'Pirates' rolls out red carpet for rare China premiere
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[May 11, 2017]
By Jackie Cai and Adam Jourdan
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Walt
Disney Co's latest outing of "Pirates of the Caribbean"
rolled out the red carpet in Shanghai on Thursday in a
rare world premiere in China for a Hollywood blockbuster
as U.S. producers look to woo moviegoers in the Middle
In the shadow of Disney's newest theme park that opened last
year, hundreds of "Pirates" fans lined up to catch a glimpse of
stars Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Javier Bardem ahead of an
Despite a slowdown in box office sales in the Chinese market,
U.S. studios are increasingly looking to it to boost global
revenues, though they face issues from a local quota system for
imported films to questions over censorship.
China's box office slowed markedly last year, but grew at its
fastest pace in more than a year in April, driven by Universal's
high-octane action movie "The Fate of the Furious".
The China premiere of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell
No Tales" puts it among a small number of U.S. films to screen
for the first time in China. Films like "Point Break" and "Iron
Man 3" have premiered or opened earlier in China.
The trend reflects the growing influence of China's 1.4 billion
potential cinema goers, who are increasingly driving global box
In the Shanghai sunshine, student Zhao Yushen said she had
skipped her studies for exams to come from nearby Nanjing to see
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"I've still got one final-term exam to take tomorrow morning, but I
haven't prepared for it at all," she said.
Hollywood is eager to tap more consumers like Zhao, and hopes it can
lobby Beijing to raise a cap of 34 imported films a year under a
revenue-sharing deal. The deal is scheduled to be reviewed this
The market grew around 4 percent last year, down sharply from nearly
50 percent in 2015, according to box office tracker EntGroup.
The four previous "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, the most recent
in 2011, have generated over $3.7 billion in worldwide ticket sales,
according to the website Box Office Mojo.
(Reporting by Jackie Cai and Adam Jourdan; Additional reporting by
Li Yue and Jiang Xihao; Editing by Robert Birsel)
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