China Pits Hollywood Blockbusters Against Each Other

The 3D space epic Gravity made $35.5 million over its first weekend in China. Catching Fire, the second in the Hunger Games franchise opened two days later. The China Film Group says it does that to "create a space for domestic movies to survive and grow."

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, some Hollywood blockbusters are finding huge success with Chinese moviegoers - for now. Our Last Word In Business is showdown.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The 3-D space epic "Gravity" has already broken records in China, making $35.5 million over its first weekend there. Enter "Catching Fire," the second in the "Hunger Games" action franchise. Its opening in China was just two days after "Gravity's," which is no accident. The China Film Group strategically pits Hollywood blockbusters against one another by releasing films at the same time.

GREENE: Last year, the group's deputy head told state media it does this to, quote, "create a space for domestic movies to survive and grow." Now, "Gravity" did beat out "Catching Fire" in China this weekend. Overall, though, there was more hunger worldwide for "Catching Fire." It raked in over $300 million this weekend, earning the top spot in nearly every market - mockingjay power.

That is the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

INSKEEP: And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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