China Entertainment and Hollywood

Ingenious Media Forms Co-Production Venture With China’s Hejing Culture in $200M Deal

June 19, 2016

  • U.K. company Ingenious Media has reached a $200 million deal with Hejing Culture, a Chinese fund backed by private and government investment, to form a joint venture company to co-produce and co-finance a slate of independent films. Ingenious and Hejing said that they expect that a number of projects that result from the agreement will qualify as official Chinese co-productions, however this was not a requirement of the venture, leaving the door open to investments in purely Chinese or international films. The deal was announced Sunday at the Shanghai International Film Festival.

Orlando Bloom Partners With China’s Bliss Media on New Production Venture (Exclusive)


  • The company will co-produce the Shanghai-set action-thriller ‘Smart Chase: Fire & Earth,’ in which Bloom is set to star. Orlando Bloom is partnering with China’s Bliss Media on a new production venture. The newly formed entity, called BlissBloom Productions, will be jointly run by the actor and Bliss Media CEO Wei Han. Their first project will be the $30 million Shanghai-set action thriller Smart Chase: Fire & Earth, starring Bloom and directed by French filmmaker Julien Seri (Night Fare).

Warcraft And The Movies That Were Saved By China

16 June 2016

  • However, it’s a totally different story in China, where – likely thanks to the popularity of the PC game in Asia – it’s smashed all previous box office records. It’s made a staggering $156 million (£109 million) in just five days, almost its entire production budget, and sailing past previous box office champ, ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’. Legendary, the film’s producer, must be breathing a sigh of relief, though there’s a long way to go before it will see any profit. But it’s not the only studio to have been thrown a lifeline by what is now the world’s second largest movie market.

Jackie Chan: ‘Warcraft’ Success in China “Scares the Americans”


  • “If we make a film that earns [$1.5 billion], then people from all over the world who study film will learn Chinese instead of us learning English,” the action star said during the Shanghai Film Festival. Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan on Sunday extolled the Chinese film industry’s emerging market prowess at the Shanghai International Film Festival. Saying that China was overlooked as a “nothing market” for decades, Chan suggested that the world has come to see the country’s entertainment sector in a very different light of late. He cited the phenomenal Chinese box-office performance of Legendary Entertainment’s Warcraft as evidence of the new order.

‘Angry Birds’ Tops China’s Weekend Box Office With $30 Million

May 22, 2016

  • “The Angry Birds Movie” topped the box office in China, generating the biggest weekend sales for an animated film in the world’s second-largest movie market since January. The cartoon, an adaptation of the popular Rovio Entertainment Oy game, brought in 195.3 million yuan ($30 million) in ticket sales through Sunday since its debut on Friday in China, according to data compiled by Entgroup Inc. That surpassed the previous weekend’s highest earner, “Captain America: Civil War,” which slipped to No. 2.

China’s Bliss Media Launches $150 Million Film and TV Fund


  • The company financed and executive produced Pablo Larraín’s ‘Jackie’ starring Natalie Portman and acquired the Chinese distribution rights to Mel Gibson’s ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ starring Andrew Garfield. Bliss Media on Monday announced that it has partnered with CODI Capital Group to launch the Bliss-CODI Film & TV Investment Fund, backed by $150 million. Bliss Media’s founder and CEO Wei Han and CODI Capital Group’s Xiaodi Li will co-manage the fund, which will concentrate on international film and television equity investment. The first round of funding will invest in several projects with international distribution. Investment targets of the fund will be provided exclusively by Bliss Media and jointly evaluated and greenlighted by the fund’s management. Bliss Media also will handle the distribution of all the projects in China.

HBO Signs Development Deal With China Movie Channel (Exclusive)


  • The partners will co-develop TV movies for the massive Chinese television audience, which counts an estimated 1.2 billion viewers. HBO Asia is partnering with China Movie Channel to co-develop a slate of Chinese-language TV movies designed to air in China and overseas. The deal marks HBO’s first major development or production collaboration in the massive Chinese television sector, which counts an estimated 1.2 billion viewers.

Chariots of Fire sequel being made by Chinese film company as it failed to win British funding

15 May 2016

  • When Chariots of Fire won an Oscar in 1981, its writer famously told Hollywood “The British are coming”. Not when it comes to its sequel, it appears. Joseph Fiennes, who will star as Eric Liddell in a new continuation film, has revealed it must be made by a Chinese film company, after no UK filmmaker would fund it. Fiennes, who is attending Cannes to publicise the film, said The Last Race would tell the true story of how Liddell moved to China as a missionary after the Olympics, before being made prisoner during the Second World War.

DC Will have Chinese Superman, Batman & Wonder Woman

May 14, 2016

  • Chinese moviegoers have become so enamored with Hollywood made movies that “Captain America: Civil War” beat handily in the box office the last film by acclaimed Chinese director Wu Tianming, “Song of the Phoenix.” In the light of Captain America’s fame, Fanjin Media entered into an agreement with Marvel directors to co-produce a Chinese superhero. However, a new report by Gizmodo said that it is not just Marvel which has Chinese superheroes on the horizon. Even DC Comics is coming up with a Chinese Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. It is the result of the current Man of Steel dying whose powers would be diffused into many other people.

Cannes: Kevin Munroe to Direct Chinese Animated Trolls Feature (Exclusive)


  • Co-produced by China’s Spring Era Period Films, ‘Troll: The Tale of a Tail’ is being animated in both English and Chinese versions. Filmmaker Kevin Munroe, best known for writing and directing Ratchet & Clank (2015) and TMNT (2007), has signed on to co-direct Troll: The Tale of a Tail (also known as The Zhou Rao Kingdom for the Chinese market), a big-budget animated feature based on a classic work of Chinese literature. The film will be animated in both English and Chinese versions to appeal to both international and Chinese audiences — a strategy pursued most recently by DreamWorks Animation for Kung Fu Panda 3.

China’s Wanda to Co-Finance Paramount’s ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2’


  • China’s Wanda Cinema Line and its subsidiary Movie Media have boarded Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows as co-financiers. The investment represents the first time that Wanda Cinema Line has invested in a Hollywood film as a worldwide investor. Wanda Cinema Line is the movie theater subsidiary of Chinese real estate and investment conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, which is controlled by Wang Jialin, China’s richest man.

‘Captain America’ Filmmakers to Produce Chinese Superhero Franchise


  • Following the massive debut of ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ which opened to $95.8 million in China, Joe and Anthony Russo will produce a local-language franchise targeting the Chinese audience. Joe and Anthony Russo, the sibling director duo behind Marvel’s hugely successful Captain America franchise, have partnered with a Beijing-based production company to develop and produce a new Chinese superhero franchise. Excited Chinese movie buffs have already nicknamed the project “Captain China.”

‘Warcraft’ Sets China Release Two Days Ahead Of U.S.: A Burgeoning Trend?

May 5, 2016

  • Even before Legendary was acquired by China’s Dalian Wanda Group, it had Middle Kingdom involvement in Warcraft. The ambitious adaptation of Blizzard Entertainment’s video game juggernaut has Chinese money in it via Tencent Pictures which said it had made an equity investment back in September. At the same time, Wanda said it would work with the two companies and use its network to promote and market the film. Now, Legendary has smartly positioned Warcraft for a rare early Middle Kingdom release — two days ahead of the U.S. Universal, which is releasing in most of the world outside China and Japan, will boot it up on June 10 domestically while it will go out on June 8 in the PROC. Several key European territories go in late May.

China’s Domestic Animated Films See 78.6 Pct Box-office Surge


  • A new report shows that domestic animated films screened in China have generated more than 2 billion yuan, around 300 million U.S. dollars in 2015. That’s a growth rate of 78.6 percent, year on year. “Monkey King: Hero is Back,” topped China’s domestic film box office chart. Fourteen foreign animations were screened in China last year, a quarter of the total number. However, they took more than half of box office revenue for animated movies. Box office revenue is expected to surpass 6 billion yuan this year.

China’s Wanda Pictures Gets Investment From Financial Companies Puji, Jupai


  • The companies are looking to “capitalize on the burgeoning global media and entertainment industry as well as other high-growth sector companies that have cross-border attraction in China and [the] United States.” Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group’s Wanda Pictures business has received an investment from financial firms Puji Capital and Jupai Holdings, the companies said Monday. Details of the size of the investment and other terms weren’t disclosed.

Chinese Movie Stars Are Seeing Salaries Triple Thanks To China’s Hollywood Ambitions


  • LOS ANGELES — Many Americans haven’t got a raise in years, but that’s not a problem for some of the biggest actors in China. The domestic box office is not only surging there, promising to become the world’s biggest as soon as next year, but Chinese studios are also aggressively looking to prepare films for export. That’s made China’s brightest stars — especially those with English skills — hot commodities. “Chinese stars’ rates have gone up three times in the last year, for the big mainstream actors,” Sky Moore, a partner at the law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan in Los Angeles who works closely with Chinese studios, told International Business Times.

Industry Leaders Discuss China’s Effects in Hollywood Culture

Apr 20, 2016

  • Partnerships between China and Hollywood are continually making waves in the entertainment business. Experts ask, however, if this love affair between the East and West will last, The Los Angeles Times reported. One thing remains clear: This relationship has paved the way for many projects than any other foreign involvement in the industry, as most U.S. and Chinese industry leaders agreed in a panel discussion during the Committee of 100 conference in Beverly Hills.

China Film to Deepen Cooperation with Paramount Pictures


  • China Film Company has announced cooperation with Paramount Pictures in the US. The production and distribution deal was announced during the ongoing Beijing International Film Festival. CFC’s Chairman says his side hopes to learn from Paramount, and combine Hollywood’s mature business model and technology with Chinese culture, talent and market.

‘Riddick’ director to blast off with ‘Ice Moon Rising,’ a space film with a China element

April 18 2016

  • Space-rescue films with Chinese elements are becoming a thing — think “Gravity” and “The Martian.” Another such project, “Ice Moon Rising,” surfaced Monday at the Beijing International Film Festival. Directed by “Riddick” helmer David Twohy (who penned “The Fugitive” and “G.I. Jane” among other films), the sci-fi movie has been set up as an official U.S.-China co-production between China Film Group and Orb Media, along with Das Films.

China is the New Hollywood, Says James Schamus

April 17, 2016

  • Leading U.S. independent producer James Schamus proclaimed Sunday that “China is becoming the new Hollywood.” The former head of Focus Features and producer of “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” was speaking in Beijing at a set-piece seminar on Chinese co-production at the first full day of the Beijing International Film Festival. He and other speakers who included Chinese producers Yu Dong and Huang Jianxin, and British producer Iain Smith, argued that co-productions have qualitatively changed as the Chinese film industry has hurtled through multiple stages of development in just a few years.

20 Chinese Movies Premiere at Houston International Film Festival

Apr 11, 2016

  • The number of Chinese films that participated in the 49th WorldFest Houston International Festival quadrupled for 2016 to 20 from only five in 2015. The premiere of the 20 movies was the highlight of the opening on Friday of the world’s oldest independent film festival. “Compact Density of Stone,” a movie about the former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, was the opening movie for Panorama China which was introduced last year, reported Xinhua News Agency.

China animation makers catching up with Hollywood fast

Apr 11, 2016

  • Released in January, Little Door Gods pulled in nearly 28 million yuan (US$4.33 million) on its opening day and set a new record for a Chinese-produced animation movie. If the looks of its characters remind you of some blockbuster movies by animation giants such as Pixar and DreamWorks, don’t be surprised because some members of its production crew had actually worked for those Californian companies. The Chinese producers’ willingness to invest in top talent reflects their growing confidence in the potential of such films.

Chinese film industry takes lessons from Hollywood


  • BEIJING – Film industry watchers have speculated that China’s annual box office sales could surpass North America’s as soon as 2017. In February, Chinese cinemas pulled in a record 6.87 billion yuan ($1.06 billion) in ticket sales, with monthly box office sales overtaking North America’s for the first time, according to statistics from the film bureau of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT). China has become the second largest film market with its box office sales reaching 44 billion yuan ($6.8 billion) in 2015, up 48.7 percent from 2014.

China box office revenue up 51% in 1st quarter

April 3, 2016

  • China’s box office revenues grew 51 per cent in the first quarter of this year, China National radio said on Sunday. The state-run CNR data said ticket sales in the first three months of 2016 amounted to 14.5 billion yuan (1.57 billion pounds). China boasts of about 31630 movie screens. The country added 8035 new screens in 2015. Chinese films accounted for almost three-quarters of the country’s box office in the first quarter.

China’s Alibaba Pictures Swings to 2015 Profit


  • An investment in Paramount’s ‘Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation’ contributed $10.6 million in revenue and boosted the company’s profit by $1.1 million. Boosted by the financial gains from a stock offering, Alibaba Pictures Group bounced back and ended up in the black in 2015. On Tuesday, the Beijing-based studio, which is the film subsidiary of Jack’s Ma’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, reported a full-year profit of $71.7 million (RMB466 million), compared with a $64.1 million loss in 2014. APG’s operating loss actually widened slightly in 2015, but one-time gains, including from the share issuance with net proceeds of $1.5 billion (HK$12.1 billion), led it to a net profit.

Chinese film company to partner former Walt Disney boss’ studio, investing US$500 million

31 March, 2016

  • A private film company in eastern China has agreed to invest at least US$500 million in the studio of former Walt Disney boss Dick Cook to make films for worldwide distribution. It is the latest deal between the world’s top two markets as China’s film industry booms and producers in both countries look to increase their presence at the other’s box office. Box office revenues in China in 2015 rose about 50 per cent from 2014 to 44 billion yuan (HK$53 billion) – more than double that of 2013. It is widely believed China will overtake the US as the top box office by 2020.

China’s iQiyi, British Film Institute Strike Content Deal


  • The BFI has handpicked a selection of British independent and world cinema titles, including ’12 Years a Slave’ and ‘Amour,’ to be made available by the online video company. Chinese audiences will soon get to stream such Oscar winners as 12 Years a Slave and Amour. Following a deal between the British Film Institute and Chinese Internet giant Baidu’s iQiyi online video service, a selection of “handpicked” titles from world cinema and the U.K.’s indie film scene will be available via the platform, which has more than 10 million paid subscribers across China.

Warner Bros.’ Flagship Entertainment Unveils 12-Movie Slate for China


  • The slate features Chinese-language films from every genre, with a wide range of budgets, including a remake of ‘Miss Congeniality’ and Adam Sandler’s ‘Blended.’ Flagship Entertainment, Warner Bros.’ joint venture with China Media Capital and broadcaster TVB, unveiled its first 12 movie projects to be made in China. The slate features Chinese-language films from every genre, with a wide range of budgets, including a remake of Miss Congeniality, Adam Sandler’s Blended and disaster picture Crater. A few of the projects have Chinese lead actors and directors attached. The first of the films will be released later this year.

China Film Studio Huayi Signs Up Hollywood Execs For International Push

Mar 14, 2016

  • Huayi Brothers, one of China’s largest locally owned film studios, said yesterday it would tap Hollywood executives to lead a push into the international market. Huayi’s move follows by two months an agreement to purchase a majority stake in Hollywood’s Legendary Entertainment by Wanda Group for $3.5 billion. Wanda is led by Asia’s richest man, Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin. Wang also controls U.S.listed AMC, one of the world’s largest movie theatre chains, among other entertainment industry businesses.

Why ‘Zootopia’ Means Hollywood Animators Might Want To Start Learning Chinese


  • LOS ANGELES — China’s box office may be growing at a rate that would make mobile delivery startups jealous, but plenty of studios and production companies making movies for that market still want to go back the drawing board. The animated one. As China prepares to become the world’s biggest box office as soon as 2017 — jumping nearly 50 percent just last year — Hollywood studios are eager to find films that play well in the Middle Kingdom. That’s particularly important given the fact that only 34 foreign films are cleared by the country’s censors each year, so each import has to count. And lately, Hollywood has underperformed.

Russo Brothers Launch Studio to Produce Chinese-Language Films (Exclusive)


  • The directing team behind Marvel’s ‘Captain America’ franchise and the upcoming ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ films are planting their flag in the booming Chinese market. Anthony and Joe Russo, the sibling director duo behind Marvel’s Captain America franchise, are setting up shop in China. In a hush-hush deal last week, the brothers secured financing for Anthem & Song, a startup studio to be based in Los Angeles and Beijing, which will develop and produce Chinese-language films for the country’s booming theatrical market. In 2015, China’s box office grew an astounding 49 percent. It is expected to surpass North America next year as the largest theatrical market in the world.

China’s Huayi and Tencent Prepare Vehicle for Deals in Hollywood, Korea

March 11, 2016

  • Annual results for China Jiuhao Health, being taken over by entertainment giants Huayi Brothers and Tencent as a vehicle for foreign acquisitions, reveal it to be an almost perfectly clean shell company. The only flaw revealed by Jiuhao’s 2015 annual results announcement, is that one of its non-executive directors is shown to have been detained by Chinese police for more than a year. “For the reason of assisting relevant Mainland authorities in their investigation since January 2015, Mr. Wei Xin did not attend any general meetings of the company held in 2015,” Jiuhao said on page 44 of a regulatory filing on Friday.

Chinese media mogul Li Ruigang buys undisclosed stake in Hollywood production company Imagine Entertainment

07 March, 2016

  • China’s media mogul Li Ruigang continues to extend his influence in Hollywood with the acquisition of an equity stake in the production company behind “Apollo 13”, “A Beautiful Mind,” and “The Da Vinci Code”. Shanghai-based China Media Capital (CMC), which Li founded in 2009, said it has taken a stake in Imagine Entertainment, an American production firm led by director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer. CMC did not unveil the acquisition price, nor the size of its equity stake.

How Matt Damon may kickstart China’s global movie ambitions

Mar. 7, 2016

  • China has a new ally in its campaign to turn itself into a global cultural superpower: Matt Damon. And, behind him, a good chunk of Hollywood as well. Chinese leaders have long sought international cultural influence, aka “soft power,” commensurate with the nation’s economic might. That’s brought us official Confucian institutes scattered across the world, billions of dollars in development aid and awe-inspiring Olympic ceremonies. But China’s own film industry remains a mere flicker on the global screen.

AMC’s $1.1 Billion Carmike Deal Makes China Movie Powerhouse

March 3, 2016

  • AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., controlled by China’s richest man, agreed to buy Carmike Cinemas Inc. in a $1.1 billion all-cash deal that would create the world’s largest cinema chain and extend Chinese influence in the movie industry. AMC, majority owned by billionaire Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda Group Co., will pay $30 a share for Carmike, a 19 percent premium over its closing stock price Thursday, according to a statement from the companies. The agreement combines the second- and fourth-biggest U.S. movie theater chains and vaults the resulting entity past Regal Entertainment Group.

The Revenant: A Triumph for a Chinese Company

Feb 29, 2016

  • The Oscar winners for The Revenant share the extraordinary film’s extraordinary success with a mainland Chinese company on its first very foray into financing international movies. And the award goes to: Guangdong Alpha Animation and Culture Company. The company from Southern China (listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange — code: 002292) injected an undisclosed but “substantial amount” into the Leonardo Di Caprio film as an equity investor. Executive producers Philip Lee and Markus Barmettler arranged for Guangdong Alpha to participate commercially in the film after reviewing several potential investors from the mainland. “We felt they shared our vision for this film. They believe in a worldwide market,” says Barmettler, a Swiss entertainment lawyer specializing in movie financing and a longtime business associate of Arnon Milchan, the founder of New Regency Films, which provided the principal backing for The Revenant.

‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ Becomes China’s Biggest Animated Film Ever


  • The record is an important milestone for Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Shanghai-based Oriental DreamWorks venture, which spared no expense in animating the film in both English and Chinese. DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg’s recent prediction that Kung Fu Panda 3 would become the biggest animated film ever at the Chinese box office rang true over the weekend. As of Sunday morning, the pic had earned $144.2 million, sweeping past previous record-holder Monkey King: Hero is Back to claim China’s all-time animation crown, according to data from 20th Century Fox, which is distributing the film stateside.

China Could Beat Hollywood by 2017

February 24, 2016

  • To celebrate the Lunar New Year, Fei Li did what tens of millions of other Chinese did: She went to the movies. The 29-year-old finance professional and six family members, from her 91-year-old grandmother to her 6-year-old niece, went to see The Mermaid at the Capital Cinema in Beijing’s Xicheng district. “We all love it,” says Li, who paid about 35 yuan ($5) to see the movie a second time. Buoyed by holiday audiences, The Mermaid, a quirky comedy from director Stephen Chow about a mermaid who falls in love with a real estate tycoon she’s sent to assassinate, is the highest-grossing film of all time in China. It’s rung up more than $440 million in ticket sales since opening on Feb. 8, according to box-office researcher EntGroup, overtaking local hit Monster Hunt and Hollywood’s Furious 7.

Male Asian actors gaining a following abroad


  • It was a chilly day in Milan, Italy, on January 17 and Eleanor Clark was already waiting for hours outside one of the shows at Milan Fashion Week when some Italian girls sidled over to her. “Are you waiting for Giacomo Gianniotti (a famous Italian actor),” they asked. “No, we are here for Wang Kai (a popular Chinese actor),” Clark responded with pride. Some of the Chinese fans at the scene overheard and, having found a kindred spirit, excitedly started sharing their love for Wang Kai with Clark and her four foreign companions.

Universal Pictures, Lionsgate, MGM Acquire Stakes in Hong Kong Gaming Company Fifth Journey


  • Hong Kong-based mobile entertainment company Fifth Journey said Tuesday that it has signed strategic partnership deals with Universal Pictures, Lionsgate and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios to develop mobile games, interactive entertainment and virtual reality experiences based on the three studios’ film properties. As part of the deal, each studio also is taking a strategic minority stake in the startup game developer. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Fifth Journey says the studios will be its largest outside investors to date.

China’s Would-be Movie Stars Face English Exam Hurdle


  • Would-be actors applying to the prestigious Beijing Film Academy are being warned – best bone-up on your English skills. More than 7,600 applicants have competed for 45 spots for the coveted acting classes as part of a three-day examination that ended on Wednesday. One of the things the application screeners were said to be looking for this year was a command of the English language.

The changing image of Chinese in Hollywood films

February 17, 2016

  • A recent flood of post-election comments by mainland Chinese netizens on Taiwan media Facebook pages is drawing lots of attention. The global publicity and characterizations of China stoked by the incident reminds me of another hot topic in film studies – How did the image of Chinese evolve in Hollywood films in the past century? It goes without saying that the image of Chinese conveyed by US film makers for most of the 20th century was quite negative. But with China’s rise, has the image turned positive? To answer that question, it’s necessary to look at Hollywood’s past depictions of the Chinese people.

Universal Finalizes $250M Slate Deal With China’s Perfect World, Plans To Raise Debt


  • The partnership will last five years or cover the co-financing of 50 films, making the Chinese video game and TV production company a major player in global entertainment. Universal Pictures and Chinese multimedia company Perfect World Pictures have entered into a multiyear agreement that would raise some $500 million in equity and debt to finance films across the entire Universal slate.

Chinese Superstar Kris Wu Joins Vin Diesel in ‘xXx: The Return of Xander Cage’

February 16, 2016

  • Chinese superstar Kris Wu has joined the cast of Vin Diesel‘s action movie “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage,” which will serve as his first U.S. project, it was announced Tuesday by Paramount. Paramount is teaming on the high-octane sequel with Revolution Studios, Roth Kirschenbaum Films and Diesel’s One Race Films.

It’s Time for an American Film Depicting the Chinese Theater of World War II

February 15, 2016

  • Several scholars have recently begun a conversation about why the history of China’s contribution to World War II has fallen out of the mainstream American historical conversation. The Second Sino-Japanese War was immensely destructive, served to set the stage for the Pacific War, but has received comparatively little attention relative to the other main theaters of conflict in World War II. Deflecting the historiographical question for a moment, why have so few American filmmakers tackled such a potentially rich topic? The simple, straightforward answer is this: Americans do not make many movies about World War II that do not prominently feature Americans. World War II’s Eastern Front has a few entries: Enemy at the Gates, a 2001 film about the Battle of Stalingrad, took advantage of the wake of Saving Private Ryan to earn back its budget and a bit more. 1977’s Cross of Iron (a British-German production directed by American Sam Peckinpah) depicted the German side of the conflict. Defiance, a 2008 film about Jewish partisan activity in Belarus, straddled the border between war movie and Holocaust film.

Hollywood Studios Chase Chinese Audiences

February 12, 2016

  • HONG KONG—The success of Kung Fu Panda 3 is reaffirming the value of Hollywood’s pursuit of ticket sales in China, where Hollywood films are increasingly using Chinese plot lines and characters to appeal to the Chinese market. On its opening day, the film brought in more than $16 million, and by the end of its second week, box office sales had climbed to more than $101 million. Chinese audiences flocked to the cinema on New Year’s day, when more than $100 million worth of tickets were sold.

China’s Bliss Media Takes Stake in Wild Bunch’s Insiders


  • The Shanghai-based film company is co-financing Pablo Larrain’s ‘Jackie’ and will distribute Mel Gibson’s ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ in China. China’s Bliss Media has acquired a stake in Insiders, the international sales outfit launched at the Cannes film festival last year by Wild Bunch and Cine France. Based in Shanghai and Los Angeles, Bliss Media is a finance, production and distribution company. It is co-financing Pablo Larrain’s Jackie starring Natalie Portman and Michael Mann’s Enzo Ferrari, which Paramount Pictures acquired for U.S. distribution. Insiders, headed by Wild Bunch CEO Vincent Maraval, is selling the international rights to the two projects.

Chinese Movie Studios Are Hiring Hollywood Talent In Hopes Of Creating Crossover Blockbusters


  • LOS ANGELES — Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is only the most recent politician to blame the Chinese for taking American jobs, but in Southern California, the opposite could be coming true: Hollywood insiders expect to see China’s film industry making more attempts to lure American writers and directors in the coming years. “The holy grail is going to be large-budget, English-language co-productions that play and expound Chinese culture worldwide,” said Sky Moore, a partner at the law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and the lead attorney on a co-production deal between Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. and China’s Hunan TV. “You’re going to see endless attempts at doing that.”

China’s Lang Lang and Germany’s Hans Zimmer come together in America to score ‘Ku Fu Panda 3’

February 4 2016

  • When Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang was planning to visit L.A. about 12 years ago, he asked his label to arrange a meeting with composer Hans Zimmer, who at the time was scoring “The Last Samurai.” Zimmer asked Lang whether the score sounded “Asian enough.” “I’m like, ‘I don’t know where you got it, but you have an Asian heart,’ ” Lang recalled, laughing. Lang had been a “superfan” of Zimmer’s from the moment he saw “Gladiator.” The pianist was 18 when Ridley Scott’s epic came out featuring Zimmer’s popular, Oscar-nominated score. They’ve remained friends since that first meeting.

China Box Office: Revenue Soars 47 Percent in Normally Quiet January


  • The market share for Hollywood movies, however, slipped to 29 percent for the first month of 2016. While China’s stock markets recently gave economists plenty of cause for concern, the country’s movie box office showed no signs of slowing its historic expansion in the first month of 2016.

‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ First Hollywood Movie to Be Shown in Mandarin in U.S.


  • In a first for a studio Hollywood release, moviegoers in the U.S. will be able to see a Mandarin-language version of Kung Fu Panda 3 in select U.S. theaters. AMC Entertainment — owned by China’s Dalian Wanda Group — is partnering with DreamWorks Animation and Fox to show a dubbed or subtitled version of the movie in markets where there is a significant Chinese population. The seven theaters are in Los Angeles (with three); Boston; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; and the Bay Area in Northern California. Also, Regal Entertainment will play the Mandarin version in one location in Canada, and Cineplex will carry it in two theaters in Vancouver.

20th Century Fox Signs Exclusive Output Deal With China’s iQIYI


  • The online video company, owned by search giant Baidu, will be the first in China to stream ‘The Martian,’ ‘The Revenant’ and more. 20th Century Fox has signed an exclusive output agreement with Chinese online video company iQIYI, granting the service first-run subscription-streaming and transactional VOD rights to the studio’s recent, major theatrical releases. Titles included under the deal include The Martian, The Revenant, Snoopy and Charlie Brown: A Peanuts Movie and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. Under the terms of the deal, iQIYI, which is an independent subsidiary of search giant Baidu, will be the first online platform in China to stream the Fox films.

Hasbro, DMG Sign Deal to Create Huge ‘Transformers’ Attraction in China


  • The world’s first live ‘Transformers’ experience, described as a “cross between an action-adventure spectacle, a theme park attraction and a theatrical show,” will debut in China in 2017. Optimus Prime and his band of Autobots are set to assemble in the real world — in China. DMG Entertainment, the China-U.S.-based movie studio and co-producer of Point Break and Iron Man 3, has reached a deal with Hasbro to create Transformers Live. The robotics spectacle, expected to debut in an undisclosed Chinese city in 2017, will be the world’s first live-action attraction featuring the toy brand’s iconic characters.

Universal Pictures to Strike $500M Slate Deal With China’s Perfect World


  • Universal Pictures and China’s Perfect World Pictures are closing a $500 million movie slate funding deal, sources confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. The five-year pact makes the Chinese TV production and video games company a co-financier, giving Universal a new source of funds. It also makes Perfect World the latest Chinese player to align with a big-name Hollywood company. Conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group recently sealed a $3.5 billion deal to acquire Legendary Entertainment.

Why Kung Fu Panda 3 Wants Chinese Audiences To Pay To See It Twice

Jan 22 2016

  • Kung Fu Panda 3 is a pretty big film for Dreamworks Animation. The studio has released a number of flops over the last few years, and because of this they’re relying on the third instalment of the hugely popular franchise to thrive to keep them afloat. In order to get as much money as possible from Chinese audiences, Dreamworks came up with a nifty ploy. They decided to release two different versions of the film, which they believe will entice viewers back to cinemas not just twice, but three times, maybe more. Dreamworks Animation’s master plan is to release one version of Kung Fu Panda 3 where the animation matches the English language, and a Chinese version where the characters’ mouths and body match the nuances of that language. Jeffrey Katzenburg, the CEO of Dreamworks Animation, made this revelation ahead of Kung Fu Panda 3’s impending release. But he doesn’t just expect people to go and see the film once or twice, he believes that they’ll flock to see it on numerous occasions so that they can really find out which version they prefer.

Chinese Billionaire Gary Wang on Building “The Pixar of China”


  • The Light Chaser Animation founder talks about launching a studio without any background in film, why local movies are beating Hollywood in China and the tip he got from Illumination Animation CEO Chris Meledandri.

Disney’s $5 billion Chinese theme park set to open

January 13, 2016

  • The countdown has begun. Disney fans in China have only five months to wait before the company’s mega theme park opens in Shanghai. After a decade of planning and investment of $5.5 billion, the entertainment giant’s first park in mainland China will open on June 16. The Shanghai Disney Resort represents a major bet that China’s growing middle class will spend more and more of their money on travel, tourism and leisure.

‘Star Wars’ Opens at Record Pace in China, Disney Says

Jan 9 2016

  • Global blockbuster movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” broke records in China with an estimated $33 million in ticket sales on its first day in the world’s second-largest film market, the Walt Disney Co. said Saturday. The figure represents the Disney film studio’s biggest opening day ever in China and the highest Saturday opening day in the country in industry history, the company said.

China’s Wanda Acquiring Controlling Stake in Legendary Entertainment


  • Chinese real estate and investment conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has reached a deal to acquire a majority stake in Legendary Entertainment, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. The agreement puts the value of the U.S. movie studio at between $3 billion and $4 billion, and could be announced as early as next week, said a person familiar with the deal who was not authorized to speak publicly. Wanda will own just over half of Legendary, with studio founder and CEO Thomas Tull and key management owning smaller stakes. Tull and his team are expected to remain in charge of the company’s operations, however.

Movie ticket sales jump 48% in China, but Hollywood has reason to worry

December 29 2015

  • Despite a slowing economy, China’s box-office receipts jumped nearly 50% between 2014 and 2015 — the most sizzling pace of growth in the last five years. But Hollywood isn’t sharing equally in the bonanza: Revenue for imported films rose less than 24% this year, while homegrown Chinese movies saw almost a 69% surge. China’s box office should close out the year with total sales of about 43.9 billion renminbi, or $6.8 billion, up 48.3% over 2014, data from film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway showed Tuesday.

Is American film industry pandering to Chinese censors?

Dec. 26, 2015

  • A year from now one of China’s greatest directors, Zhang Yimou, who captivated the world with his opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, will see his latest project open in North American theatres. Starring Matt Damon, Andy Lau and Willem Dafoe, The Great Wall will be Zhang’s first English-language film and, with a budget of $150 million (U.S.), the largest Hollywood-China collaboration in history. It’s the most expensive Chinese movie ever made for an international audience. But Hollywood’s recent collaborations with China have raised concerns that the American film industry is pandering to Chinese audiences — or more disturbingly, Chinese censors.

Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and J.J. Abrams to Attend ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ China Premiere


  • The film will be unveiled in the booming China market on Dec. 27 at the Shanghai Grand Theatre. Now that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a smash hit around the world, one final PR and marketing push remains for Disney — China, the world’s second-largest movie market. The film will be given its China premiere at the Shanghai Grand Theatre on the evening of Dec. 27. Newly minted franchise stars Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, along with director J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, are all confirmed to attend. Force Awakens will be shown on an IMAX screen specially built for the event. Disney says other surprise elements will be unveiled on the night.

Actress Fan Bingbing on becoming the new ’empress of China’

20 Dec 2015

  • From billboards to screens big and small, Fan Bingbing is ubiquitous in China. In a free-wheeling chat with Zigor Aldama, the only non-American on Forbes’ 10 highest paid actresses list talks about becoming the ’empress of China’.

China’s Alibaba Pictures, Tencent Join Buyout of Bona Film Group


  • The deal values Bona, one of China’s top-tier studios, at $1 billion. Alibaba Pictures and Tencent have joined the group bidding to pull leading Chinese film studio and distributor Bona Film Group off the NASDAQ stock exchange. The proposed deal’s current terms value Bona at $1 billion. In June, a group including a vehicle named Uranus Connection and Chinese investor Xie Zhanshan offered to buy Bona’s American depositary receipts at $13.70 each. Alibaba said it would spend $86 million to join the deal, while Tencent has declined requests to share terms.

Disney partners with Alibaba to launch DisneyLife streaming box in China

December 15, 2015

  • Disney is teaming up with Alibaba to launch its on-demand streaming service, DisneyLife, in China. All content will be served up by Wasu Media Network, in which Alibaba owns shares. This represents only the second market for DisneyLife, which had launched exclusively in the U.K. in late November. The partnership with Alibaba, one of China’s biggest ecommerce companies, is key to the launch, given the inherent barriers that hinder foreign T.V. networks from entering the market. It’s the same reason on-demand services such as Netflix have yet to arrive on the scene, though Netflix was recently rumored to be partnering with Wanda to prepare for entry.

Jack Ma Teams With Arch-Foe Tencent on China, Hollywood Films

December 11, 2015

  • Tencent Holdings Ltd., e-commerce billionaire Jack Ma and movie studio Huayi Brothers Media Corp. will pool their assets and create a Hong Kong-listed company to develop films and entertainment for China and abroad. Tencent, Huayi and Ma’s Yunfeng Capital have made a HK$547 million ($70.6 million) offer to buy a controlling stake in a shell company called China Jiuhao Health Industry Corp., the companies announced Thursday. If successful, they intend to use the shares of what has been a retirement-home developer to create a media and “cultural” business and produce original content. First up is a slate of 10 live-action films and three animated features to be created in conjunction with unidentified U.S. production houses, they said.

Wanda Group chases Hollywood prize

Dec 10, 2015

  • A bigger Hollywood target in the sights of Chinese entertainment giant Dalian Wanda Group Co. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Wanda, which owns US cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., is in talks to buy a minority stake in American film and television company Legendary Entertainment.

Meet Lu Han, Official “Ambassador” for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ in China


  • Often described as China’s answer to Justin Bieber, the 25-year-old pop star is suddenly everywhere, promoting ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Kung Fu Panda 3,’ and next appearing opposite Matt Damon in Zhang Yimou’s ‘The Great Wall.’ Although he’s virtually unknown in the West, 25-year-old Chinese pop star-turned-screen neophyte Lu Han has emerged as the de facto face of Hollywood in China. Last Tuesday, Disney revealed that Han had been named the “official ambassador” for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in China. This uncommon title comes with obvious weight: The pic is all but certain to be the biggest international movie of 2016, and China is now the world’s second-largest movie market.

AMC’s ‘Into the Badlands’ Sells to Chinese Streamer LeTV


  • Entertainment One (eOne) has licensed AMC’s Into the Badlands to LeTV in China. The postapocalyptic martial arts drama, loosely based on the beloved and oft-adapted Chinese classic novel Journey to the West, will launch on LeTV’s streaming video services in early 2016. “We’re delighted to partner with LeTV, one of the largest online platforms in China, to bring this blockbuster series to the Chinese audience,” said eOne regional sales director Ben Bishop. In addition to Mainland China, eOne has licensed Into the Badlands to AMC Global in over 125 countries, including regions throughout Asia, Benelux, Latin America, Central Europe and Spain, as well as to Foxtel in Australia, SoHo in New Zealand and CMore in Scandinavia.

The Martian shows Hollywood’s Chinese connection has lift-off

30 November 2015

  • US talkshow host Stephen Colbert recently lampooned the phenomenon, but evidence is stacking up that shoehorning in a China-set scene actually works for Hollywood blockbusters. The Martian, in which the China National Space Administration saves both Nasa’s and Matt Damon’s asses, has just opened strongly over there with $50.1m (£33.3m). You can’t discount the importance of being the autumn’s breakout blockbuster elsewhere – but nor can Ridley Scott’s plot choices be dismissed, especially in the light of other films that have climbed on board what Colbert has dubbed the “Pander Express”. Roland Emmerich’s 2012 wasn’t the first tentpole release to do it (that was probably Mission: Impossible 3, a little too early in 2006). But having the Chinese army save the day saw an unmistakeable bounce ($68.7m) in that country for a relatively star-light film in 2009. Skyfall’s Shanghai and Macau-set scenes were partly censored, but the Bond franchise still more than doubled its take there (Skyfall: $59.2m; Quantum of Solace: $21m). Transformers: Age of Extinction trashed Hong Kong on its way to a Hollywood record in China ($320m) that stood until Furious 7 this year. Some of these leaps are admittedly difficult to untangle from Chinese box-office growth overall. The one that undeniably outperforms even that is Iron Man 3, which came in a separate, tailored version (ie with a couple of extra scenes) and whose marketing was carefully honed by local powerhouse DMG. The result: a stupendous hike from previous Iron Mans (1: $15.2m; 2: $7.9m; 3: $121.2m). Now imagine what Hollywood could achieve with an actual Chinese protagonist.

Daniel Wu talks about filming ‘Into the Badlands’

Nov 21, 2015

  • “Into the Badlands” is a new American television series that premiered on AMC this month. One of the leading characters, the warrior, is played by Daniel Wu, a Hong Kong-based Chinese-American actor, director and producer. Our correspondent Zhu Dan spoke to Wu about his role in the series both as an actor and as an executive producer.

China’s iQiyi, LeTV Take ‘Teletubbies’ Streaming Rights


  • Classic preschool kids TV show Teletubbies is headed to China’s online video market. iQiyi has acquired the AVOD and SVOD rights to more than 400 half hours of content from Canada’s DHX Media, including the original Teletubbies, Paddington and Caillou series. And in another non-exclusive licensing deal, LeTV has acquired the smart TV, set top box and web rights to 313 half-hours of the classic Teletubbies series in the English and Mandarin languages.

CBS, Showtime Ink Multiyear Deal With China Streaming Service PPTV


  • PPTV has 400 million users, making it China’s leading SVOD service. CBS Studios International has signed an exclusive, multiyear licensing deal with China’s leading SVOD operator for a programming package of series from its CBS and Showtime lineups. The deal, announced by CBS Global Distribution Group CEO Armando Nunez and PPTV management committee chairman Fan Zhijun, will give the Chinese streaming service exclusive access to selected new CBS event series as well as select upcoming Showtime dramas. PPTV will also get access to current hit shows from both networks.

China’s Le Vision Acquires Lionsgate’s ‘Gods of Egypt,’ Unveils 10-Film Slate


  • The U.S. arm of the Chinese studio also announced deals with Dark Horse Comics and ‘Lion King’ director Rob Minkoff. At the event, Le Vision Pictures USA announced its full slate of 10 films — all intended to be English-language, tentpole-scale movies that emphasize Chinese culture

AFM: Bruno Wu Launches $1.6 Billion Hollywood Fund With China’s Ezubo

November 5, 2015

  • Beijing Sun Seven Star Culture, controlled by colorful Chinese entrepreneur and producer Bruno Wu, has partnered with the Yucheng Group to use Yucheng’s Ezubo financial platform, as an international film finance tool. The co-operation begins with the launch of the 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) China Global Alliance Film Fund in Los Angeles.

China’s Tencent Picks Up James Bond Catalog, Paramount Slate

November 6, 2015

  • In two separate deals, Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings has picked up screening rights to the entire collection of James Bond franchise movies, and the upcoming slate of films from Paramount Pictures. The MGM deal gives Tencent transactional video on demand (TVOD) and subscription video on demand (SVOD) rights from “Dr. No” to “Skyfall.” The company will be able to air the movies via Tencent’s various online channels, including, and the Tencent Video app. The deal also includes “Spectre,” which be released in China on Nov. 13.

Hollywood, China Settle Revenue Rift

Nov. 6, 2015

  • The deal comes as many in the industry are calling for greater transparency in the Chinese film market The American movie industry has reached a new agreement with the Chinese government to try to ensure Hollywood studios are paid more quickly and accurately.

‘Point Break’ to Open in China 3 Weeks Before U.S. Release


  • According to producer Alcon Entertainment, China has approved the film for a wide release there on Dec. 3 — an unprecedented three weeks before its U.S. opening. The movie will be the last Hollywood release in China for 2015, following The Martian’s bow on Nov. 25 from Fox and The SpongeBob Movie on Dec. 1 from Paramount. Typically, imported movies are blocked from release in China during December and early January, during which time local films are given uncontested reign at China’s box office, now the world’s second-largest movie market.

Hollywood Studios Are Self-Censoring Movies To Appease Communist Censors In China, Says US Report


  • As studios grow more dependent on ticket sales from the Chinese box office, filmmakers have become more willing to sanitize the content of their movies in order to appeal to the stringent sensibilities of Chinese censors. The People’s Republic of China, far from embracing the cultural mores of Hollywood, is actually changing the political complexion of American movies. That’s according to a critical new staff report from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a congressionally mandated body tasked with monitoring bilateral trade between the United States and China. The 16-page report, released Wednesday, paints an unnerving picture of the Communist country’s tacit but diffuse influence over Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, illustrating how some studios are now so fearful of being denied distribution in China that they readily tweak lines of dialogue, alter scripts and revamp entire scenes to make them more palatable to the country’s tastes.

Li Bingbing to Star as Superhero in ‘Realm’

October 28, 2015

  • Chinese actress Li Bingbing will star in Realm, a new film from Chinese production and distribution company Fundamental Films and Stan Lee Global Entertainment.
  • The plot of the film is being kept under wraps but is based off an original idea from Lee, the mind behind some of the world’s most famous comic book characters including Spider-Man, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and the X-Men.

Imax, 20th Century Fox to Jointly Release Tentpoles in China

by Etan Vlessing 10/30/2015

  • Imax and 20th Century Fox have inked their first long-term, multi-picture deal, which includes the two companies agreeing to jointly release movies in China.
  • “We are also excited to be able to release blockbusters together in China, which we think could help Imax and Fox expand our footprint in that market jointly,” he added. The first long-term deal was preceded last year with Imax and 20th Century Fox signing an initial four-picture deal that covered DreamWorks Animation’s The Penguins of Madagascar, Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings and EuropaCorp’s Taken 3.

China’s iQiyi CEO Talks Push Into Originals, Hollywood Relationships, Netflix (Q&A)

by Georg Szalai 10/28/2015

  • Gong Yu says the Baidu-owned online video powerhouse wants to adapt more foreign formats and sell its originals abroad. Chinese Internet giant Baidu’s iQiyi online video service has been pushing into original content, while emerging as a key partner for Hollywood studios as it looks to continue growing the number of paying subscribers among its 500 million monthly users.
  • iQiyi founder and CEO Gong Yu last week visited London to attend the U.K.-China “Creativity is Great” forum, with Prince William and Kate Middleton also among the participants, during president Xi Jinping’s state visit to Britain. At the forum, Gong delivered a speech about China’s online video industry and called for further collaboration.

Hollywood stars launch casino resort

AAP – Wed, Oct 28, 2015

  • Hollywood stars including Leonardo DiCaprio have launched Macau’s newest $US3.2 billion ($A4.45 billion) casino and entertainment resort, as the southern Chinese enclave’s high-roller gambling business takes a hit from Beijing’s corruption crackdown. Studio City’s opening was marked by the premiere of The Audition, a short movie promoting the resort, directed by Academy Award-winner Martin Scorsese and starring DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Brad Pitt.

Lionsgate’s ‘Power Rangers’ Movie Casts Chinese Actor Ludi Lin as Black Ranger

by Patrick Brzeski 10/23/2015

  • Lionsgate has recruited Chinese actor Ludi Lin to morph into the Black Ranger for the studio’s forthcoming Power Rangers movie.
  • Lin was born in China but grew up in Australia and Canada before returning to Asia to pursue a career as an actor. Although somewhat new to the industry, he appears poised to break out. Earlier this year, Lin had a small role in Monster Hunt, China’s highest-grossing film ever, followed by a cameo in comedy blockbuster Lost in Hong Kong. He can next be seen in season two of Netflix period series Marco Polo.

The China story keeps getting better

by Geoffrey Eu Oct 23, 2015

  • WHEN Matt Damon needs to be rescued from the Red Planet in The Martian, the mission to bring him home gets a big assist from China’s national space agency, which provides one of its booster rockets after Nasa’s own space probe explodes during launch.
  • On the investment front, China’s Wanda Group put its financial clout (to the tune of US$30 million) behind boxing film Southpaw, which had its world premiere at this year’s Shanghai International Film Festival.
  • And early next year when Kung Fu Panda 3 hits the screens, it will be a collaboration between DreamWorks Animation and Shanghai-based Oriental DreamWorks, marking the first time a major animated film is co-produced by a China-owned company.
  • What in the (film) world is going on? The Chinese are making big strides in Hollywood – in every way imaginable, according to Yu Dong, CEO of the Bona Film Group, the largest privately-owned film distributor in China and one of the significant players in the country’s fast-growing film industry (along with e-commerce giant Wanda and Internet companies Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent).

NBCUniversal Signs Movie Licensing Deal With China’s iQIYI

by Patrick Brzeski 10/21/2015

  • Chinese online video service iQIYI and NBCUniversal have signed a licensing deal giving the Chinese company the right to stream all of Universal Pictures’ forthcoming movies released theatrically in China over “the next few years.”
  • In a statement announcing the deal, the two companies also hyped the benefits of increased online exposure in China for Universal, noting that iQIYI promoted the Fast & Furious and Jurassic Park franchise films on its services during the lead-up to the successful Chinese releases of Furious 7 and Jurassic World earlier this year.

‘Star Wars’: Stormtroopers Swarm Great Wall as Force Awakens in China

by Patrick Brzeski 10/21/2015

  • Creating a world-class selfie opportunity for the legions of Chinese fans who turned up for the event, 500 Stormtrooper figures were arranged in marching formation on the steps leading up to one of the Wall’s guard towers. Disney also handed out hundreds of red and blue light sabers and other merchandise.

Hollywood reflections: Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ shows where China and India stand in the global pecking order

October 16, 2015

  • As The Martian’s plot unfolds we find Nasa scrambling to rescue Watney. Their initial plan is to send a supply pod to Mars so that Watney can survive till the next manned mission to the Red planet. However that plan fails as Nasa tries to rush through the rescue project, leading to the launch vehicle blowing up shortly after take-off. It’s then that the Chinese space agency decides to help its American counterpart. But the Chinese are cautious and there’s an interesting dialogue between two directors of the Chinese space agency where they debate the modalities of offering such help. Since this would involve offering a secret Chinese booster rocket to launch a supply craft, they decide to proceed gingerly and go for agency-to-agency cooperation.
  • Contrast this with the Indian element in The Martian. The character of Vincent Kapoor, Nasa’s technical head of Mars operations, is actually played by Nigeria actor Chiwetel Ejiofor. In fact, throughout the movie one struggles to figure out why Ridley Scott had a character with an Indian surname when it was going to be played by a black actor. This becomes even more perplexing when one finds out that in the original book that inspired the movie Vincent Kapoor is actually Venkat Kapoor, an Indian-American.
  • One can only conclude that the Indian element in The Martian was forced – it may not have been there at all. Whereas China is very much front and centre. That, as it happens, is a fair assessment of where China stands in the current global scheme of things and how the West views India – exotic and charming but too far down the pecking order.

Imax to Release Homegrown Movie ‘Mojin-The Lost Legend’ in China

by Etan Vlessing 10/14/2015

  • The Wanda, Huayi Brothers co-production will be super-sized for a Dec. 18 release after ‘Monster Hunt’ became the highest-grossing Chinese movie ever. After Imax had success with its release of Monster Hunt in China (the film is the highest-grossing Chinese movie ever), the giant-screen exhibitor is set to release another local film in China, the epic 3D fantasy Mojin-The Lost Legend. The co-production between Wanda Media, Huayi Brothers Media and Beijing Enlight Pictures will be super-sized by Imax for a 3D Dec. 18 release. The move continues a charge by the Toronto-based giant-screen exhibitor into the local multiplex in China with homegrown movies.

Chinese Films Catching Up to Hollywood Releases in Visual Effects

Francis Eduard Ang | Oct 13, 2015

  • The disparity in the visual effects quality of Chinese and Hollywood films is decreasing, according to both film industry analysts and Chinese box-office receipts. In particular, three special-effects films released this year were deemed to be box-office hits, namely, “Monster Hunt,” “Monkey King: Hero Is Back” and “Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe.” All three films have won over the Chinese market, generally outperforming their Hollywood counterparts.

China’s Huayi Brothers Sets Superhero Franchise Pact With Michael Uslan

October 12, 2015

  • China’s Huayi Brothers Media has teamed with “Batman” producer Michael Uslan to launch a film and TV franchise based on the “Thunder Agents” comic book series. Uslan announced the pact and the projects at a panel discussion during New York Comic Con this weekend. He and Huayi, China’s largest private sector film conglomerate, later held a launch party at the United Nations, which is also a partner on the package, along with Florida firm CEA Group, and graphic novels house IDW Publishing. United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon provided a skit by video link. The “Thunder Agents” comic series was created by Wally Wood and was popular in the 1960s when it was published by Tower Comics. Thunder is the acronym for a fictional group of peace keepers known as ‘The Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves.’ The elite group is selected from ordinary people, and benefit from high-tech equipment that help agents become super powers, and wage war against evil.

Oscar winner Annaud slams Academy for China film block

AFP October 13, 2015

  • Beijing (AFP) – Acclaimed film director and Oscar winner Jean-Jacques Annaud furiously denounced the Academy Award organisers on Monday after he said they ordered his Sino-French co-production “Wolf Totem” out of the running for being insufficiently Chinese. Annaud told AFP he was “stupefied” by the last-minute move and accused the Hollywood-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of a “banana republic level of arbitrariness”.

Lionsgate Pacts With Chinese Online Giant IQIYI

by Kevin Cassidy 10/9/2015

  • The new output deal grants China’s largest internet video platform exclusive rights to theatrical titles including ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’ and the next chapter in the ‘Divergent’ series. Lionsgate has signed a long-term output deal for a number of high-profile Lionsgate and third-party feature films with China’s largest comprehensive online video platform iQIYI. The agreement covers subscription video on demand (SVOD) and transactional video on demand (TVOD) rights for films streaming on iQIYI’s platforms, which possess over 500 million unique users. iQIYI will have an exclusive SVOD and TVOD window for Lionsgate theatrical titles covered under the agreement.

Hollywood’s Grip On China’s Movie Audience Is Fading Fast

Rob Cain Oct 8, 2015

  • Hollywood’s sway over the Middle Kingdom’s multiplexes is in precipitous decline. This year imports from America will tally their lowest market share ever in China’s modern cinema history, most likely less than 35%. That’s a far cry from the 63% share they held as recently as the first half of 2012.
  • China’s locally made movies are steadily getting better, and they’re drawing bigger box office numbers. In 2015 at least 7 Chinese movies will gross $150 million or more in mainland multiplexes. Only 3 or 4 Hollywood imports will reach that threshold. There have been only a few upside surprises–like Furious 7‘s stunning $391 million China gross–but plenty of surprising under-performers among the American imports. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, is the latest such example. It will finish up its PRC run with a decent $135 million gross, but that’s barely half the level of the consensus pre-release estimates, and it will be the first Mission Impossible film to fail to crack China’s annual top 10.

Meet China’s La Peikang, the movie world’s most powerful man

The head of China’s biggest film company talks about censorship, increasing artistic quality and box office returns that, he says, will beat America’s by 2017

Phil Hoad Wednesday 7 October 2015

  • La Peikang’s business card spells it out: “Chairman of the board, China Film Co.” Double-sided, in Mandarin and English. Off-white, with a tantalising iridescent sheen. I have a serious case of Patrick Bateman card-envy as I reach into my Nike sports wallet and fish out mine, with my new mobile number scrawled on it in ballpoint. Not what will impress the man who, on current projections, will oversee the world’s largest film market by 2017. State-owned China Film Co is a leading film producer that owns theatres, drives technological research and is the country’s sole importer of foreign films, too. La’s predecessor – the bullish impresario Han Sanping, who stepped down in 2014 after a 15-year reign – has been described as “Jack Valenti [creator of the US ratings system], Lew Wasserman [legendary studio executive] and Steven Spielberg rolled into one”.

The Deepening China-Hollywood Connection


  • China currently has the world’s second largest film market (by total box office revenue), and some estimate based on recent numbers that it could overtake the U.S. by 2018. As China’s middle class has grown over the past decade, the number of cinemas in the nation has increased by more than 800%. Under Beijing’s current film import quota, those proliferating silver screens are allowed to show only 34 foreign films each year—a policy both political (allowing Beijing to deny entry to content not in line with Party values), and economic (bolstering the domestic industry by limiting foreign competition). As Hollywood studios see potential in China’s market but face the import quota, they have become increasingly willing to cater to Chinese censors to better their chances of making the cut, and to insert sometimes extraneous cultural references that appeal to Chinese filmgoers. At CCTV America May Lee looks at the deepening relationship between Hollywood and China:

China’s Animation Revenue for 2014 Reaches $16 Billion

EL Borromeo | Oct 03, 2015

  • An official shared that for the year 2014, China’s animation industry generated around $16 billion worth of revenues, a remarkable feat for the booming domestic movie market segment. According to Liu Hongge, the Ministry of Culture’s center for international cultural exchange deputy director, the figure was a 15-percent increase from the previous year’s statistic. Liu spoke during the opening ceremony of the 12th China International Animation Art Week held in Changzhou City in east China’s Jiangsu Province.

Chinese Box Office for Terminator Genisys Surpasses North America

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 2, 2015

  • Terminator Genisys, released by Paramount and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, hit the mainland Chinese market on August 23. The box office revenue of US$27 million dollars from its first day, ranking #4 on the list of first day box office revenue in China. After 10 days of release, Terminator Genisys’s box office in mainland China had already overtaken North America to become the largest box office market for the film around the world. Currently, the Chinese box office gross has reached US$113 million dollars, ranking #12 on the ranking list of box office revenue of imported films, and its global box office has already surpassed the US$400 million dollar mark. Though screenings in China began two months later than North America, the film’s strong performance in Chinese market was particularly important to its overall success.

Zhang Yimou to Be Honored at U.S.-China Film Summit in Los Angeles

by Patrick Brzeski 9/25/2015

  • When Hollywood and Chinese film industry leaders gather for the 6th annual U.S.-China Film Summit on Nov. 5 in Los Angeles, Chinese director Zhang Yimou will receive a special lifetime achievement honor. As in past years, the Asia Society-sponsored event will feature a series of panel discussions addressing the raft of perennial cross-border industry topics: Chinese investment in Hollywood, Hollywood investment in China, production partnerships, technological developments, ancillary market potential and assorted legal and cultural complications. A gala dinner will follow.

Chinese-backed animation studio has Hollywood values and global ambitions

Tencent-funded Original Force Animation wants to make movies not just for Chinese audiences, but for global audiences, CEO Harley Zhao tells Richard Verrier

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 September, 2015

  • The studio, which officially opened last month, looks just like any other bustling animation house in the area. This one, however, is different: it’s the new motion picture division of China’s Original Force, a digital animation studio backed by Chinese social networking company Tencent Holdings. Despite having just 60 employees locally, Original Force Animation has big ambitions. It aims to create Hollywood-style films that can tap into China’s vast box office while also doing well internationally.

‘Mission’ Accomplished In China: ‘Rogue Nation’ Now Highest-Grossing 2D Film

by Anthony D’Alessandro and Nancy Tartaglione September 22, 2015

  • Paramount and Skydance’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation has rocketed past Interstellar as the highest-grossing 2D Hollywood film ever at the Chinese box office. The Tom Cruise starrer has earned $124M since it’s Middle Kingdom release on September 8; that tops the $122M Christopher Nolan’s space epic made there last year. It also marks a milestone for e-commerce giant Alibaba, whose Alibaba Pictures made its first Hollywood investment with the actioner.

Warner Bros., China Media Capital Unveil Joint Venture ‎to Produce Chinese-Language Tentpoles

by Patrick Brzeski 9/20/2015

  • Headquartered in Hong Kong, with offices in Los Angeles and Beijing, the new Flagship Entertainment Group Ltd. will produce a slate of movies for global distribution, with the first titles released as soon as 2016. Ahead of Chinese president Xi Jingping’s visit to the United States this week, Warner Bros. announced a major agreement Sunday with China Media Capital (CMC), a giant investment fund backed by the Chinese government, to form a joint venture, Flagship Entertainment Group Limited. The new entity will develop, distribute and produce a slate of Chinese-language films, including global tent poles, for distribution in China and around the world. The first titles from the imprint could be released as soon as 2016.

China’s Tencent Pictures Partners With Legendary, Wanda Cinemas

By Alex Ritman 9/17/2015

  • The Chinese giant will partner on Legendary’s upcoming big-budget video game adaptation ‘Warcraft.’ Tencent Pictures, the film investment banner of Chinese online giant Tencent, has revealed new partnerships with Legendary Pictures and Wanda Cinemas. The deal with Legendary will see Tencent partner on the production of upcoming video game adaptation Warcraft, according to the announcement.

Chinese Films Shine at Toronto International Film Festival

Francis Eduard Ang | Sep 15, 2015

  • Thirteen Chinese films, including Jia Zhangke’s “Mountains May Depart,” are scheduled for screening at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this year. Now on its 40th year, the festival opened on Thursday, Sept. 10. The 11-day festival is set to screen about 400 films from over 70 countries and regions. Some of the Chinese films scheduled to be screened include “Mountains May Depart” by Jia Zhangke, “Office” by Johnnie To, “Paths to the Soul” by Zhang Yang and “The Promised Land” by He Ping.

Toronto: Film Exec Says China Biz Is ‘Leapfrogging’ Over Hollywood

SEPTEMBER 15, 2015

  • Hollywood has much to learn from China, “which is essentially leapfrogging over the West” in terms of film and TV innovation, founder-producer of Lavabear David Linde said at a Toronto panel session Tuesday. Linde reminded the audience that China is the second-largest market for film and is growing so fast that it will be No. 1 within a few years. The film companies cater to a digitally-savvy movie audience, while the boom in high-tech multiplexes has helped spur the growth.

Universal signs deal with China to open Beijing theme park

Sep. 15, 2015

  • BEIJING (AP) — Universal Studios has signed a deal with a Chinese state-owned consortium to build a Hollywood theme park in Beijing to open in 2019, state media reported Tuesday.

Chinese Star Li Bingbing Lands In Australian Sci-Fi Pic ‘Nest’ (EXCLUSIVE)

September 14, 2015

  • Li Bingbing, the top Chinese actress who is carving out a Hollywood career, is to star in “Nest,” an English-language sci-fi actioner being directed by Kimble Rendall. Li will also be a producer on the Chinese-Australian co-production, which is being represented by Darclight, the genre films offshoot of Sydney- and Los Angeles-based Arclight Films. Pre-production ahead of a shoot in 3D is under way in Australia’s Gold Coast and Darclight is pitching the film to distributors at the Toronto Film Festival.

China’s Tencent Makes Entire ‘Star Wars’ Saga Available Online

by Patrick Brzeski 9/14/2015

  • In a landmark deal with Disney and 20th Century Fox, China’s 640 million internet users are getting legitimate digital access to the beloved franchise for the first time. Walt Disney and 20th Century Fox have partnered with Chinese Internet giant Tencent to make the entire Star Wars saga available to Chinese viewers online, the two companies said Monday.

Chinese film nabs Fedeora award at Venice Int’l Film Festival

Jackie Chan Returns To CAA, Plots China Expansion Plans

by Mike Fleming Jr September 14, 2015

  • Jackie Chan has rejoined CAA. He signed with the agency days after leaving WME when his agent (and now manager) Philip Button exited the agency to join STX, where Chan will star in The Foreigner. Through its Century City and Beijing outposts, CAA will rep the action star and his company SR Media Corporation. A priority will be to package, find funding and sell projects generated by Chan’s company, with a focus on U.S.-China co-productions.

“Monster Hunt” sets China box office record 2015-09-12

  • BEIJING, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) — Domestic live-action animation “Monster Hunt” beat Hollywood blockbuster “Furious 7,” setting the record for highest-grossing film in the Chinese market and becoming the first Chinese film to take the top spot in 21 years. Its total box office sales exceeded 2.428 billion yuan (385.3 U.S.dollars) as of Friday since its debut on July 16, according to statistics released by an office affiliated with the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT).

Chinese blockbuster Monster Hunt to hit North American theaters

by Shirley Li Posted September 10 2015

  • The record-breaking Chinese blockbuster Monster Hunt is heading across the Pacific, thanks to distribution company FilmRise, which has acquired exclusive North American rights to the live-action and CGI film. Screen Daily first reported the deal.

China Shuts Down Industrial Polluters to Improve Air Quality at Shanghai Disneyland

by Patrick Brzeski 9/8/2015

  • According to a local Chinese government authority, 153 heavy polluters in the resort’s vicinity have been ordered to close before the end of 2016 to boost the air quality and atmosphere around the park. Shanghai Disneyland, nearly 10 years in the making, is set to open its doors to the Chinese public in the first half of 2016.

China Film Execs Claim ‘Terminator’ a Victim of Box-Office Fraud to Boost Propaganda Movie

by Patrick Brzeski 9/7/2015

  • Since its release on Aug. 28, Chinese propaganda film The Hundred Regiments Offensive has been battling Paramount’s Terminator: Genisys for the top spot at the Chinese box office, now the world’s second-most-valuable film market. The Chinese government has cited patriotism spurred by last week’s 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in World War II as the key to the film’s success. But a broad swath of China’s film community – from ordinary viewers to cinema managers to studio heads – has raised questions about the nationalistic war epic’s outsize performance.

Alibaba Pictures Readies China Release Of ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’

by Ali Jaafar September 7, 2015

  • Alibaba Pictures announced today that Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation will debut in Chinese cinemas nationwide tomorrow. The film represents Alibaba’s first investment in a Hollywood project. In addition to its financial investment, the film unit of the e-commerce giant has been collaborating with Paramount for weeks on online ticketing, promotion and merchandising for the film’s release in China. Over the past two months, Alibaba Pictures has leveraged Alibaba Group’s ecosystem and massive user base to launch a user-targeted approach toward movie promotion and merchandising, including several rounds of advance ticket sales through online portal Taobao Movie. There has also been a tie-up with Mobile Taobao to release online games related to the movie. Tapping into the large base of manufacturers and merchants on Alibaba Group’s platforms, Paramount Pictures found about 30 merchants to handle the manufacture and sale of authentic movie merchandise in China.

China Has Hollywood’s Attention. It Wants More

Alibaba and other Chinese players see more than stars in Tinseltown

Anousha Sakoui Bloomberg Businessweek September 4, 2015

  • Alibaba’s Jack Ma, China’s second-richest person, made headlines last year when he visited Hollywood looking for deals. He met with studio executives such as Sony Pictures’ Michael Lynton and sat courtside at a Los Angeles Lakers game with superagent Ari Emanuel and actor Jet Li. One memento of the trip surfaced this summer in the form of the Paramount Pictures hit Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation. Alibaba Pictures Group invested in the feature, which generated $479 million in global box office through Aug. 30, and got the rights to sell merchandise and tickets to its 367 million customers in China when the film opens there on Sept. 8. The deal with Viacom’s Paramount is one of more than a half-dozen in the past year between U.S. studios and Chinese companies that are quickly putting down roots in Hollywood. Alibaba, Dalian Wanda Group, Huayi Brothers Media, and others want to funnel films through their media outlets at home, as well as deepen their understanding of the lucrative business. “China is trying to learn why Hollywood is so successful,” says Stanley Rosen, a University of Southern California political science professor who studies the relationship between the mainland and the U.S. film industry. China, he says, wants to master the business “from the bottom up.”

Box Office: Chinese Crowds Lifting ‘Terminator Genisys’ Into Hit Territory

August 30, 2015

  • The critically derided cyborg sequel has earned a disappointing $89.4 million in the U.S., but it’s putting up huge numbers in the People’s Republic. The fifth film in the “Terminator” series topped foreign charts for the second weekend in a row, with the bulk of its $23.6 million overseas gross coming from China. It has made nearly as much there in eight days of release as it did in its entire stateside run, picking up $82.8 million.

Warner Bros. to Partner with China Media Capital to Produce Films in China

Francis Eduard Ang | Aug 26, 2015

  • Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. is in talks with China Media Capital for a joint venture to produce local-language films in China, according to people with information on the potential partnership. In the past, Hollywood studios have worked with partners in China to produce films, but those deals would normally not be long-term and last only a few films. This deal, which aims to make several films annually, could be the most expansive of its kind.

Arnie might be back after all: Chinese debut could save Terminator franchise

Phil Hoad Monday 24 August 2015

  • He’ll be back. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s dusty catchphrase was looking a mite optimistic a few weeks ago, after Terminator Genisys’s under-powered launch – as was Paramount’s decision to pencil in a 19 May 2017 release for a sixth instalment to the franchise. A stonking $27.4m opening Sunday in China changes all that, boosting the $155m-budget film much closer to the $400m mark, and the kind of profit margin that gets dead android fingers twitching again. It’s the country’s fourth biggest opening day, behind Furious 7 ($63m), Avengers: Age of Ultron ($33.9m) and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($30m) – and far in advance of the US first day ($8.9m). China audiences were probably gagging for Hollywood product after the two-month blackout, and that old publicity warhorse Schwarzenegger took full advantage, personally chaperoning the film into the country (even appearing on the local version of The Voice).

Who is Fan Bingbing: The first Asian actress to join Hollywood’s rich list?

By Fiona Keating August 22, 2015

  • Fan Bingbing is now fourth highest-paid actress in the world, worth $21m (£13.38m) according to Forbes. The actress, who is relatively unknown actress in the West, has huge earning power and courted by luxury brands to promote their goods to China’s population of one billion. The 33-year-old’s only Hollywood performance was as the character Blink (Clarice Ferguson) in X-Men: Days of Future Past. But she is slated to appear in more instalments in the sci-fi film franchise.

Homegrown movies in China set high bar for Hollywood imports

Xinhua 2015-08-14

  • The latest numbers show domestic live-action animation Monster Hunt was pushing 2.1 billion yuan (US$320 million) in ticket sales, just short of the 2.4 billion yuan (US$375 million) that earned US action film Furious 7 the top spot in April.
  • Monkey King: Hero is Back, a Chinese animated feature film, recently dethroned Kung Fu Panda 2 to become the highest grossing animated film in China. Another big earner, Jian Bing Man, made more than 1 billion yuan (US$156 million), even though it is the directorial debut from Dong Chengpeng.

China’s iQiyi to Show ‘Talking to Hollywood With Betty Zhou’

by Abid Rahman 8/14/2015

  • Talking to Hollywood With Betty Zhou has been created in conjunction with Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, Universal Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment and will feature behind the scenes news, interviews with film stars and other exclusive content linked to upcoming Hollywood releases in China.

Rogue One—The Daring Mission Has Begun: Cast and Crew Announced

Anthology Series // AUGUST 15, 2015

  • The filmmakers have assembled a stellar cast, including Felicity Jones, nominated for an Academy Award for her leading role in The Theory of Everything; Diego Luna, who was featured in 2008’s Oscar-winning Milk and 2013’s Elysium; Ben Mendelsohn, recently nominated for an Emmy for his leading role in Bloodline and co-starring in the upcoming Mississippi Grind; Donnie Yen, Hong Kong action star and martial artist who starred in Ip Man and Blade II; Jiang Wen, who co-wrote, produced , directed and starred in the award-winning Let the Bullets Fly and Devils on the Doorstep; Forest Whitaker, recently featured in the critically-acclaimed Lee Daniels’ The Butler and winner of an Academy Award for his leading role in 2006’s The Last King of Scotland; Mads Mikkelsen, who starred in The Hunt and was the memorable villain from 2006’s Casino Royale; Alan Tudyk, who plays a performance-capture character in Rogue One, stars in the soon-to-be-released Con Man series and Trumbo, which releases this November; and Riz Ahmed, who was recently featured in Nightcrawler and starred in the BAFTA-winning film Four Lions.

China’s Original Force Animation Pushes Into Feature Films With 2 Hollywood Vets

Movies | By Todd Cunningham on August 12, 2015

  • China’s Original Force Animation is expanding into feature films, having named Hollywood veterans Sandra Rabins and Penney Finkelman Cox co-presidents and opened a Los Angeles office, company founder and president Harley Zhao said Wednesday. Rabins and Finkelman Cox, who were instrumental in the launch of DreamWorks’ and Sony’s animation arms, yielding blockbusters “Shrek,” “Prince of Egypt” and “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” said Original Force’s goal is to deliver a computer-generated animated film every 18 months.

‘Monster Hunt’ Passes ‘Transformers 4’ In China; Now 2nd Highest-Grossing Film Ever

by Nancy Tartaglione August 9, 2015

  • If Monster Hunt has its sights set on all-time Middle Kingdom box office champ, Furious 7, it will need to put another $62.6M in the tank. While that Universal title is still several laps ahead, the local-language juggernaut has been on a tear, steadily rounding up records during its 25-day run thus far. Rentrak puts Monster Hunt‘s cume as of Sunday at $328.4M locally which shoots it past Transformers: Age Of Extinction ($318.78M) to become the No. 2 movie ever at the Chinese box office. The Global Times reports that Monster Hunt‘s official Sina Weibo account said it had earned 2B yuan ($322M) as of Saturday night. The only other film ever to cross 2B is Furious 7 with 2.43B.

China is creating its own sci-fi franchise to rival “Transformers” and “The Hunger Games”

Written by Josh Horwitz August 06, 2015

  • Chinese film studios have wrapped up production of The Three-Body Problem, an adaptation of a popular sci-fi novel about an alien invasion that takes place during the Cultural Revolution. The three-part series that it’s the first part of has sold more than a million copies in China—unusually high popularity for the genre in China. In November 2014, the first book was translated into English and published in the United States by Tor Books. The film will be the first of a five-part series co-produced by Alibaba Pictures and Yoozoo pictures, both relatively new players in China’s film industry. Each feature is reported to have a budget of 200 million yuan (about US$32 million), and the first feature is to hit theaters in July 2016.

‘Monster Hunt’ Becomes Highest-Grossing Chinese Movie Ever

by Abid Rahman 7/27/2015

  • Fantasy adventure movie Monster Hunt has become the highest-grossing Chinese movie of all time. Now in its second week in theaters, Monster Hunt grabbed another $46 million at the Chinese box office this weekend to give it a worldwide cume of $211 million, taking it past Lost in Thailand, which grossed $185 million back in 2013.

Jack Ma-backed Mission Impossible 5 to hit China in September

Xinhua and Staff Reporter 2015-07-27

  • Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, the fifth installment in the action franchise starring Tom Cruise, will open in China on Sept. 8, later than its first release in North America on July 31.

Monkey King overtakes Kung Fu Panda 2 as China’s animation top earner 2015-07-25

  • BEIJING, July 25 (Xinhua) — China-made animated feature “Monkey King: The Hero is Back” had raked in 620 million yuan (99.8 million U.S. dollar) as of 4:00 p.m. Saturday, snatching the throne of the highest grossing animated film in Chinese cinemas formerly held by “Kung Fu Panda 2.”

Hollywood’s New Backer: China

From new release ‘Southpaw’ to startup studios, Hollywood reaches for Chinese investors

By Ben Fritz July 25, 2015

  • The boxing drama “Southpaw” released over the weekend has a seemingly unlikely partner in its corner: Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Corp. Wanda financed the approximately $30 million production budget for the Jake Gyllenhaal movie. It was produced and is being released by Weinstein Co., which is paying for about $35 million of marketing expenses. The two companies will split any profits.

Special Report: How Sony sanitized Adam Sandler movie to please Chinese censors

HONG KONG/LOS ANGELES | By Clare Baldwin and Kristina Cooke Fri Jul 24, 2015

  • In a 2013 script for the movie “Pixels,” intergalactic aliens blast a hole in one of China’s national treasures – the Great Wall. That scene is gone from the final version of the sci-fi comedy, starring Adam Sandler and released by Sony Pictures Entertainment this week in the United States. The aliens strike iconic sites elsewhere, smashing the Taj Mahal in India, the Washington Monument and parts of Manhattan. Sony executives spared the Great Wall because they were anxious to get the movie approved for release in China, a review of internal Sony Pictures emails shows. It is just one of a series of changes aimed at stripping the movie of content that, Sony managers feared, Chinese authorities might have construed as casting their country in a negative light.

China and Hollywood test blockbuster formula. Box office windfall?

‘The Great Wall’ being filmed now near Beijing is a litmus test for US-China joint film projects. The Chinese box office is No. 2 globally, behind the US.

By Michael Holtz, Staff writer July 20, 2015

  • Beijing — Matt Damon has long been one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. But in China, even he admits that fans have more interest in homegrown actors like Lu Han, a 25-year-old teenage heartthrob.
  • “The Great Wall” has no shortage of Chinese stars, including Mr. Lu and veteran Hong Kong actor Andy Lau. It’s also the first English-language movie by Zhang Yimou, one of China’s best-known directors dating to his simple elegiac films of small town Chinese life. In recent years, he has directed action films like the Kung Fu drama “House of Flying Daggers,” and ”Hero,” and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. What little has been disclosed about the movie reveals that it focuses on a group of elite warriors who use the Great Wall as a weapon to combat otherworldly creatures. It’s due for global release in November 2016.

Forget ‘Minions,’ ‘Monster Hunt’ and ‘Monkey King’ Smash Chinese Box Office Records

By Amid Amidi on Sunday July 19, 2015

  • The top-grossing international feature film was neither Ant-Man nor Minions this weekend; it was a Chinese 3-D live-action/animation hybrid called Monster Hunt. Below is its insane trailer which includes a man-giving-birth-to-a-cartoon scene:
  • Monster Hunt wasn’t the only animation project leading the Chinese box office charge. The fully-animated CGI movie Monkey King: Hero is Back earned $22.5M at the Chinese box office this weekend. With $70M banked after two frames, Monkey King, directed by Tian Xiao Peng, has now surpassed Boonie Bears: To the Rescue to become China’s highest-grossing local animated film, says Film Business Asia. (Note: The latter site provides different foreign figures than Rentrak, which we use, but either way, it’s a record.) Here is the Monkey King trailer, which includes “creative consultation” from Hoodwinked co-director/writer Cory Edwards:
  • MONSTER HUNT Trailer (2015) Martial-Arts Fantasy Movie
  • Monkey King: Hero is Back (西游记之大圣归来) 2015 English Trailer

Hollywood Pays Attention As China’s Movie Box Office Grows By 50%; Nation Adds Nearly 30 Screens A Day

By Duncan Hewitt July 16 2015

  • SHANGHAI — China’s movie box-office receipts continued their heady growth in the first half of this year, up 50 percent over the same period last year. Figures from China’s film regulator show total revenue of $3.3 billion, compared to $2.2 billion in the first half of 2014. It’s a further sign that the pace of revenue growth, which has made China the world’s second largest movie market in recent years, and attracted growing attention from Hollywood, is only picking up. Strong growth in the second half of last year meant total revenue for 2014 was $4.8 billion, up 36 percent on the previous year. If current rates continue, China’s box office is on course to reach almost two-thirds of that of the U.S., the world’s No. 1 market, by the end of this year. U.S. box office receipts last year were $10.3 billion, after declining from the previous year’s figure.

China’s Box Office Exceeds 20 Bln in 1st Half of 2015


  • China’s box office has totaled 20.4 billion yuan or 3.3 billion U.S. dollars in the first half of this year. Domestic films raked in very respectable 9.5 billion yuan, compared to foreign movies which grossed 10.8 billion yuan.

Shanghai Disneyland Plans ‘Star Wars,’ Marvel Attractions

July 14, 2015

  • HONG KONG — The upcoming Shanghai Disneyland will boast six themed lands, many specially designed for Chinese guests. The $5.5 billion theme park, Disney’s first in mainland China, will also feature “Star Wars” and Marvel attractions, including ones with the superheroes Iron Man, Spider-Man and the Hulk. “We are building something truly special here in Shanghai that not only showcases the best of Disney’s storytelling but also celebrates and incorporates China’s incredibly rich heritage to create a one-of-a-kind destination that will delight and entertain the people of China for generations to come,” said Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger at a presentation at the Shanghai Expo Centre.

‘Rush Hour’ Stars Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker Reunite in China

by Ashley Lee 7/14/2015

  • “He walks around with like 15 people, and I’m in the back of the 15 people,” Tucker said on ‘The Late Late Show.’ ” ‘Jackie, wait up! Hold up! This don’t look right, we’re supposed to be together!’ ” Chris Tucker reunited with his Rush Hour co-star Jackie Chan in China recently, he told James Corden on Monday’s Late Late Show.
  • Chris Tucker Visits Jackie Chan in China

Mel Gibson Confirmed as Adviser on China’s ‘Bombing’

July 13, 2015

  • Mel Gibson has been confirmed as joining big-budget Chinese film “The Bombing” as a creative adviser. Bruce Willis is part of the cast of the 3D WWII movie.
  • The story focuses on the World War II bombing of the city of Chongquing by Japanese forces. The city served as the provisional capital of forces commanded by Chiang Kai-Shek. “I hope audiences around the world can appreciate the cruelty of war and our courage, determination and capability to fight against it,” Shi Jianxiang said in a statement. “China needs such movies that deliver hope and spirit.”

Chinese Superhero Movie ‘Pancake Man’ Heads For U.S. Release (EXCLUSIVE)

JULY 10, 2015

  • Chinese superhero comedy “Pancake Man” (“Jian Bing Man”), which features cameos from Jean-Claude van Damme, is set to get a North American release on July 24. “Pancake” and Hong Kong-made sports action picture “To the Fore” will both be distributed by Milt Barlow’s specialty company Asia Releasing on behalf of rights holder Magnum Films.

‘The Great Wall’ Aims to Bridge Hollywood-China Divide

by Clifford Coonan 7/3/2015

  • The fantasy epic features Matt Damon and Willem Dafoe alongside a host of major Chinese talent.
  • “The reason I took this film on is it is about Chinese culture, which attracted me the most,” said Zhang, director of arthouse favorites Raise the Red Lantern, Red Sorghum and To Live. “Even though it is about fighting against monsters on the Great Wall, it still deals with a lot of what I want to express. It includes everything a good film needs — good actors and a good story.”
  • “If everyone else in the world does more [box office] than China, it’s great, if China does more, great, that’s even better,” said Loehr. “The outlook from the beginning was, this is an international, English-language movie with Matt Damon and monsters, and it speaks to a specific demographic, and it happens to have Chinese themes.”

Top Chinese Director Says Local Filmmakers Must Raise Their Game to Compete With

by Clifford Coonan 7/2/2015

  • With his new film, ‘Monk Comes Down the Mountain,’ ‘Farewell, My Concubine’ director Chen Kaige says he used a Western crew to help him “reach an advanced international level from the technology and industry perspective.” Top Chinese director Chen Kaige said that while the movie industry was booming in his country, local filmmakers needed to raise their standards if domestic films were to compete with Hollywood in the world’s second largest market.

China Surpasses 20B Yuan Mark for Total Gross of Films Earlier Than Last Year: Report

EL Borromeo | Jul 02, 2015

  • China has surpassed the 20-billion-yuan mark for the total gross of films released in the country on Monday night. This is according to the report posted by China Movie Channel website The feat was achieved in only 180 days–66 days earlier than it took to reach the same accomplishment in 2014. In total, China’s domestic films gathered a total of 9.3 billion yuan. This comprises 46.5 percent of the combined gross from both local and foreign titles released in the Chinese mainland. Thirty-nine films have pulled in over 100 million yuan, out of all the films released starting January. The figure is a benchmark that judges whether a film has hit a box-office success. Twenty of these are local films, while 19 are foreign titles.

China box office surges nearly 50% in first half of 2015

By Julie Makinen June 29, 2015

  • Mainland China’s box-office receipts jumped nearly 50% in the first half of 2015, powered by Hollywood tentpoles “Furious 7,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Jurassic World.” About $3.3 billion in tickets were sold in the first six months of the year, according to figures from film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway. That’s a leap of 48.9% over the first half of 2014. Imported films accounted for 52.5% of ticket sales.

Chinese elements in Hollywood films

Many of Hollywood’s biggest films are incorporating a greater number of Chinese elements into them, including symbols, language and dress

By 11:40AM BST 26 Jun 2015

  • Hollywood has a history of casting Caucasian actors for films where the race of the character is anything but white, including the role of Mr. Yunioshi by American actor Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Christian Bale’s role as an Egyptian prince in Exodus: Gods and Kings.
  • Besides actors and directors, characters based on Chinese people are more prevalent in Western productions today. Chinese migrant workers contributed a great deal to making the boat in the film 2012. Although they were small characters in the film as a whole, they were crucial for the entire flow of the film.
  • Symbols of China Kung fu and pandas seem to be the two elements immediately associated with China, and this also shows in films.
  • The Chinese language Actor Bruce Willis showed his language skills in the film Red, where he said “A few years ago, Ilived in Wuhan” in Chinese. This caused quite a stir in the theatres for Chinese audiences.
  • Chinese dress Thirteen courtesans wearing Chinese cheongsams walking in a line in Zhang Yimou’s The Flowers of War formed a beautiful sight of Eastern beauty. Actress Maggie Cheung’s 23 cheongsams in director Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love sometimes drew viewers’ attention from her acting to her wardrobe. Kirsten Dunst put on a red cheongsam as she attended a party in Spiderman 2. Kidman’s Chinese dresses in Australia were also a major selling point that drew audiences to the theatres.
  • Chinese locations Aside from using Chinese elements in films, many Hollywood films were literally filmed in China.

China’s Movie Industry is Growing Faster Than Any Other Country’s Anywhere, Any Time, Ever

Rob Cain Contributor Jun 26, 2015

  • China is undergoing the largest and most rapid development of a middle class in human history. Hundreds of millions of people are moving up from subsistence to affluence before our eyes.
  • Cinema construction is booming. Thousands of new screens are opening each year, affording millions of potential customers the opportunity—many of them for the first time ever—to enjoy the moviegoing experience in modern multiplexes.
  • The Chinese population has embraced movies, both foreign and increasingly domestically made Chinese movies, with exuberance. High ticket prices and generally mediocre films haven’t deterred them from filling up theaters to capacity.

China’s Alibaba Pictures Investing in Paramount’s ‘Mission: Impossible 5’

by Abid Rahman, Georg Szalai 6/24/2015

  • China’s Alibaba Pictures said on Wednesday that Paramount’s Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation will be its first Hollywood investment. In addition to making an investment of an unspecified amount in the Tom Cruise-led franchise film, Alibaba Pictures, the film unit of e-commerce giant Alibaba, said it would become an official partner for the promotion of the movie in China. In a statement, the companies said Alibaba Pictures and Paramount would collaborate in the areas of online ticketing, merchandising and promotion of the movie in China.

East West Bank’s China Chief: More China-Hollywood Collaborations Are Underway

EL Borromeo | Jun 20, 2015

  • East West Bank’s China chief revealed at the Shanghai International Film Festival that more China-Hollywood collaborations are underway. He added that U.S. firms are now making deals with prospect partners in the country. Bennett Pozil, the executive vice president and head of corporate banking at East West China, said “the opportunities that [the firm] are involved in at the moment are being dominated by picture-by-picture versus overall larger investment.” Pozil added that cinemagoers are more likely to see what they “saw earlier this year with Hunan/Lionsgate and Huayi/STX.”

China has Hollywood-size ambitions for film industry

AFP By Bill Savadove June 18, 2015

  • Chinese companies are ramping up investment in the foreign entertainment industry, as the country seeks to boost “soft power” by crafting films which appeal to global audiences, industry officials said this week on the sidelines of the Shanghai film festival.
  • Already, China’s Huayi Brothers Media Corp. plans to jointly produce at least 18 films with US film and television studio STX Entertainment, while Chinese conglomerate Fosun International has taken a stake in US media company Studio 8. Moore sees the likelihood of a Chinese company taking over a US studio, citing possible players like e-commerce giant Alibaba and property developer Wanda Group, which bought US cinema chain AMC Entertainment for $2.6 billion in 2012. “You can imagine from the Chinese perspective, they’re trying to get Chinese culture out around the world,” Moore said.

China screens original ‘Star Wars’ film in cinemas for first time

AFP Published Tuesday, June 16, 2015

  • SHANGHAI – China has become one with the Force by showing the original “Star Wars” film at cinemas for the first time, nearly four decades after it became a global hit and cornerstone of Western popular culture. The Shanghai International Film Festival is showing all six “Star Wars” films this week, including the first screenings in mainland Chinese theatres of the original trilogy, festival organisers said. There are no plans for nationwide release.

China Pushed Jurassic World to global record

By Frank Pallotta CNNMoney (New York) June 15, 2015

  • “Jurassic World” grossed the biggest box office opening in global history bringing in $524.1 million this weekend, and a big part of that success is thanks to international markets, particularly China. The Universal film made $315.3 million internationally for the biggest international opening of all time coming in at #1 in all 66 foreign markets that it premiered in. A huge chunk of that total came from the second-largest movie market in the world, China.

Shanghai Film Festival: China’s iQiyi Announces 5M Paid Subscribers for Streaming Service

by Clifford Coonan 6/15/2015

  • The film unit of Internet giant Baidu plans to buy distribution rights to more than 1,000 U.S. movie titles to meet swelling demand from its users for Hollywood content. Baidu’s online video subsidiary unit iQiyi has reached five million paid subscribers, which marks a 765 percent annual increase, and said it was planning to improve its content offering to serve paying members. “In the future, iQiyi will continue to provide more excellent domestic and international content to members,” iQiyi founder and chief executive Gong Yu told THR at an event at the Shanghai International Film Festival. iQiyi plans to buy distribution rights to more than 1,000 U.S. movie titles to meet swelling demand from its users for Hollywood content, and plans to make seven local films and one Hollywood-style film next year. Over one million users took part in its crowdfunding program for The Golden Era, a film by Hong Kong director Ann Hui, raising nearly $3 million in three minutes.

Shanghai Film Festival: IMAX, China Media Capital Announce Film Fund

by Abid Rahman 6/16/2015

  • The newly created IMAX China Film Fund will initially be capitalized at $50 million, the two companies said, and will focus on producing a minimum of 10 Mandarin-language tentpole films that can fully leverage IMAX technology. There would be an emphasis on producing blockbusters created by high-profile filmmakers. Both companies said the aim of the fund would be to provide new digital content to theaters throughout China, as well as select theaters in IMAX’s global network. Operating under an IMAX-CMC greenlight committee, the new fund will set aside between $3 million and $7 million per film. A statement from the companies also said the fund is intended to support an existing slate of successful Chinese IMAX products, including such past titles as The Monkey King and Dragon Blade.

Bruce Willis to Star in Chinese-Language WWII Epic ‘The Bombing’

by Clifford Coonan 6/4/2015

  • He will feature alongside Asian stars Song Seung-heon, Nicholas Tse and Liu Ye. Bruce Willis will star in a $56 million 3D Chinese-language war epic, The Bombing, about Japan’s aerial bombardment of the southwestern city of Chongqing in World War II.

Justin Lin, Chinese Stars Zhao Wei and Huang Xiaoming Honored With Handprint Ceremony

by Chris Gardner 6/3/2015

  • Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre hosted a packed party on Wednesday morning to commemorate it’s 88th birthday, marking the milestone with a special handprint ceremony to honor filmmaker Justin Lin and Chinese superstars Zhao Wei and Huang Xiaoming.

China Box Office: ‘Jurassic World’ Scores Monster Opening Day

Clifford Coonan 6/11/2015

  • The Chris Pratt-starring reboot opens in North America through Universal on June 12. Universal’s monster movie Jurassic World bared its teeth in the world’s second-biggest film market on Wednesday, taking $16.38 million on its opening day in China for a gross of $17.77 million, once preview takings are factored in. The movie enjoyed 64,630 showings, according to data from the research group EntGroup, and 2.63 million admissions, with theatergoers paying a relatively high $6.40 per ticket.

Kendall Jenner Stuns On Cover Of ‘Vogue China’ — Get Her Smokey Eye

Mon, June 1, 2015

  • Another day, another major fashion and beauty moment for Kendall Jenner as she debuts her latest magazine cover for ‘Vogue China.’ Out in July, Kendall sported a seriously retro smokey eye and the glossiest hair we’ve ever seen.

IMAX China files for HK IPO, betting on booming film demand

May 29, 2015

  • May 29 IMAX China Holding Inc, majority-owned by the namesake giant screen movie theater equipment maker, filed for an initial public offering in Hong Kong, looking to benefit from booming entertainment demand in the world’s second largest economy. IMAX China didn’t disclose the planned size of the listing, intended to raise funds for expansion, and which has Morgan Stanley as a sponsor.
  • The company was valued at $400 million when IMAX Corp sold a stake of 20 percent to two private equity firms last year. The company has strong ties to China’s largest movie chain, Wanda Cinema, which makes up nearly half of all IMAX theaters in the country and nearly a quarter of IMAX China’s revenue.

US studios making Hollywood series for China’s CCTV

by Stewart Clarke May 28, 2015

  • Several US studios have teamed to create Talking to Hollywood with Betty Zhou, a new Hollywood-skewed news programme for China’s CCTV6.
  • “Talking to Hollywood with Betty Zhou delivers an inside look at the movie business to its most passionate and dedicated fans in China,” said Moore. “My colleagues in Hollywood and I look forward to working with our friends at CCTV6 on this exciting new venture.”

China: World’s largest Disney Store opens in Shanghai

China makes good movies now, says AFPF head

Xinhua 2015-05-20

  • President of the French Association of Film Producers (AFPF) Stephane Guenin saw opportunities for cooperation with China in action movies and visual effects. Guenin made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Xinhua. “It would be nice to work with China in developing set construction, because we knew how to prepare it but now we lost this expertise,” said Guenin at the ongoing 68th Festival de Cannes.

China Box Office: ‘Avengers’ Unseats ‘Furious 7’ as Hollywood’s Big Run Continues

by Clifford Coonan 5/19/2015

  • Disney’s superhero blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron usurped Furious 7 at the top of the box-office charts in China, taking a massive $156.3 million in its first six days in the world’s second-biggest film market.

How China’s Censors Influence Hollywood

May 18, 2015

  • Those huge box-office numbers underscore just how essential the Chinese market has become to Hollywood’s bottom line. Because money is power, that also means the Communist Party has increasing influence over how some Hollywood movies are made and how they portray China.
  • Consider Mission: Impossible III, which was partially shot in Shanghai. The film’s establishing shot of Shanghai shows Tom Cruise walking past the winking lights of the modern cityscape and then past underwear hanging from a clothesline. The movie was released in 2006. Even now, many people in Shanghai don’t own dryers and hang their clothes out on the balcony to dry. “The censors felt that it did not portray Shanghai in a positive light, so that scene was removed from the movie,” says T.J. Green, CEO of Apex Entertainment, which owns and builds movie theaters in China.
  • Nor do they like to see Chinese portrayed as incapable of defending themselves. In the latest 007 movie, Skyfall, an assassin walks into a skyscraper in Shanghai’s showcase financial district and shoots a security guard. Censors ordered that scene cut, too. “My speculation would be they didn’t like the fact that a foreign perpetrator comes in and a Chinese security guard just gets shot and looks weak,” says Green, who adds that the scene amounts to a loss of face. From the censors’ perspective, the movie is saying: “They can’t secure their most prized assets in China.”

CANNES WATCH: Li Bing Bing Says China’s Where the Money’s At


  • “There’s a shift in the global movie box office. China is a huge box office market,” she said, pointing to the blockbuster success of “Transformers 4” and “Fast and Furious 7” in China. “I don’t know the exact numbers but it shook up Hollywood. . Both of the films made more money in China than they did in the US. The world is changing and a lot of things are leaning towards this part of the world,” Li said. “If you’re looking more money, or a bigger market share, then you have to go to China. So it doesn’t matter if we go (to Hollywood), or they come to us, for sure you will see more collaborations in the future.”

China’s Pivotal Role in Hollywood’s Billion Dollar Movie Club


  • Of the 12 films that have reached billionaire box office status since 2011, half wouldn’t have gotten there without China’s ticket sales. The two most recent Transformers films, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the Jurassic Park re-release and now Avengers: Age of Ultron all made it over the top thanks to China’s movie-going audiences.

Cannes: China’s FCN, ‘Ghost Rider’ Producer Team on $300 Million, 10-Movie Slate

by Clifford Coonan 5/16/2015

  • Chinese business platform Financing City Network (FCN) announced on Saturday a strategic cooperation deal with SP International Pictures (SPIP) to make 10 Hollywood movies in the next five years, with a total budget of $300 million. SPIP is a Hollywood film production and distribution group founded by Steven Paul, who has produced and distributed 71 films, including Wolves, Ghost Rider, Tekken and Baby Geniuses. The agreement, which also includes East & West Culture Media Co., aims to jointly build a new Sino-U.S. film capital platform.

China’s Entertainment Giant Wanda to Distribute ‘The Ghouls’ in U.S. via AMC Theaters

EL Borromeo | May 16, 2015

  • Wanda, China’s entertainment and real estate giant, is set to distribute the big-budget film “The Ghouls” in the United States through the AMC Entertainment, which it acquired in 2012.
  • “The Ghouls” is inspired by Zhang Muye’s online fantasy adventure novels, which have sold around 9 million copies. The movie adaptation will be helmed by one of China’s hottest directors, Wu’ershan.

Netflix in Talks With Alibaba-backed Wasu Media About China Partnership

by Clifford Coonan 5/15/2015

  • Netflix is talking to Wasu Media, a Chinese media group backed by Alibaba chief Jack Ma, and other possible partners, as it tries to access the Chinese online video market, Bloomberg reported. China is the world’s largest Internet market with 649 million users, with 60 percent of the audience using smartphones and tablets to watch. The online video market is worth an estimated $6 billion. Licenses for online content are strictly controlled by the government and the regulator, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) has given Internet TV licenses to seven companies, including Wasu.

Sino-Hollywood sci-fi production tells China-based story


  • China, the world’s second-largest movie market, isn’t just a source of big money for Hollywood. Growing numbers of moviemakers are being inspired by China’s culture and rich history. The first Sino-Hollywood sci-fi production, the short movie Log Out is an attempt to tell a completely China-based futuristic story. It is helmed by US director Austin Smithard, who earlier worked with Steven Spielberg on Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List, and depicts a time in the near future when people become unprecedentedly reliant on technology and live in a world with little interpersonal communication.

China’s meteoric box-office rise

Published: 3:17 PM, May 11, 2015

  • BEIJING – A new box-office champion is coming soon to China – and the world. Avengers: Age of Ultron, debuting in China on May 12, is poised to overtake Furious 7 as the Asian nation’s top-grossing movie, based on pre-release bookings. That’s no small feat since the latest chapter in the car-themed series was almost 14 per cent bigger at the Chinese box office than in the US and Canada, with US$385 million (S$512 million) so far.

More Chinese Talents and Elements to Appear in Hollywood Films

Dianne Therese Sencil | Apr 28, 2015

  • At the Hong Kong International Film and TV Market held in March, prominent film producers from Hollywood and China revealed that more Chinese talents and elements will be involved in future Hollywood films. According to the Hollywood producers, the strategy will further boost the potentiality of the Chinese market, which is now the second-largest film market in the world after the United States.

2015 Milken Institute: Film success in China takes time, experts say

By Richard Verrier APRIL 27, 2015

  • China may be the new frontier for Hollywood, but cracking the world’s second-largest film market is a painstaking process that involves years of relationship building, as well as navigating government censors and strict currency regulations. Those were among the vexing challenges cited by a panel of film industry executives Monday at the 2015 Milken Institute Global Conference. China has emerged as the world’s second-largest film market outside the U.S. With ticket sales growing at about 30% a year, China is on track to surpass the size of the U.S. box-office market by 2020.

‘Furious 7’ highest-grossing film ever in China


  • The car racing action movie “Furious 7” has officially become the biggest-grossing film ever in China, raking in a haul of two billion yuan (U.S.$323 million) in 15 days. The previous record holder was “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” directed by Michael Bay, which took in 1.98 billion yuan (US$318.9 million) in China. But “Furious 7” clearly shows how great the potential of the Chinese market is as it has rapidly grown into the second-largest film market in the world. “Furious 7” is also the first film ever screened in China to pass the two billion yuan mark. China’s largest movie industry tracking organization, Box Office, also mentioned that the movie’s North American box office gross so far is estimated at US$320 million, though the film’s release date in the United States was one week earlier than in China. It is the second time that a Hollywood blockbuster has earned more money in China than in the U.S. The precedent, again, was “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”

DreamWorks Boss Reveals Co-Production with China for ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’

Dianne Therese Sencil | Apr 25, 2015

  • During the 5th Beijing International Film Festival held in China Millennium Monument from April 16-23, American film production company DreamWorks Animation Studios announced its plan to enter into a join venture with Chinese filmmakers and producers for the third franchise of the Chinese-inspired Hollywood blockbuster film “Kung Fu Panda.”
  • The film’s production, storyline, animation, special effects and design–which will be done by Chinese and American talents–have also been agreed on by the two parties, Katzenberg added. The love for Chinese culture was the reason behind the film rather than business matters, the DreamWorks CEO said.

Dai Xiang Yu gets a foot in the Hollywood door

By May Seah Published: 4:17 AM, April 25, 2015

  • SINGAPORE — Things are starting to pick up for Dai Xiang Yu, whom you may remember as the artiste formerly known as Dai Yang Tian, after a rocky three years since returning to work in his native China. The actor has been cast in the film Lost In The Pacific, a Hollywood-China co-production that stars Brandon Routh (Superman Returns, Arrow), Russell Wong (The Joy Luck Club, Romeo Must Die), Hong Kong’s Bernice Liu and China’s Zhang Yu Qi.

China Supports Hollywood’s Film Industry

Posted by: : Paul EbelingPosted on: April 22, 2015

  • From a cameo by Chinese space station Tiangong-1 in Si-Fi blockbuster Gravity to a comedic gang boss in Johnny Depp’s latest comedy Mortdecai, Chinese elements are becoming more common in foreign movies. For many foreign filmmakers, Chinese elements are frequently used to help movies appeal to Chinese audiences and bring in box office earnings in one of the world’s biggest movie markets. In Y 2014, Chinese movie lovers spent more than CHY 30-B at the cinema.

China Film Group Takes Role in Hollywood

Beijing-based company invests in films from Universal Pictures, other U.S. studios

By Ben Fritz And Laurie Burkitt April 19, 2015

  • China Film Group Co. is starting to look more like a Hollywood studio. The Beijing-based company is pursuing a new strategy of investing in Hollywood productions that have no connections to China—a surprising and potentially controversial move for a unit of the state-owned entity that determines which foreign movies get into the tightly controlled country and when they are released. China Film joined with Comcast Corp. ’s Universal Pictures to take a nearly 10% stake in the recently released hit “Furious 7,” according to a person with knowledge of the arrangement, and had a small stake in January’s “Seventh Son,” from Legendary Pictures LLC. The deals are China Film’s first investments in American-made movies not shot in China, and come as it looks to sell shares publicly for the first time. Meanwhile, the company faces increased competition from other distributors in the country.

Beijing Int’l Film Festival rolls out the red carpet

Paramount Poised to Make Chinese Fantasy ‘The Monkey King’

April 17, 2015

  • Paramount Pictures is in advanced talks to be involved in the production of a new adaptation of Chinese literary fantasy “The Monkey King.” The studio is partnered with a trio of Chinese firms headed by Beijing Ruyi Xinxin Film Investment. The story has been adapted countless times for big- and smallscreen in China. The new version will likely hew closest to a 1980s TV series and include several of the actors from the series, notably Zhang Jinlai (aka ‘Liuxiaolingtong’).

Disney Under Pressure Not To ‘Whitewash’ Mulan

Mike P Williams 12 April 2015

  • While the news of a live-action ‘Mulan’ has come as a pleasant surprise to many, there are some who aren’t as optimistic, with an online petition against Disney ‘whitewashing’ the film. The term ‘whitewashing’ refers to the idea whereby productions (Hollywood ones especially) would use white actors to replace ones in the source material that are of another ethnicity. The petition, originating at Care2Petitions, opens with the title ‘Tell Disney You Don’t Want A Whitewashed Mulan!’ and has just over 34,000 votes, with an aim to reach 35,000.

Hayden Christensen to Star in Paramount’s ‘Marco Polo’

April 09, 2015

  • Hayden Christensen is making a return to the studio world. The actor, who famously portrayed Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels, will star in Marco Polo, the co-production between Paramount and China Film Group. Also involved are Chinese firms Yuehua Entertainment and Huahua Film & Media Culture, as well Phoenix Entertainment, who all are co-producing the project. Rob Cohen is directing the feature, which is being positioned as a fantasy-action movie.

‘Need for Speed’ Sequel in Development as U.S.-China Co-Production

by Clifford Coonan 4/8/2015

  • A joint venture between China Movie Channel, Jiaflix and has teamed with game publisher Electronic Arts to make the film. It will be an official co-production, which means much of the movie will be filmed in China with a significant amount of local talent. The co-production is the latest in a flurry of deals between Hollywood and China, after Bob Simonds’ STX Entertainment pacted with Chinese film company Huayi Brothers and Lionsgate announced a major tie-in with Hunan TV.

China looms as film-making powerhouse

Published: 4:15 AM, April 7, 2015

  • “We’re trying to develop Chinese creative talents,” said James Fong, the chief executive of Oriental DreamWorks. It is part of a broader push by China Media Capital into the entertainment business. (The company previously helped develop the Chinese version of The Voice.) Such collaborations offer access to new talent and the chance to better understand a culture that will increasingly be portrayed in its films. And co-production deals provide greater access to China’s tightly regulated market, which in a few years is expected to surpass the United States as the world’s biggest film market. “The centre of gravity is shifting so rapidly from Hollywood to China,” said Rob Cain, a consultant who runs “And it’s not just that the audience is going to come from China; so is the capital.”

Why Walt Disney, IMAX, and DreamWorks Are Working to Win in China

China is leading global box office growth. These three companies aren’t letting the opportunity pass them by.


  • The Chinese movie and media industry is exploding, with box office revenues up 3,500% in the last decade. It’s no wonder companies like Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) are making so much revenue there, with plans to plant their characters and products there even further. Here are a few incredible facts to show just how important Chinese media industry growth is.
  • Chinese box office revenues have grown 30% per year for the past decade. There are about 14 new movie screens added in China each day. The total number of movie screens in China should surpass that of the U.S. by 2020. The Chinese movie industry is expected to reach $6.5 billion in 2017, double what it was in 2012. By 2017, Chinese box office revenues are expected surpass those of the U.S, and double them by 2025.

China Escalates Hollywood Partnerships, Aiming to Compete One Day


  • SHANGHAI — Tucked away in a quiet design studio in this fast-growing city, a team of young animators, illustrators and computer programmers is bringing an ancient Chinese village to digital life. Using three-dimensional texture painting software, the team — mostly graduates of China’s leading arts schools — is adding intricate details to temples, palaces and pagodas. Team members are also helping animate the movements of the digital characters, including two pandas named Po and Mei Mei.
  • No longer content simply to build movie sets and provide extras in Hollywood films, Chinese studios are moving up the value chain, helping to develop, design and produce world-class films and animated features. They want a bigger role in the creative process, one that will allow them to reap more rewards, financially and artistically.

Vin Diesel speaks Chinese, saying “I’m shy”

Michael Bay Launches New Company With Chinese Investment

by Rebecca Ford 4/1/2015

  • Michael Bay, teaming with John and Anthony Gentile, the creators of global toy and entertainment brands including Micronauts and Visionaries, has launched a new company that will specialize in developing intellectual property (IP) and transmedia brands. 451 Media Group will be funded through a large investment from China’s animation, toy and entertainment group Guangdong Alpha Animation and Culture Co., Ltd. The new company was co-founded by Bay, the Gentiles and Douglas Nunes, who serves as the company’s chief operating officer.

China’s Huayi Bros. Approves Deal With Robert Simonds’ STX

April 1, 2015

  • China’s Huayi Bros. Media has agreed a deal to co-finance at least 18 movies to be produced over a three-year period by Robert Simonds’ STX Entertainment. Huayi, the 20-year-old firm that is China’s largest private-sector film company, announced an outline of the deal in a regulatory filing in mid-March, but did not name its U.S. partner. Variety subsequently broke the news that STX was the intended partner.
  • According to a statement Huayi will co-produce and co-finance the films and retain distribution rights through Greater China (usually taken to mean China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau) and Singapore. Significantly, Huayi will have a share of the movies’ worldwide revenues, proportionate to its investment in each.

Hollywood Reporter Inks Content Partnership With China’s Tencent

by THR Staff 3/31/2015

  • The partnership will see news, features and videos syndicated on Tencent’s online portal for a section entitled “THR on Tencent.” The Hollywood Reporter has entered into a multiyear content deal with Tencent. The partnership will see THR’s news, features and videos syndicated across platforms of the China-based web giant.

China and Hollywood Are Ready to Become Global Partners

March 22, 2015

  • “Powerful magnetic forces” have brought Hollywood and the Chinese film industry together. And after a period of testing each other out, the relationship has entered a new paradigm, says U.S. entertainment lawyer Lindsay Conner. “China and the States are starting to become better partners in terms of discussing critical business issues and understanding each other’s needs. It has taken a while for the bridging of cultures and styles,” says Conner, partner and co-chair of the entertainment and media practice at L.A.-based law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. “From now on there will be more Chinese investment in Hollywood and more Hollywood investment in China. These investments will involve finance, distribution and co-production.” The objective is clear from the U.S. side. “China is the newest market on earth and the biggest growth opportunity on Hollywood’s horizon – these days the opportunity spans distribution, financing and online video,” Conner says. The Chinese point of view is more complex. “Hollywood is the heart of the U.S. cultural engine – it has story, production and distribution techniques that Chinese would like to adopt.” And it is interesting for its ability to project soft power and for its profitability.

A dream come true

Saturday, 21 March 2015

  • John Cusack fulfilled his long-standing desire of doing some tough action with Jackie Chan in Dragon Blade. The actor talks about Chinese cinema and why it is more exciting than Hollywood
  • I thought it was an epic, romantic, smart and beautifully-written historical film that is almost operatic in a way. It was very moving and very emotional. To get to collaborate with Jackie Chan and to work in China in a Chinese-language movie was thrilling. Jackie Chan wants his movies to have messages that he believes in. It’s all in the architecture of the story. In this film, when people fight, they really don’t want to. When they can avoid fighting, they are far happier, and throughout they sacrifice themselves for other people. There are a lot of themes within the story that are powerful and important. But it’s also very entertaining as a film. I think the film is an epic, sweeping slice of Chinese history, telling the history of the Silk Road. But it’s also about the need to build peace. If we can build a city where everyone is welcome and peace is possible; even if it is destroyed, you have to rebuild it. It’s about people’s universal dream for peace. Sometimes empires and other powerful forces may be at war with each other, but that’s never the desire of the people. In their hearts, people want peace and justice.

Netflix To Show Chinese Drama ‘Empresses In The Palace’; Is It Next Step In Entry Into China?

by Ali Jaafar March 20, 2015

  • Netflix has acquired popular Chinese drama Empresses In The Palace for its U.S. service, cutting down the original series’ 76 45-minute episodes into six 90-minute episodes. The show, which first aired in China as well as several other Asian countries in 2011, follows the intrigues among the emperor’s concubines in the imperial palace of the Qing Dynasty. Intriguingly, however, the move’s real significance could be in marking a foundation for a major new relationship for the streaming giant with LeTV, one of China’s leading online video platforms with more than 100,000 TV episodes and 5,000 movies.

Lionsgate’s Future Intertwined With China, Says CEO Jon Feltheimer

by Clifford Coonan 3/18/2015

  • Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said Wednesday that a $375 million film-financing deal with Hunan TV came about because the Chinese company was involved in all the right sectors, and he said his studio’s future was closely linked to China. “After a lot of conversations with a lot of people, we felt this was the simplest one that touches all those boxes,” Feltheimer told THR in an interview in Changsha, in China’s Hunan province, after the deal was formally announced. “They’re in film production, distribution, advertising, location-based entertainment business, they are in TV in a major way, they are in the cable business. They stepped up, and we stepped up, and at a certain point we said we were going exclusive.”