Gulliver in Lilliput
There is Hollywood running an industry with $29 billions of BO revenue.
And then, there are every other countries in the world, struggling to make ends meet with around $1 billion... and in most cases : less than $200 millions a year (without even reinvesting all this money back in their own films, since the largest share of domestic BO directly goes to Hollywood). Can you see a problem in the balance of the global industry now?
Even among the most conservative Hollywood lovers (who are aware of foreign cinema!), it would pain me if anyone found this financial situation to reflect the actual value of Hollywood cinema in comparison to any other non-American national cinema.
Do Hollywood films deserve to get the largest share of the cake, the top spot? Probably, yes. For a combination of mass appeal and an undeniable academic professionalism in their production.
Now, do Hollywood films deserve to get over 30 times more admissions in the world than the best European industries, and up to 300 times for the smaller, yet more creative, Asian or Latin-American industries... Is a Hollywood film really 30 to 300 times more universal, more appealing, more commercial, more populist, more entertaining than ANY other mainstream film in a non-English language? Let alone the comparison on an aesthetic level.
How can you produce/distribute competitive films on the commercial/international circuit with 300 times less BO revenues??? Come on...
Sorry, I do not think the quality of the "Hollywood system" and its star factory alone could justify such a monopoly (lockdown) of the global cinema circuit, blockading any cultural exchange and the prosperity of local industries. This is not solely due to the "free market". There is more than star fascination, big budget, special effects and entertainment, to "force" moviegoers to systematically go for the Hollywood flick instead of anything else. This monopoly is aggressively engineered by informal regulations and isolationist mentalities, against what the natural/free choice of the crowd under normal circumstances.
And any true film lover shall seek to elevate the average film taste, educate the consumers by all means, and get the system to accept more diversity, more respect for a DECENT MARGIN reserved for art films (that nobody wants to see) even if it is not PROFITABLE, for the sake of world film culture.
- Focus 2010 - Tendences du marché mondial, Marché du film, Cannes 2010 (Observatoire Européen de l'Audiovisuel) [PDF]
- Theatrical Report 2009 PDF (MPAA)