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

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

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.

Shortly after appearing on "The Glenn Beck Radio Program" last Thursday, Los Angeles-based emergency medicine specialist Dr. Simone Gold got a call saying she was fired for speaking out about the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in a now-banned viral video.

Dr. Gold returned to the radio program Monday to detail exactly what happened, the reason the hospitals gave for her firing, and how they threatened to fire her colleagues as well if she "didn't go quietly."

"Most emergency physicians work at more than one [hospital], as I do, and I've actually been fired from both," she told Glenn. "They told me that I appeared in an embarrassing video, and therefore, I would no longer be welcome to work there ... then they said, if I didn't go quietly and I made a fuss, they would have all the doctors in the group, you know, they'd have to go and they'll get a whole new doctor group."

Dr. Gold said she does not regret speaking out about hydroxychloroquine during the controversial "White Coat Summit" news conference held in Washington, D.C., last week. A video of the news conference quickly went viral on social media before being removed by Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others for allegedly making false claims related to COVID-19.

"Bring it on," she said. "I want to continue to live in America. I want my children to continue to live in America. I don't want them to grow up in a place like China. When you get to a point where, not only can I not speak as a scientist, as a doctor, for what I know to be absolutely true, but you then want to cancel me and my colleagues, this is not okay. I would much rather fight than not fight ... and I want everybody to know that there are literally millions and millions of Americans who are on our side. Millions. I believe it's the majority."

Glenn then asked Dr. Gold to weigh in on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new guidelines encouraging schools to reopen in the fall and the left's relentless drive to keep them closed.

"There's no actual scientific debate whatsoever if schools should open. None. There's no scientific debate. There's no serious person who thinks schools shouldn't open. Now, [through] some governors and policy makers, there's pressure being brought to bear on school districts, but there's no actual scientific debate. So it's going to come down to parents pressuring their local school districts to act in a responsible fashion."

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Fox News host Greg Gutfeld joined Glenn on "The Glenn Beck Podcast" this week to talk about his new book, "The Plus: Self-Help for People Who Hate Self-Help."

Greg admits he is probably the last person who should write a self-help book. Nevertheless, he offers his offbeat advice on how to save America during what has become one of the most tumultuous times in history, as well as drinking while tweeting (spoiler: don't do it).

He also shares his "evolution" on President Donald Trump, his prediction for the election, and what it means to be an agnostic-atheist.

In this clip, Greg shares what he calls his "first great epiphany" on how dangerous cancel culture has become.

"I believe that cancel culture is the first successful work-around of the First Amendment," he said. "Because freedom of speech doesn't protect me from my career being ruined, my livelihood being destroyed, or me getting so depressed I commit suicide. Cancel culture is the first successful work-around of freedom of speech. It can oppress your speech with the scepter of destruction. We don't have freedom of speech anymore."

Watch the video clip below or find the full Glenn Beck Podcast with Greg Gutfeld here.

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Dr. Simone Gold joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Thursday to set the record straight about hydroxychloroquine -- what it is, how it works, and the real reason for all the current controversy surrounding a centuries-old medication.

Dr. Gold is a board certified emergency physician. She graduated from Chicago Medical School before attending Stanford University Law School. She completed her residency in emergency medicine at Stony Brook University Hospital in New York, and worked in Washington D.C. for the Surgeon General, as well for the chairman of the Committee on Labor and Human Resources. She works as an emergency physician on the front lines, whether or not there is a pandemic, and her clinical work serves all Americans from urban inner city to suburban and the Native American population. Her legal practice focuses on policy issues relating to law and medicine.

She is also the founder of America's frontline doctors, a group of doctors who have been under attack this week for speaking out about hydroxychloroquine during a news conference held outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C.

On the program, Dr. Gold emphasized that the controversy over hydroxychloroquine is a "complete myth."

"Hydroxychloroquine is an analogue or a derivative of quinine, which is found in tree bark. It's the most noncontroversial of medications that there is," she explained.

"It's been around for centuries and it's been FDA-approved in the modern version, called hydroxychloroquine, for 65 years. In all of that time, [doctors] used it for breast-feeding women, pregnant women, elderly, children, and immune compromised. The typical use is for years or even decades because we give it mostly to RA, rheumatoid arthritis patients and lupus patients who need to be on it, essentially, all of their life. So, we have extensive experience with it ... it's one of the most commonly used medications throughout the world."

Dr. Gold told Glenn she was surprised when the media suddenly "vomited all over hydroxychloroquine", but initially chalked it up to the left's predictable hatred for anything President Donald Trump endorses. However, when the media gave the drug Remdesivir glowing reviews, despite disappointing clinical trial results, she decided to do some research.

"[Remdesivir] certainly wasn't a fabulous drug, but the media coverage was all about how fabulous it was. At that moment, I thought that was really weird. Because it's one thing to hate hydroxychloroquine because the president [endorsed] it. But it's another thing to give a free pass to another medicine that doesn't seem that great. I thought that was really weird, so I started looking into it. And let me tell you, what I discovered was absolutely shocking," she said.

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According to the mainstream media's COVID-19 narrative, the president is "ignoring" the crisis.

On tonight's "Glenn TV" special, Glenn Beck exposes the media's last four months of political theater that has helped shape America's confusion and fear over coronavirus. And now, with a new school year looming on the horizon, the ongoing hysteria has enormous ramifications for our children, but the media is working overtime to paint the Trump administration as anti-science Neanderthals who want to send children and teachers off to die by reopening schools.

Glenn fights back with the facts and interviews the medical doctor Big Tech fears the most. Dr. Simone Gold, founder of America's Frontline Doctors, stands up to the media's smear campaign and explains why she could no longer stay silent in her fight against coronavirus fear.

Watch a preview below:


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