China movie market to wield greater influence, Rice University expert says

David Ruth

Jeff Falk

China movie market to wield greater influence, Rice University expert says
Kokas: Movement of China to No. 2 international box office market is poised to gear more international films to Chinese audiences

HOUSTON – (Jan. 11, 2013) – News hit the entertainment industry this week that China’s box office rose 31 percent to 17.1 billion yuan ($2.75 billion) last year. With this, China has now overtaken Japan as the top-earning international territory for U.S. filmmakers.

Aynne Kokas, a fellow in Chinese media at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and a postdoctoral fellow at Rice’s Chao Center for Asian Studies, is available to speak on this development and the growing importance of the Chinese media market.

“Movement of China to the No. 2 international box office market is poised to drive producers to further gear international films to Chinese audiences, increasing influence of Chinese consumers, if not Chinese filmmakers,” Kokas said.

“Even though Hollywood pictures are increasing as a percentage of the box office, co-production –which produces domestic films that the government categorizes as ‘domestic’ and circumvent the import quota — drives international film production activity in China,” she said. “Examples of co-productions include ‘Iron Man 3’ and ‘Kung Fu Panda 3.’ At least one-third of co-production funding must come from China, along with one-third of the main cast. Scenes must also be shot in China. While this presents stiff competition for purely domestic filmmakers, it also infuses enormous amounts of capital and expertise into the Chinese film industry as a whole.”

The Baker Institute has a radio and television studio available for media who want to schedule an interview with Kokas. For more information, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775.


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Founded in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston ranks among the top 20 university-affiliated think tanks globally and top 30 think tanks in the United States. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute sponsors more than 20 programs that conduct research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows and Rice University scholars. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog,

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.