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MPAA seeks to open up China

Pisano urges country to improve access to market

Motion Picture Assn. of America prexy Bob Pisano said China and Hollywood needed to co-operate more to combat piracy and improve access to the booming Chinese market before it would reach its full potential.

“An open international market can produce benefits for all concerned — studios, industry employees, consumers and governments alike,” Pisano told a forum at the Shanghai Film Festival on Sunday.

There is a quota of about 20 foreign movies allowed into China every year on a revenue-sharing basis and Pisano called for greater liberalization of the market.

Pisano said free access for films was the way for local pic industries to expand their capabilities through increased investment and collaborations. The MPAA is committed to helping “nations create strong and sustainable business models that enable them to produce more films, to increasingly use more local talent, to win international recognition for their products, to compete on equal footing with films produced by other nations and to profit from our communal endeavors.”

China is emerging as one of the world’s hottest movie markets. The number of screens from 2003 to 2009 quintupled to more than 5,000 — with close to two movie screens being added each day on average.

“Avatar” grossed nearly $200 million in China earlier this year.

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