With China's increasingly globalized economy and Hollywood's notorious role in the global culture industry, scholars are taking particular interest in the effect of transnational commodification on Chinese culture. This paper studies the relationship between Hollywood and the Chinese culture industry, using China's reception of the 1998 film Titanic as a case study to explore the complex institutions at play in the production, distribution, consumption and reception of Hollywood films in postsocialist China. In terms of box office revenue, Titanic remains one of the most successful films ever released in China. This paper argues that Titanic resonated with Chinese audiences not only due to elements of globalization -such as transnational capitalism and Hollywood's hegemony distribution model- but also because the film reflects themes consistent with class consciousness rooted in recent Chinese history as well as individualism in youth culture today. This exploration of the Titanic phenomenon in China also highlights the role of transnational commodification in culture-making. Furthermore, this paper explores how commercial successes like Titanic in China paved the way for the dominance of co-productions (strategic joint productions between Hollywood and Chinese studios), which now dominate the Chinese film market and blur the lines of cultural origin.
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