Chinese movie stars face salary restrictions

01/07/2018

China’s tax officials have handed some of its biggest domestic stars a pay cut.

 

A-listers can’t earn more than 70% of the full cast, or be paid more than 40% of production costs, an announcement disseminated last week said.

In the announcement, Chinese tax officials accused the country’s film producers of being too money focused and distorting social values.

According to the New York Times, Chinese media has accused some of its biggest stars of receiving two contracts — one reporting much less than the star actually earned for a given period of work. The two differing documents, known as “yin and yang contracts,” are reportedly a means for celebrities to avoid high taxes.

 

A-listers can’t earn more than 70% of the full cast, or be paid more than 40% of production costs, an announcement disseminated last week said.

 

The decision to curb celeb salaries arrives as China’s film industry continues to grow and thrive.

Movie tickets in China brought in around $8 billion last year, compared with $11 billion for the North American market, the Times reported.

One of China’s most well-known actresses, Fan Binbing, reportedly earned a whopping $17 million in 2016, rivaling A-list western celebs like Mila Kunis and Emma Watson. Kunis earned a reported $15.5 million in 2017, while Watson raked in $14 million, according to a Forbes report.

 

One of China’s most well-known actresses, Fan Binbing, reportedly earned a whopping $17 million in 2016, rivaling A-list western celebs like Mila Kunis and Emma Watson.

 

As China’s film consumption continues to grow, buoyed by a growing middle class, Hollywood producers have begun catering to its tastes and regulations. It has also begun including Chinese stars in films destined for the international market. Fan had small roles in “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and a version of “Iron Man 3,” the Times pointed out.

Chinese regulators also restrict certain themes, such as crime being shown in a positive light or overt spirituality. Hollywood has begun complying with those regulations in order to access the vast Chinese market, according to the Times.

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