7 Most Important Countries for the Film Industry


The film industry has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the early 20th century. What was at first an American-dominated frontier has exploded across the globe to become one of the largest and most profitable worldwide industries today. While some of these nations for the film industry might seem quite obvious, there are a few others that could come at quite a surprise. So, without further ado, here are the 7 most important countries for the film industry.

1. USA

It is impossible to ignore the giant in the film industry whose name is Hollywood. The USA is undeniably still the most important country for movie making. Hollywood ships its products all across the globe, whether they are superhero blockbusters or Oscar-nominated masterpieces, and rakes in cash. The USA is billions of dollars ahead of the competition when it comes to box office sales.

Go and check out Marvel’s new Doctor Strange, if you haven’t already if you want a taste of the Hollywood movie-making machine. This is just one of the freshest entries from one of the industry’s most profitable universes: Marvel.

2. India

This is most people’s next guess for the most important countries in the film industry. Bollywood is a name that’s known just as much as Hollywood and for a good reason. While once it was mostly confined to its home country’s audiences, it now is rapidly expanding to western audiences.

If you’re looking for some Bollywood flair, 3 Idiots is one of the best Hindi movies on Netflix. It’s considered to be the greatest Indian comedy in the last few decades and easily digested by all audiences. It promises insights on friendship and personal growth.

3. Nigeria

This one might come as a bit of a surprise. However, Nigeria has fought tooth and nail for its spot on this list. Most people forget about Africa when it comes to the film industry, but that does not mean that they aren’t important influence in the film industry. Nigeria has effectively cornered the African market, and is actually the second largest film producer in the world, behind India.

You might not have heard of “Nollywood” because most of their films go straight to DVD. However, if you’re looking to dive deep into the waters of the massive Nigerian film industry, then you couldn’t choose a better place to start than Osuofia In London, which is a distinctly Nigerian take on the classic country-folk moves to the big city story.

4. China

China holds the world’s largest film audience, of course, it is going to be one of the most important countries for the industry. China and Hong Kong, in particular, have had a more subtle influence on the for a few decades now.

Instead of shipping their films over to foreign markets (although that does happen, see Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), they tend to get their movies used as adaptation material. The Eye? Remade from a Chinese film. The Departed? Adapted from a Chinese film. One Chinese film that you definitely should check out is Monster Hunt. It is the highest-grossing Chinese film of all time and is currently available on Netflix!

5. Japan

Japan has been influential in the film industry since the mid-20th century with the release of Gojira (Godzilla) in 1954. Since then, the Japanese have created a strong niche for themselves with international audiences with their distinctly disturbing horror films, and their world-class, whimsical animated features.

While the industry in Japan began to stutter in the 2000s with Kurosawa and Miyazaki starting step down, now Japan has begun to regain the quality from their golden age that many cinephiles adore. It would be a disservice to you if you didn’t watch the original 1954 Godzilla, just to see it in its original form before Hollywood made significant changes for American audiences. It is distinctly Japanese, and a massive cultural icon.

6. The United Kingdom

The UK has a bit of a strange spot in the film industry, especially with American audiences. It seems that Hollywood producers cannot decide whether they want to remake them for US audiences, or just bring them over and screen them as-is (they are already in English, after all). Some films, like the Oscar-winning The King’s Speech were just brought over, while movies like Death at a Funeral were remade.

Nevertheless, the UK remains extremely influential in the film industry, with its films and actors bringing home Oscars like it’s nobody’s business, with the second most Best Actor wins behind the USA. If you haven’t seen it already, check out The King’s Speech, it’s an Oscar winner and the epitome of a British movie. What more could you want?

7. South Korea

Last on the list is South Korea, whose film industry has completely blown up in the past few years. South Korean movies, unlike those of Japan and China, have been tricky to adapt for American audiences without losing that special something that made them great. South Korea is home to some of the best films being made today, and it is also probably the best place to go to the movies on Earth.

To get some of this explosive and unique South Korean style, Oldboy is your best option. Disturbing, dark, stylish, and entertaining, it has everything the South Korean film industry is known for, and perfectly explains why it is one of the most important countries for the movie industry.

Overall, it is clear that the film industry has grown a lot outside of the United States. From the massive boom in Asia to the refinement of European filmmaking, to the emerging Nigerian market, it is officially a worldwide market. Some of these countries are the most important for their sheer volume of production, some for their influence on the film market, and some for their extremely high-quality movies. The film industry exists all across the globe and is growing bigger every day.

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