Red carpet 红毯

2020年9月


China’s box office is poised to become the world’s biggest. What does that mean for Hollywood—and America’s soft power?
中国的电影票房即将晋升全球第一。这对好莱坞以及美国的软实力意味着什么? 

 

Red carpet 红毯


HORDES OF INVADERS gallop into China, armed with sinister, supernatural powers. As they thunder towards the capital, it falls to a simple country girl to foil the attack. Over mountains and across deserts, dodging arrows and unleashing batteries of fireworks, in 115 action-packed minutes plucky Hua Mulan sees off the dastardly foreigners and brings honour to China.
拥有邪恶超自然力量的外族大举进犯中原,就在他们逼近都城之际,一位质朴的乡村少女肩负起了击退敌军的重任。她翻越高山,跨过荒漠,挡避箭矢,点燃成排的焰火。在打斗不断的115分钟里,英勇的花木兰最终击退了邪恶外族,为中原扬威。
“Mulan”, which opens on September 4th, is a tale of invasion in more ways than one. Disney, Hollywood’s biggest film studio, has spent five years and $200m on the live-action remake of its 22-year-old animation, in the hope of conquering the Chinese box office. The film is calibrated to appeal to Asian as well as American audiences, from its plot (Mulan’s sidekick, a wisecracking dragon who irritated the Chinese, was written out of the story) to its promotional campaign (Disney touted its release in the form of a classical Chinese poem). “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”, Disney’s first Chinese-themed superhero movie, is due next year. There is already talk of a “Mulan” sequel.
于9月4日上映的《花木兰》是一个关于入侵的故事——不止于电影的内容。好莱坞最大的电影公司迪士尼花了五年时间、投资两亿美元,把22年前自家制作的同名动画片翻拍成了真人电影,以期征服中国票房。为同时取悦亚洲和美国观众,该片从剧情到宣传都做了精心“校准”,比如花木兰的贫嘴伙伴“木须龙”因为中国观众不喜欢而被删掉,在上映宣传时使用了中国古诗。迪士尼首部中国超级英雄电影《尚气与十戒传奇》(Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings)订于明年上映。据说《花木兰》也将推出续集。
Hollywood has reason to look across the Pacific. In the past 15 years China’s box-office takings have risen 35-fold, to $9.7bn. That is not far off America’s $11.1bn. This year receipts have sunk as covid-19 forced cinemas to shut. But they may fall a bit less precipitously in China, which after early cover-ups has controlled the virus better than America, where most theatres remain closed (and where “Mulan” is going straight to streaming). China may emerge from the pandemic with the world’s biggest box office (see chart 1).
好莱坞放眼太平洋彼岸是有原因的。过去15年,中国票房收入增长了35倍,达到97亿美元,与美国的111亿美元相距不远。今年由于新冠疫情爆发,电影院被迫关闭,票房收入下降。但相比而言,在中国的降幅可能比美国略小,因为尽管中国在最初对疫情有所隐瞒,但之后对疫情的控制好过美国,而美国大多数影院目前仍处于关闭状态(《花木兰》在美国直接改在线上放映)。疫情过后,中国的电影票房可能跃升全球第一(见图表1)。 
The country was becoming central to Hollywood’s business before covid-19. America’s blockbusters have increasingly relied on Chinese audiences to recoup their vast production budgets and American studios have tapped Chinese investors for finance. Between 2010 and 2019 Disney’s share of revenues from Asia nearly doubled to 11.5% and now rivals that from Europe. Hong Kong and Shanghai each has a Disneyland. Universal (owned by Comcast, a cable giant) is building a theme park in Beijing. Sony, a Japanese conglomerate with a big entertainment division that includes Columbia Pictures, last year earned 10.2% of its revenues in China, up from 6.7% five years earlier.
在疫情以前,中国在好莱坞的生意中就已经变得至关重要。美国大片越发依赖中国观众来赚回高昂的制作成本,美国的电影公司也通过中国投资者融资。2010年至2019年间,迪士尼的亚洲收入占比几乎翻了一番,达到11.5%,目前与在欧洲的收入相当。香港和上海都有迪士尼乐园。美国有线电视巨头康卡斯特(Comcast)旗下的环球影业(Universal)正在北京建造主题公园。娱乐业务庞大且拥有哥伦比亚电影公司(Columbia Pictures)的日本企业集团索尼去年10.2%的收入源自中国,而五年前为6.7%。
However, Hollywood’s desire to capture both Eastern and Western imaginations—and wallets—increasingly faces two sets of problems in China. First, mainland studios are giving Tinseltown a run for its money on their home turf. And China’s censors are becoming more active in shaping the tales that Hollywood tells, imbuing America’s soft power with Chinese characteristics and angering American politicians. The great screen romance between Hollywood and China is turning into more of a drama.
然而,好莱坞要想同时抓住东西方观众的想象力——以及他们的钱包——在中国却日益面临两大难题。首先,中国大陆的电影公司正在本土市场上挑战好莱坞。其次,中国的审查员正在更加积极地干预好莱坞的叙事,给美国软实力灌注中国特色,这激怒了美国政客。好莱坞与中国的这场银幕情缘正变得更富戏剧性。
China raised the curtain on regular Hollywood releases in 1994. The market was tiny—“The Fugitive”, the first American film to be shown in cinemas that year, made just $3m—and the bureaucracy stifling. Imports were limited to ten a year. Their makers were allocated just 13% of a film’s box-office takings. The rest reserved for cinemas and distributors.
中国大陆在1994年拉开了定期上映好莱坞电影的帷幕。当时的市场规模很小,首部进入大陆的美国大片《亡命天涯》(The Fugitive)仅取得了300万美元的票房,而且审批手续让人不胜其烦。当时引进外国影片的数量限定为每年十部。票房收入中,制片方仅拿到13%,其余归影院和发行商。
Slowly the rules were relaxed. In 2001 the foreign-film quota doubled to 20. A decade later it rose to 34, and producers’ revenue share went up to 25%. Foreign studios also discovered co-production. Movies made in partnership with a Chinese company qualify as domestic and are thus exempt from the quota system. They also entitle the studio to as much as 43% of the box office and better release dates; usually only domestic films are awarded slots during the four main holidays—spring, summer, national day and Chinese new year—when around half the year’s tickets are sold.
后来规则逐渐放宽。2001年,引进片配额翻倍至每年20部。十年后又增至34部,制片方分成上调至25%。外国电影公司还发现了合拍片这条路。与中国公司合拍的电影可算作国产片而不受配额限制,制片商还可分得高达43%的票房收入,此外也能拿到更好的档期——通常只有国产电影可在寒假、暑假、国庆和春节这四个主要假期(约占全年总票房的一半)上档。
At the same time, China’s growing middle class was developing a taste for cinema. In 2005 China had 4,000 theatre screens, slightly more than Britain at the time. Last year it had nearly 70,000, according to Omdia, a market-research company, almost equal to America and Europe combined.
同时,中国不断壮大的中产阶级越来越喜欢看电影。2005年,中国有4000块大屏幕,略高于当时英国的数字。根据市场研究公司Omdia的数据,到去年中国已经有近七万块,接近美国和欧洲的总和。
Blow-Up 放大
By 2007 American studios ruled the Chinese box office, making 16 of the 25 highest-grossing films, according to Box Office Mojo, part of IMDbPro, a data company. In 2013 “Pacific Rim”, a robots-versus-monsters romp produced by Legendary Pictures, became the first American blockbuster to take more money in China than at home. After that, recalls Peter Loehr, former head of Legendary’s China division, Hollywood studios that did not yet have offices in China quickly established them.
数据公司IMDbPro旗下票房统计网站Box Office Mojo的数字显示,到2007年,美国电影公司已雄霸中国市场,在票房最高的25部电影中占了16部。2013年,由传奇影业(Legendary Pictures)制作的机器人大战怪兽的科幻片《环太平洋》( Pacific Rim)成为首部中国票房高于本土票房的美国大片。在这之后,尚未在中国设立分支机构的好莱坞电影公司纷纷前来设点,传奇影业的中国业务前CEO罗异(Peter Loehr)回忆道。
As Chinese audiences flocked to watch American films, Chinese media and tech companies rushed to invest in them. In 2016 Dalian Wanda Group, a conglomerate, bought Legendary for $3.5bn. It also snapped up real estate next to the Beverly Hilton hotel in the heart of Tinseltown. In 2013, at the launch of its own huge studio in Qingdao, the Oriental Movie Metropolis, Dalian Wanda paid stars including Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman to attend. This marked the start of a “three-year feeding frenzy, where everybody was happy to take these idiots’ money”, recalls one former Hollywood bigwig. Like the Japanese and the Arabs before them, he says, the Chinese discovered that when you hand out dosh, “people here will take it from you, in exchange for allowing you to come to a party with some semi-famous people”.
随着中国观众蜂拥观看美国电影,中国的媒体和科技公司也争相投资好莱坞。2016年,大连万达集团以35亿美元的价格收购传奇影业。该集团还把好莱坞核心地段比弗利希尔顿酒店附近的房地产收归囊中。2013年,大连万达在青岛的大型影视产业项目东方影都启动,请来了莱昂纳多•迪卡普里奥和妮可•基德曼等明星参加。这标志着一个“三年狂潮的开始,所有人都乐于赚这些傻瓜的钱”,一位前好莱坞大佬回忆称。他说,就像之前的日本人和阿拉伯人那样,中国人发现,只要肯掏钱,“这里的人就会收下,然后让你参加一些二三线名人的聚会”。
In the past few years, though, Chinese studios have grown less infatuated with Hollywood—and more sophisticated. They have splurged on sound stages and other studio infrastructure. Hengdian World Studios in Zhejiang, Shanghai Film Studio and August First Film Studio in Beijing, as well as Dalian Wanda’s Movie Metropolis, have been enlarged and upgraded. Co-productions with Americans have sharpened Chinese film-makers’ skills and given them international contacts, notes Wendy Su of the University of California, Riverside. Special effects, where the West remains in the lead, can be farmed out. “The Eight Hundred”, a recently released war drama produced by Beijing-based CMC Pictures, subcontracted its visual effects to companies including DNEG, a British firm, and Rising Sun Pictures, an Australian one.
不过,过去几年里,中国电影人对好莱坞不再那么痴迷,他们变得更成熟老道了。他们不惜重金打造摄影棚及其他拍摄基础设施。浙江横店影视城、上海电影制片厂、北京八一电影制片厂,以及大连万达的东方影都纷纷扩建升级。加州大学河滨分校(University of California, Riverside)的苏文迪(音译)指出,与美国人合拍电影让中国电影人提升了技术,并在国际电影圈拓宽了人脉。西方在电影特效制作上仍然领先,中国电影可以把这一块外包出去。由北京的华人影业制作、最近上映的战争片《八佰》就把视觉特效分包给了英国的DNEG和澳大利亚的Rising Sun Pictures等公司。
Rao Shuguang, secretary-general of the (Communist Party-led) China Film Association, says that along with “substantial” improvement in quality, China is exploring new genres. Last month film authorities issued new guidelines for science-fiction films, which they used to frown upon. Sci-fi is to “disseminate scientific thought” and “raise the spirit of scientists”.
(由中国共产党领导的)中国电影家协会的秘书长饶曙光表示,除了质量“显著”提高,中国电影还在探索开拓新类型。8月,中国国家电影局提出了有关促进科幻电影(它以往并不支持)的新指导意见,指出科幻片要“传播科学思想”和“弘扬科学家精神”。
Chinese films, sci-fi or otherwise, are certainly getting more entertaining. “The Wandering Earth”, a sci-fi thriller made by the China Film Group Corporation (CFGC) took around $700m last year. So did Beijing Enlight Pictures’ “Ne Zha”, an animated tale of demons and spirits based on a 16th century novel. These slick, home-grown blockbusters pushed Disney’s “Avengers: Endgame”—the highest-grossing movie in history by worldwide receipts—into third place at China’s box office. In a reversal of fortunes from a decade ago, 17 of the 25 highest-grossing films in China were Chinese, including eight in the top ten; only eight were American (see chart 2).
中国制作的电影,无论是科幻片还是其他类型,无疑都更好看了。由中影集团出品的科幻惊险片《流浪地球》去年斩获了约七亿美元的票房。北京光线影业制作的《哪吒》(一部改编自16世纪民间小说的关于神灵妖精的动画电影)同样火爆。这些制作精良的本土大片令全球影史总票房最高的电影、迪士尼的《复仇者联盟4:终局之战》在中国的票房退居第三。与十年前的情形相反,现在中国最卖座的25部电影中有17部是华语片,前十名中有八部是华语片;美国片只有八部(见图表2)。 
Audiences in big Chinese cities like Beijing and Shanghai can relate to Western fare, says Lei Ming of ABD Entertainment, an audience-analysis firm, but people in smaller, provincial cities do not. And they are the fastest-growing audience: third-tier and fourth-tier cities, roughly those with fewer than 3m residents, account for 40% and rising of China’s box office, according to Maoyan, a ticketing platform.
观众分析公司ABD爱梦娱乐的雷鸣表示,北京和上海等中国大城市的观众能与西方电影那一套共鸣,但较小的地级市的观众则不然,而后者是增长最快的观众群体。票务平台猫眼的统计显示,三四线城市(大概就是那些人口不到300万的城市)占到中国票房的40%,而且比例还在不断上升。
Now Hollywood’s commercial challenges are increasingly compounded by political ones. Peter Shiao, who in 1998 produced the first Sino-American co-production, “Restless”, talks of a “climate of increasing suspicion on both sides”.
眼下,好莱坞受到的商业挑战还因为政治上的挑战而愈加复杂。在1998年出品首部中美合拍片《夏日情动》(Restless)的萧培寰提到“两边猜忌的氛围都越来越浓”。
Under Xi Jinping, China’s party chief since 2012, a period of relative openness to outsiders has given way to a more nationalistic sentiment. In an effort to make China a “strong cultural nation”, Mr Xi’s government has not only put the brakes on extravagant foreign investments, forcing Dalian Wanda to sell its Hollywood digs, among other things, but also made it harder for American studios to do business in China. It is strictly enforcing rules that require co-productions to have at least one-third of their investment from Chinese partners, at least one scene shot in China and a cast that is at least one-third Chinese.
自2012年习近平担任中共中央总书记以来,原本对外比较开放的氛围被更民族主义的情绪所取代。为使中国成为“文化强国”,习近平政府不仅刹住大手笔对外国投资的势头,例如迫使大连万达出售在好莱坞购入的地块等,还对美国电影公司在中国开展业务设置更多限制。管理部门严格执行规则,要求合拍片必须至少有三分之一投资来自中国合作方,至少有一个场景在中国拍摄,而且主要演员至少有三分之一来自中国。
These days co-productions are “almost impossible to approve”, Mr Shiao laments. Disney, which had hoped its Shanghai theme park might buy it more access to Chinese television, has been disappointed. In 2016 Netflix tried to enter China but hit snags with technology and, above all, content control; for instance, censors considered “BoJack Horseman”, a cartoon about an alcoholic, anthropomorphic horse, an example of “funeral culture”. “The Chinese have no intention whatsoever of allowing non-Chinese media brands to operate in China,” sighs one person involved in that unhappy experiment. One American producer fears that China might target Hollywood in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s swipes at Chinese companies like Huawei, a telecoms giant, and TikTok, a hit video app. Mr Trump’s campaign to force TikTok’s sale to American investors led its American boss, Kevin Mayer (himself a former Disney executive) to quit last week after only three months in the job.
现在合拍“几乎不可能获批”,萧培寰叹道。迪士尼原本希望通过上海的主题公园进一步打开中国的电视市场,结果大失所望。奈飞(Netflix)在2016年试图进入中国,但遭遇技术障碍,还有最重要的问题——内容管控。例如,审查员认为动画片《马男波杰克》(BoJack Horseman,以拟人化方式讲述一匹爱喝酒的马的故事)是“丧文化”的体现。一位参与了这场不愉快试验的人士叹着气说:“中国人根本不想让非中国媒体品牌在国内开展业务。” 一位美国制片人担心中国会把矛头对准好莱坞,以报复特朗普对电信巨头华为和热门视频应用TikTok等中国公司的打击。特朗普威逼TikTok向美国投资者出售业务的行动导致其首席执行官、美国人凯文•梅耶尔(Kevin Mayer,曾任迪士尼高管)上任仅三个月后就在上周宣布辞职。
Good Will Hunting
心灵捕手
For American critics the biggest concern is over China’s attempts to bend Hollywood’s stories to its will. Communist censors have long harried film-makers, banning not just the “three Ts” of Tiananmen, Tibet and Taiwan, but themes such as time-travel and the supernatural; China blocked “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”, objecting not to the piracy but to the ghosts. Films that break these or other unwritten rules may be banned, sent back for edits or, for lesser offences, get a duff release date or curtailed advertising budget, the size of which is regulated in China. In an internal email from 2014 disclosed by WikiLeaks, a senior Sony executive wrote of “censorship really hassling us” about a scene in “RoboCop” where the cyborg hero’s human remains are exposed. “Don’t think we can make a stand on it either way, too much money on the line,” he summed up.
在美国评论家看来,最大的担忧是中国要按自己的意愿扭曲好莱坞的故事。共产主义审查员一直烦扰着电影人,不仅禁止涉及天安门、西藏和台湾这三大问题,时空旅行和超自然现象这类主题也不能碰。《加勒比海盗2:聚魂棺》没能在中国上映,不是因为海盗主题,而是因为涉及鬼魂。违反这些或其他不成文规定的电影可能被禁映或发回重新剪辑,违反规定但不算严重的会被分配较差的档期或缩减广告预算——在中国,电影宣传的规模是受管制的。在维基解密公开的一封2014年内部电子邮件中,索尼的一位高管提到《机械战警》(Robocop)中机器人主角的人形遗体裸露那一幕,“过审的问题实在叫我们头痛”。“别以为删或不删我们都能捍卫立场,这里头牵扯的钱太多了。” 他总结道。
Some censor-pleasing tweaks are harmless, like Paramount Pictures’ removal of dirty laundry from a Shanghai skyline in “Mission: Impossible III” (2006). Others can be consequential. “Abominable” (2019), an animated co-production by DreamWorks and Pearl Studio about a lost yeti, featured a map endorsing China’s bogus claim to the South China Sea but no mention of Tibet—never mind that the entire film is about a journey to Mount Everest. Then there are films that are not being made. “Not many people are going to want to go out and make any movies about the Uighurs,” admits one former Hollywood executive, referring to China’s persecuted Muslim minority.
有些为过审而做的微调倒也无妨,比如派拉蒙影业(Paramount Pictures)在《碟中谍3》(2006年上映)中删掉了上海天际线中出现的晾晒衣服的镜头。但其他调整有可能事关重大。美国梦工场和中国东方梦工厂合拍的动画电影《雪人奇缘》(Abominable,2019年上映)讲述一个迷途雪人的故事,其中出现的地图承认了中国宣称的南海主权,却没有标出西藏,而整部电影的内容正是一次前往珠峰的旅程。还有一些电影没被制作出来。一位前好莱坞高管承认“没有多少人会愿意跑去制作一部有关维吾尔族的电影”,他指的是在中国受压迫的穆斯林少数民族群体。
In July William Barr, America’s attorney-general, accused Hollywood of handing China “a massive propaganda coup”, citing Paramount’s decision to remove a scene in “World War Z” in which characters speculate that a deadly virus may have originated in China. Ted Cruz, a Republican senator, has proposed that studios which kowtow to the Chinese Communist Party should be banned from filming with America’s armed forces. Stan Rosen, a China expert at the University of Southern California, wonders if studio chiefs may soon be called to give evidence before Congress.
美国司法部长威廉•巴尔(William Barr)7月指责好莱坞在助力中国开展“大规模宣传战”,援引的例子是派拉蒙决定删除《僵尸世界大战》(World War Z)中有人推测一种致命病毒可能源自中国的情节。共和党参议员特德•克鲁兹(Ted Cruz)提议禁止那些对中国共产党卑躬屈膝的好莱坞电影公司与美国军方合作拍片。南加州大学的中国研究专家斯坦•罗森(Stan Rosen)猜测电影公司高层是否很快就会被传唤到国会作证。
Studio executives complain privately that every industry dealing with China faces ethical dilemmas, and that bashing liberal Hollywood is just Republican electioneering. But criticisms are not limited to conservative voices. In July PEN America, a free-speech organisation, concluded in a report that “Hollywood’s decision-makers are increasingly envisioning the desires of the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] censor when deciding what film projects to greenlight, what content these films contain, who should work on the films, and what messages the films should implicitly or explicitly contain.”
电影公司高管私下抱怨说,和中国打交道的每个行业都面对道德困境,而拿自由主义的好莱坞开刀只不过是共和党的竞选策略。但是,批评他们的声音不仅仅来自保守派政客。自由言论组织美国笔会(PEN America)7月发布的一份报告中总结道:“在拍板电影项目、影片内容 、演职人员,以及电影应隐含或明示什么信息上,好莱坞的决策者越来越多地在设想中国共产党审查的喜好。”
China may be especially keen to shape Hollywood’s storytelling because it struggles to break through with its own narratives beyond its borders. Since the early 2000s American studios have made more money at the international box office than at home. These days about two-thirds of their ticket revenues come from abroad. Chinese productions, by contrast, seldom make much money outside China. “Wolf Warrior 2” (2017), China’s highest-grossing film, produced by CFGC and others, took less than 2% of its $870m haul overseas. (Its tagline—“Anyone who offends China, no matter how remote, must be exterminated”—will not have helped.)
中国可能特别想要影响好莱坞的叙事,因为它难以凭借自己的故事在国外取得突破。从本世纪初开始,美国电影公司的国际票房收入超过了本土票房。如今它们约三分之二的票房来自国外。相比之下,中国电影很少能在中国以外的地方大笔赚钱。中影集团等公司制作的电影《战狼2》(2017年上映)是中国票房最高的电影,斩获了8.7亿美元的收入,但海外票房还不到2%(片中的口号“犯我中华者,虽远必诛”肯定无益于此。)
Global audiences will not flock to Chinese blockbusters soon. For one thing, there may be fewer of them to see in the coming years. Cecilia Yau of PwC, a consultancy, expects investments in film-making to decline as a result of covid-19. Chinese films make 80-90% of their money at the cinema, estimates Mr Lei of ABD Entertainment, so lower theatre attendance means lower returns for investors.
短时间内,全球观众还不会蜂拥追捧中国大片。一个原因是未来几年中国大片的数量可能会减少。据咨询公司普华永道的邱丽婷预计,受疫情影响,电影制作投资将减少。ABD爱梦娱乐的雷鸣估计,中国电影有80%至90%的收入来自票房,因此上座率下降就意味着投资者拿到的回报减少。 
This isn’t the film you are looking for In America, by contrast, a film’s takings at the theatre are usually eclipsed by what it earns through television rights, merchandising, video-game licensing and so on. It therefore makes sense for American studios to produce films and send them straight to streaming, as Disney is doing with “Mulan” in many markets. Disney’s films are in effect merely the intellectual-property engine that drives a much larger machine. Before social-distancing edicts obliterated businesses that rely on crowds, it made an annual operating profit of $2.7bn directly from its films and another $6.8bn from the parks, cruises and products that piggyback off them. These profits should return after the pandemic.
相比之下,在美国,电影的票房收入往往不及电视播放权、周边商品、电子游戏许可等收入。因此对美国电影公司而言,把电影做出来后直接送上流媒体同样可行,正如迪士尼在很多市场上对《花木兰》的处理。迪士尼的电影实际上只是一个知识产权引擎,驱动着一台大得多的机器。在社交隔离措施摧毁那些依赖人流量的生意前,迪士尼每年从其电影中直接赚得27亿美元的营业利润,此外还有68亿美元来自主题公园、邮轮和周边产品。疫情过后,这些利润应该会恢复。
That ought to put American studios in a better position than Chinese rivals to keep telling stories in a world of declining cinema attendance—a trend that long predates covid-19. The average American visited the cinema 3.5 times last year, down from five times at the turn of the century. In China ticket sales have begun to slow as more people plump for local streaming services such as iQiyi and Tencent Video.
因此,在一个影院上座率不断下降的世界里——在疫情爆发前很久这一趋势就已经出现——美国电影公司应该比中国对手处于更有利的条件来把故事继续讲下去。去年,美国人均观影次数是3.5次,低于在世纪之交时的5次。在中国,随着更多人转向爱奇艺和腾讯视频等本土流媒体服务,电影票销售已经开始放缓。
Project Power
超能计划
What the shift to streaming means for American soft power is less clear. One possible effect is that East and West will consume less culture in common. At the cinema audiences often soak up stories from all over the world. As they turn to streaming they could do the same; Netflix is replete with local productions. But they more often consume content tailored to their country—and in China, almost exclusively so. The cultural and commercial tussle for global imaginations goes on for now. But one day it may see Americans and Chinese mutually retreat to their own, national, small screens instead.
观众转向流媒体对美国软实力有何影响还不太清晰。一种可能性是东西方消费的共通的文化会变少。在电影院,观众常常吸收来自世界各地的故事。他们转向流媒体后仍可能如此:奈飞上就有大量来自不同地方的制作。但他们更多时候还是会选择那些迎合本国口味的内容——而在中国就更几乎完全如此了。这场对全球想象力的文化与商业之争目前还在继续。但也许有一天,结局会是美国人和中国人各自退守到本国的小屏幕前。