Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Hollywood Babble On & On #1051: Once Again I've Been Proven Right

Because I'm essentially pessimistic I hate being proven right.

Despite some big hits this summer there have still been some massive bombs, and some large scale under performers, and when compared to some previous summers things are looking down, even the fathers of the modern blockbuster Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas say that a meltdown is imminent because the industry is too dependent on blockbusters, something I've been saying for years as any long-term reader of this blog can attest.

But that's not the main topic of this bit of online gloating.

The main topic is something I've been griping about a lot lately, and that's Hollywood abusive relationship with China.

I've laid out the Pros & Cons, making sure to explain that while China is a big economy, it's not a free economy. An unfree economy is prone to political interference, cronyism, and corruption on a scale you won't find in a free economy.

I also explained how the powers that be that rule China will not allow economic reform to go too far, because too much economic freedom leads to political freedom. Just ask Pinochet.

But that's not made Hollywood act with anything remotely resembling caution. They're leaping in head first with their eyes closed because they're convinced that a market of over a billion regular moviegoers will solve all their problems. 

Pissed away the gross domestic product of a small European nation on a Western?

No problem, they believe, China's market will solve it somehow, if the Chinese government allows the film to be released, uncensored, in the country, and it sells enough tickets to make the small percentage of the ticket price that the studio gets worthwhile.

Well, it's looking more and more like a total pipe dream.

Those receipts from China, the money that was going to save Hollywood, is now either in a state of flux as the more diplomatic put it, or just not being paid out at all, as others put it.

Either way, the Chinese government has the money, but it ain't going to the people who earned it.

Now no one is sure if this non-payment is because of a new Value-Added Tax the Chinese government has imposed, that just happens to suck up exactly all of their profits, or just someone in the government being a dick, which shows another problem with depending on an unfree market.

Unfree Markets tend to be controlled by the greediest and least competent members of that society. That's because the abilities of surviving in a truly free market, like adherence to the rule of law, long term thinking, and the willingness to let partners profit too, are positive hindrances to getting ahead in a unfree market. Getting ahead in an unfree market is all about your political connections, and your skills at treachery, conniving, and grabbing as much as you can for yourself.

It's a lot like doing business with gangsters. Sure, you can get along well enough with the really smart ones, however, they're the exception to the rule. Most of the time you'll end up dealing with someone who wants everything for themselves, and you can go pound sand. Forget about the rules, these guys make them up as they go along.

Remember my rule of being a cynic: You're never disappointed, and often pleasantly surprised. I'd like to be pleasantly surprised some time, but I'm not holding my breath.

1 comment:

  1. Now let me see if I understand this: Hollywood is complaining about the Chinese government's corruption and creative accounting. Gales of riotous laughter.