Chinese market,” said Jonathan Papish, film industry analyst for China Film Insider. “You can’t do that anywhere else in the world.”

Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N) animated “Zootopia,” known in China as “Crazy Animal City,” was Hollywood’s biggest hit there, with $236 million in ticket sales, and ranked as the third-highest-grossing movie worldwide. China’s film authorities extended the movie’s theatrical run by two weeks beyond the typical 30 days for foreign films. Read the rest of this entry »


Kentucky Fried Microaggression

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Gastronomically correct students at an ultra-liberal Ohio college are in an uproar because the cafeteria food isn’t ethnically accurate enough.

Students at Oberlin College are so angered by the “insensitive” and “culturally appropriative” offerings at their Dascomb Dining Hall that they are filling screeds of protest in the school newspaper and even demanded a meeting with Campus Dining Service officials and the college president.

“When you’re cooking a country’s dish for other people, including ones who have never tried the original dish before, you’re also representing the meaning of the dish as well as its culture.”

At issue are foods such as General Tso’s chicken being served with steamed chicken instead of fried — which is not authentically Chinese, and simply “weird,” one student bellyached.

[Read the full text here, at New York Post]

Others were up in arms over Banh Mi Vietnamese sandwiches served with coleslaw instead of pickled vegetables on ciabatta bread — rather than traditional French baguette.

“How could they just throw out something completely different and label it as another country’s traditional food?”

“It was ridiculous,” Diep Nguyen, a freshman who is a Vietnam native, told The Oberlin Review, the school newspaper.

“How could they just throw out something completely different and label it as another country’s traditional food?”

“So if people not from that heritage take food, modify it and serve it as ‘authentic,’ it is appropriative.”

Not only that, but the sushi rice was undercooked in a way that was, according to one Japanese student, “disrespectful” of her culture.

That student, Tomoyo Joshi, a junior from Japan, was very offended by this flagrant violation of her rice. Read the rest of this entry »


Marvel Unveils ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Licensees

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron..Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) ..Ph: Jay Maidment..?Marvel 2015

 reports: Marvel has unveiled a dozen of the licensees for next year’s “Captain America: Civil War” in the wake of  Marvel-Disney’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” grossing $1.35 billion at the worldwide box office.

Marvel gave retailers a first look Wednesday at Licensing Expo 2015 in Las Vegas with categories including apparel, accessories, footwear, core toys, sporting goods, consumer electronics, seasonal, costumes, party goods, stationery, food, home furnishings and collectibles.

“The Avengers team is both aspirational and hugely merchandisable, made up of multiple, unique heroes coming together with amazing skills, cool vehicles and a high tech headquarters. Captain America: Civil War’ not only gives us new storytelling for our favorite superheroes, but also introduces new ones allowing us to expand product lines for kids and fans.”

–Paul Gitter, senior VP of licensing for Marvel at Disney Consumer Products

Hasbro, Lego, Funko, Hot Wheels, Rubies, Mad Engine, C-Life, Jay Franco, Global Brand Group, Kellogg’s, Hallmark and American Greetings have signed on. The show will exhibit finished art and initial renditions of products, which will began landing on store shelves about eight weeks prior to the May 6 opening.

Paul Gitter, senior VP of licensing for Marvel at Disney Consumer Products, told Variety that the overall campaign will build of the success of licensed products for “Age of Ultron.” Read the rest of this entry »