Tag Archives: China

Matt Damon’s ‘The Great Wall’ to Lose $75 Million

matt-damon

Too bad, so sad…

From Hollywood Reporter: The collapse of The Great Wall at the domestic box office (it has made $34.8 million in North America) has iced any notion of a significant future for U.S.-China co-productions. The movie likely will end up with losses of more than $75 million, sources say, and Universal Pictures will be on the hook for at least $10 million.

The studio funded about 25 percent of the film’s $150 million production budget, the rest coming in equal parts from Legendary Entertainment, China Film Group and Le Vision Pictures. But Universal also covered Wall’s global marketing expenses, conservatively estimated at $80 million-plus. The film earned $171 million in China (a disappointment) and is expected to top out at about $320 million globally. That’s way less than investors had anticipated for the biggest-ever U.S.-China co-production. “The fusion of the No. 1 and No. 2 movie markets in the world will eventually happen, but it is a misfire, domestically speaking,” says box-office analyst Jeff Bock. Adds one Hollywood executive who has dealt extensively with China, “There’s no question but that it’s a failure.”

The good news for Universal is that its share of this failure will be relatively modest. The studio gets to collect a roughly 10 percent distribution fee from all theatrical revenue (between 40 percent and 50 percent of the total box office), and box-office rentals likely will recoup much, if not all, of its marketing outlay before other investors dip into whatever money is left to cut into production costs. The four partners will split any further theatrical income equally.

If the movie generates hoped-for ancillary revenue (including $20 million from domestic home entertainment and as much as $40 million from international home entertainment, with $25 million to $30 million from TV — admittedly, a best-case scenario), that will further stanch the red ink.

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Advertisements

China fights masculinity ‘crisis’ with new textbook for boys

super-junior

A bad influence: South Korean boy band Super Junior

Pajama Boy, SJWs, and feminazis do not approve.

From Fox News: China is apparently concerned that its boys are becoming too effeminate. The country’s solution: a masculinity-promoting school textbook called Little Men, aimed for use in grades 4 and 5.

The illustrated book talks about fathers and sons, and it encourages boys to stress their masculine side, with money management and other ostensibly guy-geared topics thrown in.

NBC News reports the concern is widespread and that citizens blame the “gender crisis” on everything from too much homework (and too little physical activity), to being spoiled rotten by parents allowed just one child. “Girls are becoming more like boys while the boys are becoming more like girls, introvert[ed] and shy,” one parent complains.

An English-language newspaper in China blamed the perceived problem on “effeminate” actors and pop stars in Japanese and Korean culture.

The new six-chapter textbook was printed in December by Shanghai Educational Publishing House and has already been given a test drive in some schools. The idea is that boys will be taught from the book during class, while girls won’t take the course, reports the South China Morning Post.

Anthropologist Tiantian Zheng tells NBC the concern about masculinity is seen as a priority among government officials, and she suggests that all-male middle schools could result.

DCG

Alibaba aims to create a million US jobs with Trump’s help

maga

From NY Post: President-elect Donald Trump made an appearance with Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, Monday — and expressed unreserved confidence in his own Cabinet picks.

“Jack and I are going to do great things — small business,” Trump said, towering over Ma in the lobby of Trump Tower. Trump praised the Chinese businessman, saying, “He loves this country and he loves China.”

“I do, China, and I love America,” Ma said, in total agreement.

Asked about a variety of topics — like the intelligence briefing on Russia hacking he received Friday — Trump demurred. “We’ll talk to you about that at another time,” the president-elect said, referring to a planned press conference Wednesday.

“We had a great meeting. It’s jobs,” Trump said, turning the conversation back to his meeting with Ma, who built Alibaba into a forceful Web sales platform. “Jack and I are going to do some great things.”

Ma told reporters that the two discussed allowing US products such as “garments, wine and fruit” to be sold on the Alibaba platform. CNBC reported that Alibaba wants to create 1 million jobs in the US over the next five years. The company had 36,446 full time employees as of March 32, according to SEC filings.

Ma also said that the discussion included talk on the need for China and US to improve their relationship.

Asked about his pending Cabinet picks — some of which will sit for public confirmation hearings later this week on Capitol Hill — Trump was bullish. “Confirmation is going great. I think they’ll all pass,” said the president-elect, praising in particular his selection for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).

DCG

Stanley Black & Decker to open U.S. plant after Trump’s ‘border tax’ threat

maga

From USA Today: Stanley Black & Decker said Thursday that it would open a new $35 million manufacturing plant in the U.S. after acquiring the Craftsman tool brand from ailing retailer Sears Holdings.

Expanding American manufacturing makes “business sense” amid “pervasive” uncertainty regarding the future of U.S. trade with China and Mexico, Stanley Black & Decker CEO James Loree told investors Thursday in a conference call.

Although he did not mention Donald Trump by name in his remarks to investors, Loree’s comments had all the hallmarks of an effort to inoculate his company from the possible effects of the president-elect’s threatened “border tax.”

“We view it sort of as one of several political movements, or concepts, that really drive us to this concept of make-where-we-sell,” Loree said. “It’s going to be advisable to have more manufacturing in the U.S.”

Stanley Black & Decker has about 3,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs today, up 800 from three years ago, according to a company presentation. It was not immediately clear how many jobs the company plans to add.

Loree said the location of the new manufacturing plant to produce Craftsman products has not yet been determined. The company currently operates 29 total U.S. plants.

About a half century ago, the Craftsman brand was primarily made in America. Today it’s largely made overseas, Loree said. “We believe this is an excellent opportunity to re-Americanize and revitalize this legendary brand,” he told investors.

In addition to the threat of trade policies that could damage imports, manufacturing products in the U.S. to sell to American consumers reduces logistics and distribution costs and lowers the company’s environmental footprint, Loree said. “It makes good business sense for us,” he said.

Stanley Black & Decker paid about $900 million to acquire Craftsman from Sears, which is closing stores and selling assets in a bid to stay afloat following a series of steep losses. About 90% of Craftsman products are sold in Sears stores, but Stanley Black & Decker plans to expand production and sales to other retailers and business channels.

Stanley Black & Decker shares rose 3.5% to $120.54 shortly after the opening bell Thursday.

DCG

Trump Stock Rally Leaving Big Media-Entertainment Behind

The most-biased, left-leaning companies are not thriving? Gee, I wonder why…

trump-and-us-media

From Hollywood Reporter: The Donald Trump election rally that’s sent the Dow Jones Industrial average hurtling toward an all-time high of 20,000 has left behind one key industry: big media conglomerates.

The president-elect has spent the election railing against television news giants like CNN and even right-leaning Fox News Channel. And Wall Street appears to be listening now that the real-estate mogul is heading to the White House. Of the 50 entertainment/media stocks tracked by The Hollywood Reporter, 36 of them lag the 9 percent gain made by the blue-chip index ahead of Friday’s potential record-breaking open.

While it’s tough to say there’s an exact correlation between Trump’s criticism of media and falling stock prices, experts say there are some legitimate concerns for the sector — as well as some lucrative opportunities — under a Trump presidency.

“Media and technology have underperformed because Trump wasn’t exactly favorable to leaders of those industries, so perhaps his policies will reflect that,” said Michael Kramer, founder and portfolio manager of Mott Capital Management. “He has been very critical of media. Obviously, the bad-mouthing hurts.”

trump-and-crooked-media

On the flipside, Steven Birenberg of Northlake Capital Management predicts that a lucrative business environment under Trump will help a variety of industries and it’s only a matter of time before media-entertainment catches up. The FCC, Justice Department and IRS could all adopt a more business-friendly, merger-friendly posture, which would keep stocks humming under Trump, he says.

Among Birenberg’s favorite stocks, all of which he owns shares of, are Comcast and Charter Communications, two of the major players in cable television.

“Cable is a big winner under Trump as net neutrality could go away. At least the odds of the FCC enforcing any price caps on broadband will go away,” says Birenberg, who did not support Trump. “I despise the man … but when it comes to managing my clients’ money, my fiduciary responsibility is to do what is best for them, so if Trump helps out media and entertainment stocks, I’ve got to take advantage.”

He also likes video game publishers Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard due to the transition to digital downloads and in-game purchases, as well as Live Nation Entertainment, the giant concert promoter that also operates Ticketmaster. “The concert industry is booming globally,” he says.

Trump has been beating the drum against what he considers unfair trade deals with China, and among the biggest losers since the election is Alibaba. The massive Chinese new-media company that is co-producing films with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners is off 7 percent since the election.

Another laggard since Nov. 8 is Facebook, down 3 percent. The social networking giant has been under fire from the left for promoting “fake news” and from the right for allegedly pushing negative stories about conservatives and positive ones about liberals.

Also lagging are some theater operators, most notably Regal Entertainment Group, down 7 percent, and Cinemark Holdings, off 3 percent. Movie theaters, though, are expected to get a boost from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which could open this weekend to as much as $350 million globally.

Kramer says the Trump rally has mostly benefited bank, energy and infrastructure stocks, and he suspects it won’t last. “It’s all about tax reform, deregulation and infrastructure and deficit spending under Trump, and those are all pro-growth policies,” he said. “The market is forward-thinking, but it doesn’t know what the actual policies will be, so the rally may fizzle.”

Beyond a Trump effect (perceived or real), there are plenty of issues plaguing individual companies. Disney, for example, will score big with Rogue One, but it lost 2 million ESPN subscribers in the fiscal year ending Oct. 1. As for Viacom, it remains to be seen what new CEO Bob Bakish can do to turn around the Paramount film studio as well as cable channel MTV. And 21st Century Fox was hit by a downgrade Monday by Telsey Advisory Group, which predicts the Rupert Murdoch-controlled company will have to fight European regulators over its planned $14.1 billion acquisition of the 61 percent of British satellite TV service Sky that it doesn’t already own.

Read the whole story here.

maga

DCG

West Must Help China Build ‘New World Order’?

NWO

China’s Place in the New World Economic Order … Competition between the world’s two greatest economic powers is both inevitable and (for the most part) beneficial. This is the case even when China and the U.S. are arguing over control of increasingly obsolescent international financial institutions. – Bloomberg

Dominant Social Theme: The New World Order is coming to town?

Free-Market Analysis: It used to be those who used the phrase “New World Order” were derided as conspiracy theorists. So what do we call Bloomberg now that its lead editorial for Friday trumpets the term?

The editorial – penned by Bloomberg’s editorial board – makes the point that US opposition to China’s new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is counterproductive.

Instead of opposing efforts by Western powers to support China’s version of the World Bank, the US ought to be “pushing harder to carry out financial reforms” that will make its own facilities (like the Asian Development Bank) more efficacious and fair.

More:

China’s effort to start the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank grows more popular by the day, despite U.S. resistance to the idea. The question is no longer whether the bank will fulfill an unmet need, but how best to ensure that it contributes to Asian growth — and, not incidentally, draws China more deeply into the global financial order.

Now that the U.K. and several other European countries have joined the bank, holdouts such as Australia and South Korea are almost certain to jump in. This counts as a soft-power victory for China over the U.S., which reportedly lobbied allies not to sign up. But Washington largely has itself to blame.

The editorial goes on to say that European eagerness to cooperate with the AIIB is more pragmatic than idealistic. Meanwhile, “American opposition to any new source of financing looks churlish and hypocritical. ”

We wrote about this issue just the other day in an analysis entitled, “Real Reason for the Asian Investment Bank – and Western Participation.

Right now the creation of this new bank is being positioned as stemming from disenchantment with Washington. But over time it will be seen that China – Asia and perhaps Russia, too – are creating an entirely separate financial infrastructure.

Yet it is not one – despite current reports – intent on shutting out Western interests. The West, for instance, is now a big part of the initial creation of the Asian bank. In fact, the City of London itself, perhaps the most powerful Western financial player, is also significantly involved.

If the plan is to build and then merge a bipolar system, it certainly makes sense that the West would have significant interests in the new facility as well as the old one. The merger is presumably a ways off, but preparations are being made …

The Bloomberg article would seem to confirm our analysis, as it advocates that Washington engage China’s new bank and respond to it by making the appropriate reforms in its own facilities. This includes allowing China and others a greater say in the operations of the World Bank and IMF.

Indeed, this is surely how financial realities are reconfigured and a “new world order” is ushered in. The motivating mechanism is the dialectic itself. Now that China has created its own international funding facility, the Western world must respond. The eventual outcome is a merger of the two opposing sides: Hence, Bloomberg’s use of the term “new world order.”

The Bloomberg editorial also advocates that it is “advantageous” to have “US allies at the table.” It even suggests that the new bank “adopt the debt sustainability framework promoted by the IMF and World Bank.”

Thus we can see that even though China is developing a new facility, its profile may resemble the West’s current international lending structures.

The language being used in the Bloomberg article is certainly deliberate and likely intended to send a message. Now that China (the BRICs actually) has emerged as one pole of a newly emplaced dialectic, the construction of a “new order” can begin in earnest.

Conclusion:

Did “conspiracy theorists” have a point all along?

– See more at: THE DAILY BELL

Dir. of U.S. Navy Intelligence sacked for warning about China’s aggressive designs in East China Sea

Obama’s purge of military officers continues. The latest: the director of the U.S. Navy Intelligence — because he actually told the truth about China.

See also:

Consortium of Defense Analysts

Capt. James FanellCapt. James Fanell

In February of this year, at the U.S. Naval Institute’s WEST 2014 conference, Capt. James Fanell, 52, the director of intelligence and information operations at U.S. Pacific Fleet, said that the Chinese Navy was practicing for a “short sharp war” against Japan.

According to Fanell, the PLA Navy had been carrying out amphibious assault drills to practice taking territory in the East China Sea, specifically the Senkaku or Diaoyu islands that are claimed by both Japan and China. Once the uninhabited islands come under Chinese control, the PLA could then attack Okinawa to remove the facilities of the US Air Force and Marine Corps from the island. (See my post “U.S. Navy intelligence chief: China training for a quick war against Japan”)

Fanell also stated that China is at the center of virtually every maritime territorial dispute in the Asia-Pacific and that the Chinese were engaging in…

View original post 754 more words