As China continues to establish itself as the world’s fastest-growing market for cinema, Hollywood keeps on bending over backwards in order to appeal to the nation’s audiences, which involves making it past the notoriously strict censorship board. The approach has become increasingly transparent over the last few years, and it’s only going to get more blatant given that China’s the only major country to have made a sustained recovery from the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, at least when it comes to box office takings.
Two local blockbusters have already earned at least $667 million this year, while three of 2020’s four highest-grossing titles were also Chinese productions. Of course, fantasy flicks are one of the most popular types of movie, and as a result, we’ve seen countless Hollywood stars head East to lend their talents to a string of genre films, which presumably come with a hefty pay packet.
Adrien Brody and John Cusack showed up in Dragon Blade, Bruce Willis sleepwalked through Air Strike, action stars Frank Grillo and Scott Adkins were involved in the Wolf Warrior franchise, Matt Damon headlined The Great Wall, Michael Douglas played a major role in Animal World, and even Arnold Schwarzenegger got in on the act.
The former Governor of California teamed up with Jackie Chan for the recent Iron Mask, in what would have been a dream scenario two decades ago. Instead, the bizarre effort faced a troubled production that saw it go through several title changes, only to bomb in theaters when it was initially released. However, Iron Mask is now streaming on Hulu for those who might be interested, although it’ll probably only appeal to diehard fans of both stars based on the reception that’s greeted the movie so far.