Think China isn't really America's rival? Just look at the box office.

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It might come as a surprise to learn that two of this summer's movie blockbusters have China to thank for their successes. "The Meg", a Chinese-American co-production, raked in $467 million to date— surpassing the box office success of films like "Solo: a Star Wars Film." Sure, "Solo" underperformed, but outdoing a Star Wars film is still a mighty achievement. And "Crazy Rich Asians," the best-performing romantic comedy in a decade, was built on the strength of its' unexpected cross-demographic appeal. These are merely the two latest examples of the meteoric rise of Chinese influence in the movie industry. And the shifting geography of the movie industry is just further proof of China's move toward the spotlight on the global stage.

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Increasingly, American blockbusters are reliant on the Chinese moviegoer. This summer saw record numbers for Hollywood's top performing films––but "Avengers: Infinity War," "Mission Impossible," "Ant-Man and The Wasp," and "The Incredibles 2" all owe their success to being hits in China. The domestic gross of most movies usually accounts for 30-50 percent of its total revenue. The international gross accounts for the other half, and China now accounts for nearly half of any non-domestic revenue. For instance, the underperformance of"Solo" in China doomed the film to be a financial failure. As a result, casting in Hollywood has been shifted, with Chinese stars like Donnie Yen and Fan Bingbing cast in immense franchises like Star Wars and X-Men in an attempt to make headlines in China.

Meanwhile, Americans have had almost nothing to do with the meteoric success of Chinese blockbusters. Mammoths like "Wolf Warrior 2" earned $870 million last year––more than "Thor: Ragnarok" and "Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2." Yet only $2 million of that amount was made in America. These aren't the only successes. Since 2010, 31 films from China have broken $100 million at the box office. Of those, only 13 of those films grossed one million dollars in the US, and only one film, "The Meg," broke $100 million. In other words, Chinese films perform miserably in America, yet boast incredible global market success. Major financial stumbles like "Asura", the most expensive Chinese film in history that was pulled from theatres after only a week, seem like hiccups instead of signs of weakness.

From a political standpoint, China's film industry is certainly worth watching.

From a political standpoint, China's film industry is certainly worth watching. Our own status as a cultural superpower is intrinsically tied to the power of our cultural exports. Jazz, for instance, was pivotal in Cold War Diplomacy. America would send jazz musicians to Soviet satellite nations to expose them to American culture and inspire ideological allies inside these countries. Jazz, centered musically around the tension between structure and improvisation, was a perfect metaphor for communicating America's relationship with democracy and freedom. China clearly understands the power of art in communicating cultural values, which is part of why only around 34 foreign films are allowed into the Chinese market by the Communist Party of China, minimizing the influence of foreign ideologies within the Chinese state

When it comes to international relations, this is pivotal. Music, books, films, and art are the most influential agents of cultural values. The greatest testament to American values are books like "To Kill a Mockingbird," the music of N.W.A, the films of Steven Spielberg, and the art of Georgia O'Keeffe. These works center around equality under the law, civil rights, freedom of speech and conscience, and individualism. China, as it rises in economic, political, and military might, will need to spread Chinese values in order to win over allies and have other nations accommodate China as a superpower. The Chinese film industry is currently China's best bet in spreading its own national values, such as harmony and filial piety.

The British Empire and the Soviet Union were two other major powers that have used culture to help solidify the values of the political class. Britain spent hundreds of years artistically creating the notion of empire, seen in the works like "H.M.S. Pinafore" and the literature of Rudyard Kipling. The Soviet Union used art to propagandize socialist values of the state through the posters of Dmitry Moor and literature of Mikhail Sholokhov. Both of them managed to effectively propagandize their own legitimacy as superpowers through the cultural ambassadorship of their artistic works.

As China increasingly flexes its military and economic muscles internationally, the Chinese film industry reflects these global changes, resulting in the massive success of films like "Wolf Warrior 2". If Americans want to know how China views its global status, looking at the box office can be one of the best ways. As the US and China enter a trade war and start jockeying for global positioning, America needs to be careful to not lose one of its most celebrated industries to its ascendant rival.

Christian Thrailkill is a musician, graduate of Southern Methodist University, and a Young Voices contributor. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

We've finally heard some news on the migrant caravan. Some of the migrants have given up and gone back home, but some are still there waiting at the border. A leader representing the group has decided to step forward, and he's made out a list of... demands. Remember when I said back in October that this caravan was originally formed as a Leftist act against the Honduran government by people with ties to Venezuela and Cuba? Well what do you know… wait until you hear who this guy is.

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Alfonso Guerrero personally walked into the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana, Mexico with a list of demands from the caravan. Get a load of this. The caravan is demanding that if they're not granted immediate asylum they want the following:

  1. Fifty thousand dollars in cash for every caravan member (which would be a total of tens of millions).
  2. The immediate removal of all U.S. economic and military assets in Honduras.

Failure to comply to these demands will result in the caravan continuing to try and penetrate the U.S. border.

I mean, if you're trying to appear like some grassroots movement for migrants that are just escaping the dangers of their own country, you might want to - oh I don't know - tone down the crazy Leftist freedom fighter schtick. I'm just saying. Demanding millions of dollars AND the removal of the U.S. military from Honduras kinda just screams, "Hey check me out. I'm a Marxist terrorist." It would have been basically the same thing if he just charged up to the embassy wearing a beret and shouted "Viva la Revolution!!" while firing off an RPG.

Well, it turns out this isn't the first time Mr Guerrero has tried to claim asylum. Back in 1987 he claimed asylum in Mexico after being suspected by the Honduran and U.S. government for - wait for it - left wing terrorism… Jeez, you know you really can't make this stuff up. This is INSANE. Here's the story…

This is ridiculous. Can we all now agree that this entire charade is a fraudulent scam?

In 1987 Honduras was ground zero for U.S. and Soviet proxy forces fighting the Cold War. The Contra rebels were actually based there, and leftists terrorists would sometimes carry out operations in the country in response. On August 8th a bomb was thrown into the China Palace restaurant, just a few miles from the U.S. military base in Honduras. Six American soldiers were injured in the blast. Alfonso Guerrero was the primary suspect. He escaped to Mexico and claimed asylum. The Reagan Administration charged the Mexican government for quote "harboring a terrorist" for granting Guerrero protection.

But all the caravan wants is a better life in the United States… oh and millions of dollars AND a list of political demands for their home country. This is ridiculous. Can we all now agree that this entire charade is a fraudulent scam? This is a Leftist political stunt. It has been since the very beginning.

TRANS-INSANITY: Not everyone is bowing down to the PC culture

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Here's an incident that you won't hear about anywhere else. It doesn't fit the mainstream media's transgender narrative, their fairy tale of infinite genders, where any criticism is viewed as transphobic and taboo and certainly not something that the majority of Americans think or feel.

Last week, in West Point, Virginia, a high school French teacher named Peter Vlaming was fired after a five-and-a-half hour hearing that centered on his refusal to use a transgender student's specific gender pronouns. Vlaming said that doing so violated his religious beliefs.

RELATED: There is no truth anymore

Vlaming's lawyer Shawn Voyles told reporters:

Tolerance is a two-way street. Unfortunately, tolerance on the part of the school division has been noticeably absent. It chose to impose its own orthodoxy on Mr. Vlaming and fired him because he didn't relinquish his rights protected by the First Amendment.

School administrators fired Vlaming "due to this insubordination and repeated refusal to comply with directives made to him by multiple WPPS administrators."

The school justified the firing by pointing to a set of policies aimed at curbing misgendering of transgender students.

Vlaming's lawyer disputed this, saying that the policies include no such mention of transgenderism, adding that:

My client respects the rights of all students, including this student's rights; he simply asked that his rights be respected as well. Unfortunately, the school division refused to consider any solutions that would respect the freedoms of everyone involved.

There is a ray of hope in all of this, though. The students. A group of students from the school immediately staged a walkout in protest of Vlaming's firing.

One student told reporters:

I feel like everyone should have the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion as well.

Students lined up outside the school with signs that said, "Free Vlam." Another included a quote from Ben Shapiro: "Facts don't care about your feelings." Another read "You can't impose delusion onto us."

You can sigh a sigh of relief. There's hope for the future yet.

Whether it's a 'War on Christmas' or just progressivism run amok, the song 'Baby It's Cold Outside' has been firmly in the crosshairs this holiday season. Here are just a few of the headlines making the rounds:

Should radio stations stop playing 'Baby, It's Cold Outside'?

They range from the previous as questioning and then roll right into the following and assume facts not in evidence.

'Baby, It's Cold Outside,' Seen As Sexist, Frozen Out by Radio Stations

It may be seen as sexist but according to one radio stations polling, only about 5% do. Then they go from saying it's sexist to straight up claiming it as a rape song.

Radio Bans 'Baby It's Cold Outside' Over Claims It's A Rape Song, English Teacher Explains Its Real Meaning

And then they just flat out call for its retirement.

Is it time to retire 'Baby, It's Cold Outside'?

The left might think they are woke and on the right side of history in the wake of the #MeToo movement — but how shocked do you think they'd be if they knew Glenn beat them to the punch over a decade ago? Don't believe me? Take a listen to this clip from our audio vault from 2008.

Christmas has arrived early for mainstream media. They have their first sentencing of a major player in President Trump's inner circle. Yesterday, Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced by a federal judge in Manhattan. How did it come to this and how did Cohen explain himself to the judge? We start there next…

President Trump's former attorney, 52-year-old Michael Cohen, is going to jail. Well, it will probably be one of those federal prison camps with a dorm that's more like a college campus. But he's going to be locked up. A federal judge sentenced him to three years in prison for financial crimes, and two months for lying to Congress. He also ordered Cohen to pay $2 million in financial penalties. The judge called Cohen's misdeeds a "veritable smorgasbord of criminal conduct."

RELATED: Michael Cohen's plea deal won't lessen Trump's support. Here's why.

The judge said:

As a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better. While Mr. Cohen is taking steps to mitigate his criminal conduct by pleading guilty and volunteering useful information to prosecutors, that does not wipe the slate clean.

Cohen pled guilty in August to eight criminal charges in two different cases. One brought by special counsel Robert Muller for Cohen's lying to Congress about a potential Trump Tower project in Moscow. The second was for bank-fraud, tax, and campaign finance violations brought by federal prosecutors in New York.

President Trump said recently that Cohen has simply been lying to get a reduced sentence for crimes that have nothing to do with him. Cohen was very emotional as he apologized to the judge, saying:

It was my own weakness and a blind loyalty to this man that led me to choose a path of darkness over light. Time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds rather than to listen to my own inner voice and my moral compass.

The left thinks that Cohen's sentencing marks the beginning of the end for Trump's presidency. They may be ultimately disappointed in that regard. But this does intensify the long national nightmare of the Muller investigation that seems to have no end in sight.