China Entertainment and Hollywood Part 3

Bruce Lee Passion Drama ‘Warrior’ From Justin Lin Gets Cinemax Series Pickup

June 07, 2017

  • Two years after being put in development, Cinemax is moving forward with a drama based on an idea from the late Bruce Lee. Warrior, a passion project from Justin Lin and Banshee co-creator Jonathan Tropper, has been picked up to series with a 10-episode order. Warrior is described as a gritty, action-packed crime drama set during the brutal Tong Wars of San Francisco’s Chinatown in the second half of the 19th century. The series follows Ah Sahm, a martial arts prodigy who immigrates from China to San Francisco under mysterious circumstances, and becomes a hatchet man for one of Chinatown’s most powerful tongs (Chinese organized crime family).

Vast New Wanda Studios in China Targets Big Hollywood, Domestic Productions

June 4, 2017

  • Wanda Studios — the vast production site under construction in Qingdao, China — aims to host at least five to six Hollywood projects in its first year of full operation in 2018, the studios’ new president and CEO Alvin Fu said Sunday. The new facility also hopes to attract at least four to five domestic productions a year with a budget of more than RMB 100 million ($14.7 million) each. Fifteen of the studios’ 30 soundstages are up and running, including two occupying about 1.5 acres each and one — which Wanda says is the world’s largest — covering 2.5 acres. Two big-screen spectaculars have already been shot there: “The Great Wall” and “Pacific Rim 2,” which just wrapped. Three more productions are underway at the site, which occupies more than 400 acres of land in the newly developed Huangdao district of Qingdao.

First Chinese director wins award for best short film at Cannes

30 May, 2017

  • A 28-year-old has become the first Chinese director to win the prestigious Palme d’Or for best short film at the Cannes Film Festival. Qiu Yang accepted the award on Sunday for A Gentle Night, a 15-minute film about a mother searching for her missing daughter on the eve of the Lunar New Year.

Cannes: Disney Partners With Taiwan’s Wudi Pictures on China Co-Productions (Exclusive)


  • The partners’ first co-production, ‘Miss Taken,’ a romantic comedy starring Jelly Lin of ‘The Mermaid,’ is currently in postproduction and will be released later this year. Walt Disney Pictures has entered a long-term partnership with startup Taiwanese production company Wudi Pictures to co-develop live-action films targeting the massive Chinese movie market.

Disney Teams Up With China’s Jiaxing Media To Develop Live-Action Movies

May 12, 2017

  • Walt Disney Studios has struck a deal with China’s Jiaxing Media to develop a number of live-action movies. Jiaxing Media announced that the two companies would jointly develop live-action movies in a deal lasting two years on Wednesday. Jiaxing Media, which is also known as Jay Walk Studios, is partially owned by Chinese actress Yang Mi. The two sides hope to make one movie with Chinese elements a year, according to Jiaxing Media’s announcement. The cooperation could include projects that draw on the IP of both companies.

China’s new political thriller may be the hottest thing on television, but it’s no House of Cards


  • The 55-episode drama is China’s latest effort to tap into pop culture to showcase its resolution and achievements in the extensive corruption crackdown that Xi launched when he came into power in 2012. The show was an immediate hit, developing a reputation as the hottest thing on Chinese screens both locally and globally. Its ratings recently reached 7%, breaking a ten-year record for China’s domestic television drama market. On just one of the licensed online viewing platforms, iQiyi, it has reaped almost 59 billion views. Viewers are alternately appalled by and applauding scenes of a sort rarely seen in China: a corrupt Party cadre kneeling and weeping for pardon when mounds of banknotes hidden in his secret villa are uncovered by the protagonist, a competent young prosecutor; a corrupt local judge caught in bed with a blonde foreign prostitute, paid for by a businesswoman.

Blumhouse Inks Multiyear Co-Financing Deal With China’s Meridian


  • The pact will cover all production outside of the company’s overall deal with Universal. Blumhouse Productions is getting some extra funds thanks to Meridian Entertainment. The Jason Blum-headed production company has inked a multiyear film financing agreement with the Chinese company, which will cover all production outside of Blumhouse’s existing overall deal with Universal.

Netflix Signs Licensing Deal With China’s iQiyi


  • The streaming giant has been attempting to negotiate greater accesss to the huge Chinese market for several years. “China is an important market for obvious reasons; it’s also a challenging market for obvious reasons,” said Robert Roy, Netflix’s vice president of content acquisition. “Right now what we will do is look to license content into China. We closed a deal with iQiyi, which is exciting.”

Fate of the Furious shows China, not Hollywood, is where the action is

April 18 2017

  • The Fate of the Furious car-chase movie claimed a record global box-office debut even after an underwhelming opening in North America. Vin Diesel can thank China for the boost. Universal Pictures’ eighth instalment of the franchise, starring Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Charlize Theron, fetched the highest ever three-day opening weekend in China, grossing $US192.1 million, according to the studio. That was almost double its debut in the US and Canada, where the movie fell short of estimates.

Nigeria Seeks Showing of Nollywood Movies in China

Apr 15, 2017

  • Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed renewed a request for China to show Nigerian movies, known as Nollywood. He reiterated the request to Zhou Pingjian, the Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, during Zhou’s courtesy visit to Alhaji on Thursday in Abuja. The minister said if China would show Nollywood films, it would reciprocate Nigeria’s showing of Chinese movies. The move would help in forging better understanding between the two countries and to create a market in China for movies made in Nigeria, The Nigerian Tribune reported. To further promote cultural ties between the two nations, Alhaji proposed to Zhou the construction of a Nigeria-China Cultural Center in Nigeria.

‘Power Rangers’ Opens in China on May 12 without Cuts Despite Gay Character

Apr 08, 2017

  • The Lionsgate movie “Power Rangers” got the approval of China’s censor for theatrical release on May 12 even if it has a gay character. The media speculated that the film may suffer the fate of “Beauty and the Beast” which had also a gay character, but the Disney movie was eventually approved with no cuts.

China’s Huayi Brothers Looking to Expand Ties With STX Entertainment


  • The Chinese studio’s CEO says he has held “in-depth discussions” on deepening his collaboration with STX once the two companies’ landmark slate financing deal expires in early 2018. Chinese film studio Huayi Brothers Media is looking to expand its collaboration with Robert Simonds’ STX Entertainment, despite the recent clampdown by Beijing regulators on China-Hollywood dealmaking.

Warner Bros. Films Like ‘Harry Potter’ Are Coming to China’s Netflix

Mar 21, 2017

  • Hundreds of Warner Bros. movie titles will soon be available to stream online in China after the Hollywood studio cut a deal with a Netflix-like company in that country. On Tuesday, Time Warner-owned Warner Bros. announced its new licensing agreement with iQiyi, the streaming video platform owned by Chinese Internet search giant Baidu. The deal gives iQiyi streaming rights to a list of about 200 Warner Bros. movies, from the Harry Potter film franchise to Academy Award-winner Gravity. The Chinese streaming site also gets exclusive streaming rights in the region to certain titles, including The Lord of the Rings trilogy, 2013’s The Great Gatsby adaptation, and 2014’s Godzilla.

Chinese Tycoon Stakes His Claim in Hollywood, Snaps Up Northern European Cinemas


  • Dalian Wanda Group, owned by the Chinese property and film mogul Wang Jianlin, has announced the purchase of the biggest cinema chain in the Nordic and Baltic regions. Nordic has 118 theatres with 664 screens in Sweden, Finland Norway, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Wang’s goal is to take control of 20 percent of the world’s cinema screens by 2020, with 10 billion yuan (1.46 billion dollars) in annual net profit, the South China Morning Post reported.

Filmart: Chinese Actors Say Farewell to Hollywood


  • No longer content to play underdeveloped roles in overstuffed tentpoles, China’s screen talents are turning down Tinseltown offers in search of bigger paydays, greater exposure and meatier roles at home. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Hong Kong’s A-list talent weren’t considered true superstars until they had made their mark in Hollywood. Jackie Chan, Jet Li, John Woo, Stephen Chow and others strove to transport their careers to the larger industry pond of Southern California — and often succeeded. But the growth of the Chinese industry has brought an ironic twist: U.S. studios are more interested in the Middle Kingdom’s leading lights than ever before, but today’s top Chinese actors aren’t necessarily rushing to return the call.

Donnie Yen To Headline ‘Sleeping Dogs’ For Neal Moritz’s Original Film

March 2, 2017

  • Who best to start a new IP for Neal Moritz’s Original Film (Fast and Furious) than the Ip Man himself? Martial artist Donnie Yen is set to star in a new feature from Moritz entitled Sleeping Dogs, which is based on the top-selling video game by Square Enix. Yen, who recently co-starred in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and xXx: Return of Xander Cage, follows an undercover police officer (Yen) on a mission to take down one of the most powerful and dangerous criminal organizations in the world: the notorious Triads. The movie based on an action video game is set in Hong Kong and focuses on martial arts fighting, racing, boat chases … and shooting while doing all of that.

Why China’s Screenwriters Are Thriving


  • Even amid box-office swings, scribes stay in demand, with Chinese screenplays selling for as much as $1 million. Most Chinese film professionals — both above and below the line — still earn a fraction of what their counterparts in unionized Hollywood pull in. But top Chinese screenwriters are among the select few who are beginning to make Los Angeles-level money.

Chinese actors getting cast in bigger roles in US films


  • With a few hours to go until the Oscars, many eyes soon will be on the red carpet. But much of Hollywood’s gaze these days is directed towards a red flag. Chinese actors are getting cast in bigger roles in US films. CGTN America’s Phil Lavelle reports from Los Angeles on why the American movie industry is looking East for some of its next big stars. Walk around Hollywood that’s about as Chinese as it gets. The TCL Chinese Theatre-a famous landmark. Delve INTO Hollywood, it’s another story. A huge Chinese star – helping save the world from aliens recently in ‘Independence Day: Resurgence.’ When Matt Damon got stranded on Mars in ‘The Martian’, NASA called on China for help. And Star Wars’ Rogue One – a huge hit – with TWO Chinese stars in major roles.

Asian Twitter Hilariously ‘Thanks’ Matt Damon For Saving China In ‘The Great Wall’


  • Asians on the internet made it known that they thought the casting for the film “The Great Wall” was a great big mistake. And they were very snarky about it. This week, people took to Twitter to throw shade at Matt Damon for his lead role in the movie. They trolled the actor by sarcastically thanking him for “saving China” through the trending hashtag #ThankYouMattDamon.

How China Is Remaking the Global Film Industry

February 10, 2017

  • China’s influence in Hollywood is growing rapidly as the country’s market becomes ever more vital to the success of Hollywood films. With an eye to profiting from China’s growing middle class, U.S. film studios have become increasingly willing to adjust content and casting to please both Chinese viewers and government censors. Meanwhile, Chinese investment in Hollywood and the U.S. entertainment industry has soared, with large conglomerates such as Dalian Wanda Group financing some of Hollywood’s latest blockbusters. At Time, Hannah Beech looks at the deepening interdependence that characterizes the relationship between Hollywood and China:

Chinese Tycoon Stakes His Claim in Hollywood, Snaps Up Northern European Cinemas


  • Dalian Wanda Group, owned by the Chinese property and film mogul Wang Jianlin, has announced the purchase of the biggest cinema chain in the Nordic and Baltic regions. AMC Entertainment Holdings, the US theatre chain under Dalian Wanda Group, said that it would buy the Stockholm-based Nordic Cinema Group for 930 million dollars, according to the South China Morning Post newspaper.

China extends Hollywood push with $1 billion Paramount investment

Jan 19, 2017

  • Viacom Inc’s Paramount Pictures will receive a $1 billion cash investment from two Chinese film companies, Shanghai Film Group (SFG) and Huahua Media, giving the U.S. studio much-needed cash and support as it attempts to grow. As part of the agreement, SFG and Huahua Media will finance a combined 25 percent of all of Paramount’s films for the next three years, with the option to extend to a fourth year, a source familiar with the situation said.

Legendary Entertainment CEO steps down, China’s Wanda takes closer control

Jan 19, 2017

  • Thomas Tull, the founder and chief executive of Legendary Entertainment has stepped down, the firm said in a statement to Reuters on Thursday, a year after the Hollywood studio was bought by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda for $3.5 billion. Dalian Wanda insider Jack Gao will for now take the helm at Legendary, the producer behind hit movies like “Jurassic World” and the Batman “Dark Knight” trilogy, putting the Chinese firm more directly in control of the U.S. studio.

Japanese movies may set ties with China in motion in 2017

Dec 24, 2016

  • Japanese movies have the potential to give fresh impetus to efforts by Tokyo and Beijing to warm political relations in 2017, as evidenced by the recent smash-hit animation “Your Name.” in China. Yoji Yamada, a prominent Japanese film director whose latest comedy’s remake is to be premiered in China next spring, is one of many who imagine that could be the case.

WWE’s China hopes rest on Bin Wang’s big shoulders

Dec 8, 2016

  • Three mornings a week, 22-year-old Bin Wang, a native of China’s Anhui province, enters a beige, low-rise building tucked into an office park in Orlando, Florida, to spend hours body-slamming people. In a few weeks, the 230-pound (104-kg) Wang, who arrived in the United States in June, will be joined by seven other Chinese athletes hand-picked by World Wrestling Entertainment Inc, in the hope that one of them will become the first Chinese WWE “superstar.”