A New Model for Globalization in the Film Industry: Lessons from Sino-US Film Co-productions
International co-productions have become a dominant practice in the film industry. Within this emerging trend, China has become a major participant and is using it as an important method to enter the global market. Despite the enhanced globalization of the film industry, many preceding studies consider it as a national industry and investigate it from this context. Therefore, this paper uses the concept of the global value chain in order to understand more effectively the fragmentation of the film value chain. This framework helps examine how filmmakers denationalize the film value chain by collaborating with foreign partners on a global scale. This paper further conducts a case study of the Sino-US co-produced movie, The Great Wall. It was China’s most expensive movie to date, and is frequently cited as the new model for producing a “true” international co-production. This paper finds that with various tools of internationalization, international co-productions can help the Chinese side increase its involvement in all processes, and can lead to the reduction of the national identity in films. Such a process helps attract a more global audience. In addition, this paper provides useful guidelines for policy makers to respond effectively to the increasing globalization in the cultural industries.