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Global Hollywood: An Entertainment Imperium, by Integration

Global Hollywood: An Entertainment Imperium, by Integration

Tanner Mirrlees   |   October 2018

Wolf Warrior 2 is a hit, but not in America

Directed by and starring Wu Jing, Wolf Warrior 2 (2016) is the first non-Hollywood film to ever list among the top 100 highest grossing worldwide films of all time. This film is a Hollywood blockbuster with Chinese characteristics: the film’s narrative structure, action-adventure genre and spectacular effects replicate the global Hollywood commodity form; but the setting, Mandarin-speaking characters, and patriot Chinese hero fighting thuggish American mercenaries, give it a national flavour. While Wolf Warrior 2 was a huge success at China’s cinema and delighted a solid number of filmgoers in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, it did not make a dent in the American box office. In fact, Wolf Warrior 2 never played in a US theatre.

The growth of China’s studios, cinema chains, film output and audience size has nonetheless been making headlines alongside a slew of stories about film industries in Russia, India and elsewhere rising to challenge to Hollywood’s global dominance. News of made-in-Russia blockbusters like Stalingrad (2013) triumphing over Hollywood at the Russian box office for the first time since the end of the Cold War, Mumbai-based Bollywood being the world’s most prolific cinema factory because it annually makes about 1,000 films, almost doubling Hollywood’s yearly output, and Nollywood filmmakers producing films for Nigerian and other culturally proximate viewers give the impression that the sun is setting on Hollywood’s entertainment imperium.

Yet, New York Times stories such as “Hollywood Works to Maintain Its World Dominance”1 and Foreign Policy stories such as “How Hollywood Conquered the World (All Over Again)”2 point to Hollywood’s struggle to persist in presiding over all upstarts and challengers. In this article, I argue that Hollywood continues to be dominant—economically and culturally—in world cinema, and I show how Hollywood establishes and maintains this dominance using strategies of integrating as opposed to disintegrating non-US film industries and cinema cultures. My goal is to show how Hollywood’s cultural imperialism is trans-nationalized through relations of inter-corporate consent, not force, capitalist integration, not cultural domination.

To this end, the article’s first section is a snapshot of Hollywood’s world dominance, circa 2016. The second section revisits the concept of Hollywood cultural imperialism to emphasize its consensual and integrative dimensions. The third section discusses four capitalist strategies that Hollywood employs to attract and integrate non-US film producers, exhibitors and audiences into its ambit: ownership, cross-border productions with subordinate service providers, content licensing deals with exhibitors, and blockbusters designed to travel the globe. The final section discusses some of the consequences of Hollywood’s entertainment imperium for non-US film industries and cultures.

Global Hollywood, Still #1: Box Office Bonanza, 2016

Between 2000 and 2015, about 91% of the top ten highest worldwide grossing films each year were produced by Hollywood’s six major film studios: Warner Bros (WB) (21.9%), Disney (19.3%), Paramount (18.1%), 20th Century Fox (11.25%), Universal (10.6%), and Sony (10%). The remaining films were made by other Hollywood studios, such as New Line (1.9%), MGM (1.25%), Newmarket Film Group (.65%), Summit Entertainment (1.9%) and Lions Gate (3.1%).3 In 2016, Hollywood’s dominance continued. Walt Disney (owner of the Walt Disney Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios and LucasFilm Ltd.) and Time Warner (owner of Warner Bros Studios, New Line Cinema and DC Entertainment) ranked among the Fortune’s top global 500 largest companies.4 In 2016, Walt Disney became the first studio to accumulate $7 billion in global box office ticket sales in one year while Warner Bros Studios accumulated $4.93 billion in ticket sales.5 That year, Hollywood was behind the top ten highest worldwide grossing films. From São Paulo to Shanghai, millions of spectators paid to watch Captain America: Civil War, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Finding Dory, Zootopia, The Jungle Book, The Secret Life of Pets, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Deadpool and Suicide Squad. In 2016, Hollywood films landed their owners $38.6 billion at the global box office.6

Over the past four decades, the film industries of Brazil, Russia, India and China (the “BRIC” countries) have grown, but they have not unsettled Hollywood’s economic and cultural power.7 In fact, Hollywood films are a major presence in the BRIC countries frequently said to rival Hollywood. In 2016, Captain America was number one at the Brazilian box office, knocking out Brazilian films such as Min Minha Mãe é uma Peça 2: O Filme and Os Dez Mandamentos. In Russia, only two of the ten top films—Ezipazh and Viking—were made by Russian-owned studios, and these were overshadowed by family-friendly animations such as Walt Disney’s Zootopia and Universal Pictures’ The Secret Life of Pets. With over 41,000 screens and a population of almost 1.4 billion, The People’s Republic of China recently overtook the US to become the largest movie market. China limits Hollywood’s presence on its screens to thirty four films per year, but despite this screen quota, Kung Fu Panda 3 and The Mermaid still took five of the top ten spots in 2016. India is one of the only countries in the world where films produced by a distinctive national film industry—Mumbai-based Bollywood—regularly takes more box office receipts than Hollywood does, but 2016 marked a shift: The Jungle Book became the highest-grossing Hollywood film released in India ever. Even the raunchy Marvel comic flick Deadpool was a hit.8 Likewise, screens across France and Canada—two strong cultural nationalist states regularly chided by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) for refusing to embrace the audio-visual free trade regime of its Hollywood masters—are filled with Hollywood spectacle. Hollywood films now regularly take over 50% of France’s box office9 and 80.6% of Canada’s, adding to these countries’ multi-billion dollar cultural trade deficit with the US.10

Clearly, Hollywood is still the world system’s power centre of cinema, but is this cultural imperialism?

Hollywood’s Cultural Imperialism, Revisited and Revised

Hollywood’s 21st century dominance might be viewed as the persistence of cultural imperialism. In the mid-1970s, Herbert Schiller, Dallas Smythe and other political economists of communication conceptualized the centrality of communications to the post-WWII expansion of US Empire, and were the first scholars to decry a media and entertainment-driven “cultural imperialism.” For Schiller, the U.S Empire’s post-WWII expansion of its capitalist-consumer societal model from its centre outward to “the second world” of the Soviet bloc and the “third world” of the post-colonial peripheries relied upon “cultural imperialism,” or, “the sum processes by which a society is brought into the modern [U.S.-centered] world system and how its dominating stratum is attracted, pressured, forced, and sometimes bribed into shaping social institutions to correspond to, or even promote, the values and structures of the dominating centres of the system.”11

In Schiller’s original formulation, cultural imperialism referred to the U.S. Empire’s coercive and persuasive agencies, and their promotion of the American way of life in other countries without any reciprocation of influence. Cultural imperialism “pressured, forced and bribed” societies to integrate with the U.S.’s expansive capitalist model but also incorporated them with attraction and persuasion by winning “the mutual consent, even solicitation of the indigenous rulers.”12 In this regard, Schiller’s cultural imperialism is a supple relational theory of power in world affairs that is similar to later conceptualizations of “hegemony” in Marxian studies of the “new imperialism”13 and the less class conscious concept of “smart power” in liberal international relations.14 In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Smythe argued that Canada had become the “world’s most dependent ‘developed’ country” due to its total “cultural submission” to the US Empire’s s “Consciousness Industry.”15 Building upon Schiller and Smythe’s studies of cultural imperialism and cultural dependency, Pendakur examined Hollywood’s dominance of Canadian screens, highlighting its influence over distribution and exhibition sectors and anti-screen quota stance.16

Generally, research on Hollywood cultural imperialism has described and attempted to explain the asymmetrical and unequal power relations between the US-based globalizing Hollywood giants and non-US film industries and cultures elsewhere. Hollywood is seen to be part of the US Empire, widening the sphere of US influence and supporting its capitalist, military and cultural-ideological expansion. As the world’s “dominant” center of cinema, Hollywood exerts influence over much weaker peripheries without reciprocation of influence by screen industries based there. What originates in Hollywood, radiates outward to the planet, impacting film industries elsewhere, for better or worse. Because Hollywood is the central and most influential source of high-budget and popular films, film trade between the US and other countries is not reciprocal, and there is a largely uni-directional flow of film from the US to the rest of the world. Many countries import Hollywood films; but the US infrequently imports films from elsewhere. As Hollywood industries travel the globe, the carry with them business models, production techniques and procedures, narrative forms and aesthetic norms that come to delimit what a film is and is not: films are entertainment commodities, made to make their owners profit and give their viewers pleasure.

Much has changed in the world system since political economy of communication scholars, cultural nationalist policy makers and sometimes even the owners of incipient film studios outside the US bemoaned Hollywood’s cultural imperialism. For four decades following the original conceptualization of “cultural imperialism,” Hollywood grew, extensively and intensively. Yet, since the mid-1980s, researchers have chipped away at the idea that Hollywood cultural imperialism exists. Nearing the end of the Cold War, old theories of Empires and cultural imperialism forged by Marxian political economists of communication seemed anachronistic or “ideological”; new theories were proposed to grasp or put a positive gloss on post-Marxism’s “new times.” A new planetary meta-narrative called globalization exalted a world characterized by economic, political, technological and cultural interdependency and connectivity. A post-imperialist world capitalist system was supposedly in the making; the spread of neoliberalism, protected and promoted by institutions of global governance, seemed unstoppable; the territorial borders of sovereign nation-states were imagined to be overwhelmed by or falling to de-territorializing flows of money, technology, people, satellite TV, and ideas; the Internet, the World Wide Web, and post-Fordist service corporations were stitching everyone together, everywhere, driving a hybridized, post-American, and cosmopolitan consumer culture, plastered with brand logos.

The newness of novelties, not the depth of the historical past, filled the pages of numerous books, articles, and op-ed pieces about globalization. As “globalization” fast became the dominant way of thinking about the world, and the world of global screen industries and cultures as well, cultural imperialism resultantly became an even less popular concept in the 1990s than it was during the 1970s. This turn against cultural imperialism theory highlighted circumstances, happenings, actions that Hollywood cultural imperialism theory had downplayed or overlooked, and presented a positive rejoinder to some of its simpler and negative claims about the world. Cultural imperialism theory’s centre-periphery model of the world was disputed with studies of “asymmetrically interdependent” non-U.S. centered film industries, culturally proximate screen audiences, and de-Americanized films. The idea that non-U.S. states and film industries were weak or passive dependencies of the U.S. state and Hollywood conglomerates were countered with accounts of how strong and active non-U.S. states use sovereign policy tools to protect and promote their screen industries, film commodities and dominant “ways of life” against Hollywood-style “Americanization.” The notion that film trade flows in only one way, from the U.S. and outward to the rest of the world, was stymied by maps of multi-direc­tional film flows. The claim that Hollywood films were just conveyer-belts for homogenizing American-centric consumer-capitalist and militaristic ideologies was complicated with interpretations of how Hollywood packaged a plurality of stories and images, some hyper-nationalist and others more amenable to capturing the attention of a trans-national as opposed to distinctly American spectator.

Despite these empirical transformations and conceptual shifts, Hollywood is today evidently and undoubtedly still the dominant force in the cross-border financing, production, distribution, promotion and exhibition of film. Hollywood is still dominant around the world, but it is unhelpful to conceptualize this dominance as an expression of coercive economic and cultural domination. Hollywood’s globalizing majors (and the vertically integrated mega-media conglomerates that own them) do not forcibly impose themselves and their commercial entertainments upon other countries. Rather, Hollywood wields strategies that aim to attract and integrate other countries—and their film producers, exhibitors and audiences—into its global entertainment imperium. As Hollywood struggles to link non-US film industries into the cross-border chains of corporate power and channels of commercial pleasure that it presides over and exerts influence through, much of the world’s integration with Hollywood occurs through capitalist relations of consent, not force. To neutralize, manage or preside over potential upstarts and emerging challengers, Hollywood struggles to embed and institutionalize itself in the film production sectors, box offices and screen cultures of other countries—and often, it does so with their invitation.

Hollywood’s Strategies of Integrating the World

In the 21st century, Hollywood’s dominance of the worldwide box offices and screen culture is not the result of its coercive domination other countries, but rather, the effect of strategies that aim to attract and integrate. Four of Hollywood’s integrative strategies—ownership, cross-border production, content licensing deals, and global blockbusters—are explored below.

The first strategy Hollywood employs to integrate other film industries is ownership. Hollywood’s symbolic power derives in part from the tremendous economic power that its parent media conglomerates already wield across each and every communication and media sector around the world. The largest global media conglomerates own the large and small firms that constitute “Hollywood.” Time-Warner owns Warner Bros; the Walt Disney Company owns the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group; Viacom owns Paramount Pictures; News Corporation owns 20th Century Fox; NBC-Universal owns Universal Studios; and Sony Corporation owns Sony Pictures Entertainment. The US-based yet trans-nationalizing mega media conglomerates that own Hollywood leverage cross-border film producing, distributing and exhibition subsidiaries as sources of revenue. They coordinate cross-promotional entertainment commodity chains spanning TV networks, digital media platforms, video games, amusement parks, musicals, and all kinds of licensable products. The capital intensive and resource strong media conglomerates give Hollywood an advantage in global film markets that film industries without such powerful backers do not enjoy. Wherever the global media giants go, Hollywood goes too; whatever country Hollywood enters; they enter too. The combined structural power of the planet’s largest media conglomerates with the world’s biggest studios is immense, and these entities throw their weight around in every country they enter, integrating mid-sized and fledgling firms into their portfolios.

Hollywood majors—and their parents—may try to buy out potential rivals in other countries before they materialize, establish new subsidiary corporations, or form strategic alliances with nationally significant film firms headquartered there. Between 1982 and 2009, Hollywood conglomerates merged and acquired (M&A) numerous non-US film firms, including 3190 film production companies, 283 film distributors, and 63 theater chains.17 Another way Hollywood integrates the film industries of other countries is through joint ventures with national firms to establish new film corporations that serve the profit interests of both entities. Hollywood major studies may also pursue equity alliances with non-US firms, acquiring a percentage of an existing non-US film company by investing in it. In sum, M&As, joint ventures and equity alliances enable Hollywood majors to embed themselves within non-US film industries, institutionalizing their owning powers in other countries. Hollywood’s chief executive officers partner up with nationally-based film bourgeoisie elsewhere to takeover, create new or leverage existing film production, distribution and exhibition chains. By acquiring new properties and exercising ownership powers, Hollywood does not destroy non-US film industries, but turns them into compliant partners.

The second strategy Hollywood wields to integrate other film industries is cross-border production. Hollywood has long been a symbol for an “American” place of film production, and this image of Hollywood as territorially American is itself is marked by the forty-foot tall and three-hundred by fifty-foot long sign perched atop the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles, California that looms over the many golden celebrity stars of the Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame. But in a period when Hollywood’s “big six” are owned by the world’s largest media conglomerates, and these studios travel the world, shooting many films on-location in many countries, it is no longer possible to speak of “Hollywood” as the only locale of film production. While Apple outsources the assembly of the iPhone to China, and Verizon outsources call centre jobs to Mexico, Hollywood studios outsource filmmaking jobs to firms and workers spread across many countries. In a new international division of cultural labour (NIDCL),18 Hollywood’s studios frequently “run” from the US around the world to shoot films wherever they like. These cross-border productions work to turn local states, production firms, and workers into below-the-line service providers for and collaborators with Hollywood’s total global production power.

Today, Hollywood majors are financial anchors and administrators, coordinating and controlling organizationally and territorially decentralized film production networks that criss-cross the borders of many countries. The biggest studios are centralized in terms of capital ownership, creative decision-making, and copyright control, yet flexible in terms of the companies they recruit into productive relations of servitude. When making films, Hollywood studios often contract out service tasks to production firms all over the world, and work to integrate these firms and the workers they employ into audio-visual commodity chains as willing co-producers of entertainments. At the same time, Hollywood studios press States to doll out major subsidies to them as a condition of creating jobs, transform non-American places into body doubles of US cities, and pit US cultural workers against non-US cultural workers to neutralize the prospect of international class solidarity. While Hollywood studios travel the world in pursuit of big cost-savings, neoliberal States, companies and sometimes even workers themselves compete for the privilege of becoming short-term and subordinate service providers to Hollywood. They try to pull in productions with subsidies, favorable currency exchange rates and discounted labour costs.

The cross-border production of Warner Bros’s It, which ran from Los Angeles to cities across Ontario, Canada, is exemplary of Hollywood’s strategy of integrating non-US film industries by outsourcing tasks to them. In 2016, It, a feature film based upon Stephen King’s novel of the same name, was shot in and around Toronto. The film’s crew turned a formerly vacant lot at the dead end of James Street, Oshawa, into the creepy old house of Pennywise, the nightmarish clown. Other parts of It were also shot on location in Port Hope (Town Hall, Memorial Park, and the Cameco Capitol Arts Centre); Woolwich (The Kissing Bridge); Milton (a farmhouse); and Ancaster (Sherman Waterfalls). All of the locations Warner Bros shot in Ontario were “made over” into Derry, a fictional American town in Maine. The landscape of small town Ontario was temporarily Americanized with American flags and statues of the American folk hero Paul Bunyan.

Warner Bros outsourced the production of It to Ontario for a number of economic reasons. For starters, Warner Bros benefitted from the Ontario Production Services Tax Credit (OPSTC), which gave it a 21.5 per cent refund on Canadian labour costs. It also got more bang for its buck due to a favorable US-Canadian currency exchange rate. At the time of the shoot, one US dollar was worth $1.31 Canadian dollars, meaning that Warner Bros’ $22 million US budget was worth about $28.9 million Canadian. Furthermore, Warner Bros hired cultural workers from Ontario’s cluster of film studios, backlots and service firms on the cheap; the highly skilled Canadian workers take less than their American counterparts do. The Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport and the Motion Picture Association of America nonetheless cheered Warner Bros’s creation of jobs, but these jobs amount to precarious gigs and short-term contracts, not sustainable and lucrative careers. Additionally, Warner Bros controls the copyright to the finished film product, and as such was able to turn a profit by exploiting It in distribution-exhibition markets. While Warner Bros spent $35 million to make It, the film’s worldwide box office totalled $685.2 million, putting a hefty profit $650.2 million into Warner Bros’s pocket. Even though It spread $28.9 million around in the Ontario economy, this sum is a pittance as compared to the $650 million in super revenue that It generated for Warner Bros, the copyright owner. In sum, Hollywood invites the film industries of other countries to link into the cross-border film commodity chains controlled by major studios as a way to integrate them as service providers.

The third strategy Hollywood uses to integrate the world’s screens is by licensing its copyrighted films to the exhibition companies—TV networks, theatre chains and digital platforms—operating outside of the US. The Hollywood studio-distributors that own the rights to films, sell the right to screen their films in specific territories for a set periods of time, to exhibition firms. Eager to acquire, schedule and screen films that will attract an audience commodity, or alternately, a viewer that will pay for a ticket or subscription, non-US exhibition firms are all too happy to buy many of the films they screen to viewers from Hollywood’s major studio-distributor combines. In possession of a massive intellectual property archive of films, Hollywood travels the world, selling the rights to screen its films everywhere it can and subverting barriers as they arise. Hollywood’s impact upon the screens of the world is the manifestation of the power of Hollywood’s globalizing studio-distributors to forge cross-border partnerships with exhibition firms that serve their own bottom line by buying the rights to screen films Hollywood owns.

For example, a 2016 multi-year free-to-air TV licensing deal between Warner Bros. International Television Distribution and Brazil’s Globo, landed Globo’s TV networks the rights to turn a profit by screening blockbusters such as American Sniper, Mad Max: Fury Road and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In 2017, blockbusters such as Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Transformers 5: The Last Knight, Wonder Woman, and War for the Planet of the Apes filled the pockets of and put bums in seats for SPI Cinemas, India’s largest theatrical chain.19 In that same year, Netflix, an American-owned entertainment company which operates in over one hundred and ninety countries and possesses a subscriber base of about one hundred million people, attracted even more subscribers with a mix of original and Hollywood-produced entertainment content.20 Penny Black, Jaguar Distribution and Entertainment In Motion meanwhile sourced the “in-flight entertainment systems” of the world’s major airlines from Hollywood’s copyright controllers.21 Through these content licensing deals, Hollywood partners up with profit-oriented TV networks, theatre chains and digital streaming companies operating in other countries (and sometimes above them), and turns them into dutiful transmission belts for the films it owns.

The fourth strategy that Hollywood relies upon to integrate non-US film industries is the global blockbuster, which studios design to sell to viewers from many different countries, not only those in the US. In the mid-1990s, the worldwide box office typically accounted for less than half of a Hollywood blockbuster’s total take. The first time worldwide box office revenues for studio movies surpassed the North American box office was in 1997, and this was due to the global returns of Titanic (70% of the total gross came from the worldwide box office), Men in Black (57%) and The Lost World: Jurassic Park (63%). Since the early 2000s, Hollywood studios have expected that 40% of a film’s total gross will come from the North American box office and the other 60% will accrue from ticket sales all over the world. Today, Hollywood makes most of its money from worldwide ticket sales. For example, 23.7% of Avatar’s (2009) total gross came from North American box office while 72.7% came from the world; 61% of Jurassic World’s (2015) total gross came from theatre chains around the world while 39% was accumulated from North American theatre chains; 54.7% of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) from the world; 45.3% from North America. Hollywood’s major studios strive to rule the worldwide box office, and this is a significant factor when they conceptualize new movies and get them greenlighted.

Hollywood’s power over transnational production, distribution, and exhibition chains supports the global reach of its films. And the complex transnational ownership, production, and distribution-exhibition partnerships between Hollywood and film industries around the world deepen their integration. Yet, Hollywood studios do not force viewers around the world to watch their films. People all over the world frequently choose to watch Hollywood films and often enjoy them, sometimes much more than those released by homegrown film industries. This is due in part to Hollywood’s success at designing globally popular blockbuster event films as opposed to distinctly “American” films. Heeding the “cultural discount”—the notion that a film that exclusively represents one national culture and which is originally intended for one national audience will have diminished appeal elsewhere—Hollywood creates blockbuster films intended to address a multi-national as opposed to national audience. As the former president of Walt Disney’s Motion Pictures Group Mark Zoradi says: “no studio head is going to make a big expensive movie that costs $150 million or $200 million unless it has worldwide appeal.”22 Hollywood studios ensure the texts of these blockbusters downplay nationality and play up globality by casting international stars (not just US talent), drawing from already familiar stories or (myths, legends, and books that are already known by a large number of people), mixing genres (adventure, action, fantasy and science fiction), abiding by classical narrative structures (story formulas that are conventional and easy to follow and identify with), conveying universal or global themes (as opposed to themes particular to US society), and generating plenty of visual spectacle and special effects (dazzling images and “wow” sequences are privileged over dialogue-rich storytelling).

For example, in the first decade of the twenty-first century, the highest-grossing Hollywood films worldwide were not explicitly about American people, places, and cultures: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Avatar (2009), Jurassic World (2015), The Avengers (2012), The Dark Knight (2008), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), Beauty and the Beast (2017), Finding Dory (2016), and, Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). While a few of these globally popular and profitable blockbusters briefly represent US people, geography, and culture, many of them downplay distinctive American characteristics in order to have cross-border or trans-national resonance. By creating global blockbusters like these, Hollywood interpellates and integrates a world audience.

Conclusion: Hollywood’s Cultural Imperialism, continued

In the early 21st century, Hollywood majors are at the centre of a global entertainment imperium. By integrating other film industries and cultures into cross-border film commodity chains, they enhance their power. Hollywood incorporates non-US film industries by merging with or acquiring to own them, by coordinating cross-border productions, administering content licensing deals, and by designing global blockbusters that address a trans-national as opposed to distinctly American audience.

For the near future, Hollywood will continue to exert the greatest influence over the ownership, production, distribution, exhibition and content of the most globally popular and profitable films in the world. Non-US film companies, though economically and culturally significant in their own countries, do not currently rival Hollywood. For now, the US still exports a far greater number of films to the world than it imports from it. Though multi-directional film flows are growing, especially in the digital media age, they should not be misconstrued as reciprocal flows between the US and other countries. In conclusion, Hollywood cultural imperialism continues, but it relies upon relations of persuasive capitalist integration, not coercive cultural domination.

Michael Cieply, “Hollywood Works to Maintain Its World Dominance,” The New York Times, November 3, 2014: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/04/business/media/hollywood-works-to-maintain-its-world-dominance.html


2 Stephen Galloway, “How Hollywood Conquered the World (All Over Again),” Foreign Policy, February 24 2012: http://foreignpolicy.com/2012/02/24/how-hollywood-conquered-the-world-all-over-again/


3 Box Office Mojo, “Worldwide Grosses,” October 1, 2017: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/alltime/world/


4 Fortune 500, “Global 500 List: Entertainment,” Fortune, December 1, 2017: http://fortune.com/global500/list/filtered?fortune500-y-n=true&industry=Entertainment


5 Mark Sweney, “Disney breaks $7bn global box office record for 2016,” The Guardian, December 16, 2016: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/dec/20/walt-disney-sets-7bn-box-office-record-2016-star-wars-rogue-one https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/dec/20/walt-disney-sets-7bn-box-office-record-2016-star-wars-rogue-one


6 Motion Picture Association of America, “Theatrical Market Statistics 2016,” March 1, 2017: https://www.mpaa.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/MPAA-Theatrical-Market-Statistics-2016_Final.pdf


7 Stuart Kemp, “BRIC Box Office Revenue to Match North America by 2017, Forecast Says,” The Hollywood Reporter, March 21, 2013: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/bric-box-office-revenue-match-430196


8 PTI, “The 5 films that helped Hollywood beat Bollywood at 2016’s Indian BO.” The Hindustan Times, June 6, 2016: http://www.hindustantimes.com/hollywood/the-5-films-that-helped-hollywood-beat-bollywood-at-2016-s-indian-bo/story-9DZukBWxdNswMQX6rXIb7K.html


9 Boyd van Hoeij, “France Box Office 2015: Hollywood Tentpoles Reclaim Dominance,” The Hollywood Reporter, December 22, 2015: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/france-box-office-2015-hollywood-849373


10 Government of Canada, “Canadian films’ share of the box office revenues” 2001-2015,” May 27, 2016, http://canada.pch.gc.ca/eng/1464190351879


11 Herbert Schiller, Communication and Cultural Domination (White Plains, NY : International Arts and Sciences Press, 1976), 9.


12 Schiller, 16.


13 David Harvey, The New Imperialism (New York: Oxford, 2003).


14 Joseph Nye, Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics (Toronto: HarperCollins, 2004).


15 Dallas Smythe, Dependency Road: Communications, Capitalism, Consciousness, and Canada (Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1981).


16 Manjunath Pendakur, Canadian Dreams and American Control: The Political Economy of the Canadian Film Industry (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990).


17 Dal Yong Jin, “Transforming the Global Film Industries: Horizontal Integration and Vertical Concentration amid Neoliberal Globalization,” International Communication Gazette 74.5 (2012): 405–22.


18 Toby Miller, “The New International Division of Cultural Labor Revisited,” Icono 14 (2016): 97-121.


19 Rob Cain, ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Wows India With 32 Cr./$4.9M Weekend, Hollywood’s 2nd Best India Debut This Year,” Forbes, November 5, 2017: https://www.forbes.com/sites/robcain/2017/11/05/thor-ragnarok-wows-india-with-32-cr-4-9m-weekend-hollywoods-2nd-best-debut-there-this-year/#36307ade15c7


20 Trefis Team, “Here’s What Netflix Needs to Succeed in International Markets,” Forbes, August 26, 2016: https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2016/08/26/heres-what-netflix-needs-to-succeed-in-international-markets/#4cb4778


21 Stuart Kemp, “In-Flight Entertainment: Cinemas In The Sky,” ScreenDaily, May 9, 2016: https://www.screendaily.com/features/in-flight-entertainment-cinemas-in-the-sky/5103540.article


22 Lauren Schuker, “Plot Change: Foreign Forces Transform Hollywood Films,” The Wall Street Journal, August 2, 2010: https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704913304575371394036766312

Tanner Mirrlees

Contributing Writer

Tanner Mirrlees is an associate professor in the Communication and Digital Media Studies Program at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. He is author of Hearts and Mines: The US Empire’s Culture Industry and Global Entertainment Media: Between Cultural Imperialism and Cultural Globalization, and is co-editor of The Television Reader.

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