Former United States Ambassador to France (from 2009 to 2013), then Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Commercial Affairs in the United States until January 2017, Charles Rivkin has chaired the Motion Picture Association of America since that date. (MPAA). This association, created in 1922, brings together the five Hollywood studios as well as Netflix, and promotes the interests of the American film and television industry. He bluntly denounces the difficulties of access for American studios in China.
The Hollywood film industry is coming out of the health crisis very weak, with box office receipts of 4.5 billion dollars (4 billion euros), down 60% compared to 2019. -he ?
This is true compared to “pre-pandemic” levels, but our industry has weathered the crisis. Our government has taken measures to reduce losses, set up emergency funds and financial aid. The MPAA has helped the industry secure small business loans, unemployment benefits, on-set insurance, and campaigns to get viewers back to theaters. Today, production has restarted. As for the supposed poor health of the sector, the producers of Spider-Man wouldn’t agree: this film has already made $1.8 billion at the box office, a sign that audiences are coming back to the cinema. This gives a sense of hope that business will resume.
After Netflix, will Amazon join the MPAA? Platform integration is the major shift in your mandate, but isn’t that just bringing the wolf into the fold?
Who is the sheep, who is the wolf? Members of the MPAA are Disney, Paramount, NBCUniversal, Warner Brothers, Sony and Netflix. Studios are looking to compete with Netflix with their own streaming services. On many points, they are alike. All of them are content creators and several also distribute their programs via streaming to subscribers. I don’t think the image of the wolf in the fold is correct. At the MPAA, we protect works and their creators. We are screen agnostic. Extraordinary films can be projected on a giant screen in 3D Imax or watched from a sofa.
Since the Lumière brothers, cinema has always been faced with challenges, between the arrival of talkies, the creation of Imax, 3D, video… With the pandemic, our industry has shown itself to be extremely resilient, and we continue to reinvent ourselves. For me, Netflix is what allowed me to see The Bureau of Legends, Arsène Lupin Where Ten percent in the USA. France is also developing its culture thanks in part to streaming. It’s very positive.
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