Tired of 3-D Movies? Blame China.

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

This is from the “things I did not know” file:

China has become the second-biggest movie market behind the U.S., with sales of $2.7 billion last year….The government allows in only 34 foreign films per year for national distribution. At least 14 of them have to be made in 3-D or for the big-screen Imax format.

Really? A minimum of 14 foreign movies have to be in 3-D or Imax? How about that. And while we’re on the subject, the same story passes along this tidbit:

“2012” movie was a hit in China with a plot that was gold for patriotic Chinese audiences: As the Earth’s core overheats, world leaders build an ark in the mountains of central China to house people and animals that can repopulate the planet. Scenes from the nearly three-hour movie feature a U.S. military officer saying that only the Chinese could build an ark of such a scale so quickly.

It was seen in China as a refreshing change for audiences after decades of unflattering portrayals of the communist nation in Hollywood movies.

Hmmm. It’s true that a US military officer says this. But as I recall, the reason that only China could build the arks is because it has an autocratic government that can brutally depopulate entire villages without enduring any pesky questions from legislators or the media. Does anyone know if this particular bit of exposition survived in the Chinese version of the film? Or did it end up on the cutting room floor?


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend