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FROM THIS EPISODE

Bill Borden got his start in Hollywood as Mel Brooks' assistant. A veteran producer, his credits include the Disney Channel mega-hit, High School Musical. But he's also spent a lot of time in China, collaborating with directors like Stephen Chow, whose film The Mermaid is China's biggest box office hit ever. China is adding new screens at a furious pace and young people there still love to go to the movies. Producer Bill Borden tells us about Hollywood's quest to tap into the massive Chinese box office.

Photo: Producer Bill Borden, Courtesy of Maxine Leonard Marketing & Publicity

Producers:
Kaitlin Parker

Hollywood News Banter 6 MIN, 43 SEC

Matt Belloni, executive editor of the Hollywood Reporter joins Kim Masters to discuss top entertainment news stories of the week.

  • NBCUniversal bought DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion. This means DWA founder Jeffrey Katzenberg gets a huge payday, but will have to step away from running the company. He'll now serve as chairman of DreamWorks New Media.
  • Disney is mega-strong at the box office right now, and likely for years to come. Their recent Jungle Book live action film has been a huge hit, and now they've announced a sequel that could land in theaters before Warner Bros releases their own version of The Jungle Book. Adaptations of fairy tales by other studios like Universal's The Huntsman and Warner Bro's Pan have been flops, and the buzz around the upcoming Tarzan, also Warner Bros, is not looking good. Disney, meanwhile, has announced multiple live action fairy tales into the next several years. 

Guests:
Matthew Belloni, Hollywood Reporter, Billboard (@THRMattBelloni)

Bill Borden on Filmmaking in China 20 MIN, 42 SEC

It's only a matter of months before China passes the US to become the biggest market for movies in the world. 

Considering that last year China added 22 new movie screens every day, it's obvious: there's money to be made and US producers are eager to get their hands on as much of it as possible.

The Chinese authorities aren't so eager to help, favoring home grown productions over American movies. At this point, the biggest film in Chinese history is one that you may not have heard of -- a comedy-fantasy-romance with a message. Directed by Stephen Chow, The Mermaid tells the story of a group of mer-people who join forces against a greedy industrialist who's been polluting their grotto.

Bill Borden served as a consulting producer on The Mermaid, which has made more than $500 million in eight weeks at the Chinese box office. Borden spends about half his time in Shanghai and has a great deal of experience making movies there and in the US.

Borden tells us why Hollywood is finding it so tough to get its hands on Chinese money. And he talks about a career path that took him from working as Mel Brooks' assistant to creating Disney's worldwide mega-hit High School Musical.

Guests:
Bill Borden, veteran movie producer (@bbordenproducer)

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