You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Panitch: Asia set to dominate entertainment biz

But Fox exec urged region to do more to fight piracy

SINGAPORE – Asia is set to become the most important market in the world of entertainment, but more needs to be done to combat piracy, Fox Intl. Prods topper Sanford Panitch said today at his keynote speech at ScreenSingapore, Asia’s largest film confab.

“As much as screen count per capita in Asia has increased, it still has a long way to go before it catches up with more mature markets.

“When Asia realizes its full potential, it will ultimately overtake Europe and North America to become the largest theatrical region in the world,” Panitch told auds.

“It’s not just English-language films that are driving growth. While Hollywood blockbusters will continue to do well, audiences are aggressively seeking out local content,” he said.

Bizzers from all over the region were gathered in the Marina Bay Sands Convention Center Singapore for the four-day event, which also includes the Asian Television Forum.

India and China make up nearly 40% of the world’s population and represent a new wave of purchasing power. If China continues its growth, this could be a $5 billion local film industry, said Panitch, while India was also expanding hugely, especially in the 3D market.

FIP has developed, financed or produced 40 local-language films in 11 countries in Asia, Latin America and Russia, he said.

It had been a challenge to convince Hollywood execs that there was a reason to make movies with lower profit margins in smaller markets, but there was payback.

Movies such as “You are the Apple of My Eye” from helmer-scribe Giddens (real name Ko Ching-teng) made $36 million in Greater China, he said.

Over 90% of revenues come from theatrical in China, he said, and there was much scope for boosting the home entertainment market in Asia, which still lags the U.S. market.

“The potential is clear,” Panitch said. “We must dream of making a more robust and valuable ancillary industry in Asia.”

For this to become a reality the topper said it would require high-quality local content, technology to deliver it in a variety of ways and a more effective fight against piracy.

The event’s first day wrapped with the world preem of director Wong Jing’s “The Last Tycoon,” starring Chow Yun-Fat, from China’s Bona Film Group.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • The Jesus Rolls

    Rome Film Review: 'The Jesus Rolls'

    The Jesus lives! The oddball bowling obsessive immortalized by John Turturro in “The Big Lebowski” resurfaces two decades later in “The Jesus Rolls,” a road movie every bit as eccentric as the character he played in the 1998 cult favorite. In a way, the “Lebowski” connection does a disservice to Turturro’s film — an in-spirit [...]

  • Abominable

    Malaysia Orders Cuts to 'Abominable' Over Controversial Map Scene

    Malaysia has ordered cuts to the U.S.-Chinese animated feature “Abominable,” which includes a scene involving a map that portrays China’s contested territorial claims in the South China Sea. The map scene has already caused the film to be banned in Vietnam. The Philippines foreign minister Teodoro Locsin this week called for “Abominable” to be boycotted, [...]

  • Kung Fu Panda 3

    Universal's Beijing Resort to Partner With Alibaba on Digitization

    Amid fierce controversy about the leverage China has over U.S. entertainment firms with significant mainland operations, Universal Beijing Resort and Alibaba announced a strategic partnership Thursday to digitize the forthcoming theme park in China’s capital. Facial recognition and the use of big data will be the norm at the new resort, which will use an [...]

  • They Shall Not Grow Old restoration

    Peter Jackson Documentary 'They Shall Not Grow Old' Nabs Limited China Release

    The Peter Jackson produced and directed World War I documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” will hit Chinese theaters on November 11. Though it will roll out nationwide, it will do so via the China’s National Arthouse Alliance, which has limited screens. The 2018 documentary puts together interviews with WWI veterans and more than 100-year-old [...]

  • Zombieland Double Tap

    'Zombieland: Double Tap' Hopes to Recapture Raunchy Zombie Magic, 10 Years Later

    Audiences may have a few questions about the sequel to 2009’s hit “Zombieland,” which opens Friday. Why did it take 10 years to make a second one, after the first grossed $102.4 million worldwide on a $23 million budget, making it the third-biggest zombie movie of all time (second-biggest if you don’t count “Hotel Transylvania,” [...]

  • AMC TheatresShop signs, Los Angeles, America

    AMC Theatres Accused of Firing VP Who Complained of Gender Pay Gap

    A former vice president at AMC Theatres filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday, accusing the company of firing her after she complained that she was paid far less than her male peers. Tonya Mangels, who was vice president of product marketing, said that in March 2018 her supervisor inadvertently sent her a spreadsheet that included [...]

  • Sir Elton John poses for photographers

    Elton John Calls 'Lion King' Remake a 'Huge Disappointment'

    Elton John isn’t feeling the love for Disney’s latest live-action remake. In an interview with GQ U.K., the legendary musician criticized Disney’s remake of “The Lion King,” citing the film’s music as a “huge disappointment.” “The new version of The Lion King was a huge disappointment to me, because I believe they messed the music [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content