‘Industry News’ Category
China’s Alibaba May Be Readying Major Hollywood Assault
Beijing, September 19th (Hollywood Reporter)

After its record-breaking IPO, e-commerce giant will make building a bigger film business a priority, experts say

Alibaba’s massive IPO will give a major boost to its plans to expand into the film business, with the Chinese e-commerce giant expected to focus on a move into Hollywood as part of its growth strategy.

Analysts say once the company has finished the work of launching the world’s biggest stock market listing, the industry can expect a major push into movies. Company founder Jack Ma, a huge fan of Forrest Gump, has made it clear he sees a future for Alibaba in entertainment.

“Alibaba has made some investments already in the entertainment industry, including [the acquisition of] a stake in Youku Tudou,” independent e-commerce analyst Li Chengdong tells The Hollywood Reporter. “After the IPO, Alibaba will be so deep-pocketed that it is able to lay out the whole industry chain and make forays into all sorts of businesses.”

Li predicts that Alibaba will put more emphasis on developing good content, using its vast capital to buy intellectual property from Hollywood, as well as make more high-quality domestic movies.

“With sufficient money at hand, everything is possible for Alibaba. It is currently very focused on entertainment as it needs to be somewhat entertainment-orientated to grab public attention,” says Li. “My guess is Alibaba will bring more and more Hollywood stars to China to attend its events, make films and appear in commercials.”

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

Chinese Online Giant Tencent Sets Up Film Unit
Beijing, September 18th (Hollywood Reporter)

Tencent Movie Plus will make four or five films a year

Online giant Tencent, which owns the incredibly popular WeChat and QQ messaging services, has become the latest Chinese tech firm to enter the film business with the launch of a film subsidiary Tencent Movie Plus.

The company will aim to make four or five films a year, local media reported, and the first project it will work on will be Nobel Prize-winner Mo Yan’s novel The Treasure Map, which the company says will be made with input from Hollywood.

Tencent Movie Plus will focus on making movies out of Tencent’s intellectual property including cartoons, novels and games such as QQ Race Car, an online race game that has more than three million users.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

China Shuts Down Independent Film Festival in Beijing
Beijing, August 23rd (Hollywood Reporter)

Organizers experienced what is now an annual crackdown on their indie fest

Chinese authorities have once again shut down the 11th Beijing Independent Film Festival on its opening day, as the government keeps a tight leash on movies outside the state-approved system.

The festival tries to offer a platform for independent cinema, but for many months now, China’s ruling Communist Party has been tightening the screws on dissenting views, including movies from outside the highly monitored and heavily regulated Chinese film industry.

Critic Li Xianting, one of the organizers of the Beijing Independent Film Festival, told The Associated Press that police searched his office and confiscated materials he had gathered over more than 10 years.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

Why China’s Richest Man Could Buy Time Warner
Beijing, August 14th (Hollywood Reporter)

Wang Jianlin’s plan for a $1.2 billion Beverly Hills compound might be the next big step toward owning a Hollywood studio

Now that Rupert Murdoch has withdrawn his $80 billion bid to buy Time Warner, rumors again are heating up about who could make a play for the media giant. Wang Jianlin, founder of real estate giant Wanda Group and China’s wealthiest person, might seem like a dark horse in the sweepstakes. But the opportunity for the ambitious Wang to own an empire as massive as Time Warner could be impossible to resist.

Although a Wanda spokesman tells THR “this is not happening — the takeover of Time Warner does not exist,” several indicators suggest the interest and wherewithal to seal a deal. Here are three reasons why Wang, 59, could succeed where Murdoch failed:

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

China’s Wanda Takes on Disney, DreamWorks Animation With Plan for 200 Theme Parks
Beijing, August 13th (Hollywood Reporter)

Wanda has designs on becoming the biggest multiplatform entertainment company in the world

Wanda Group, China’s biggest real estate company and the world’s largest cinema chain, is planning to build 200 children’s theme parks by 2020, local media reported, making it the country’s biggest kids’ entertainment company.

The parks are set to provide domestic competition for U.S. giants DreamWorks and The Walt Disney Company, both of which have big plans for China.

Shanghai Disneyland, the first Disney park on the Chinese mainland, is scheduled to open in the city’s Pudong district at the end of next year.

In March, DreamWorks Animation and its Chinese partners unveiled designs for a $2.4 billion entertainment complex, also in Shanghai.

General manager of Wanda’s children’s entertainment unit, Qiu Xiaojun, said the parks, which translate from Chinese as “Wanda Baby King Park,” were similar in some ways to Disney theme parks and would feature cartoon images based on a 52-episode series of animations that Wanda had commissioned.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

China’s Wanda to Spend $1.2 Billion on Beverly Hills Entertainment HQ
Hong Kong, August 13th (Hollywood Reporter)

The real estate giant, and owners of AMC Theaters, will keep its U.S. commercial business in New York but is bullish on the prospects for its Wilshire site.

China’s Wanda Group will spend $1.2 billion to develop its Hollywood presence after it won a bid for a plot of land at 9900 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, for the HQ of its U.S. entertainment business.

“The Los Angeles project will serve as the Wanda Group’s first important step into Hollywood,” the group said in a statement on its website.

Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin is China’s richest individual and in 2012 he bought the AMC theater chain for $2.6 billion.

The company said the Beverly Hills facility was also expected to help China’s entry into Hollywood’s film industry and generally promote Chinese culture abroad.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

U.S. Studios Deploy More Executive Firepower to China
Hong Kong, August 1st (Hollywood Reporter)

As Hollywood increasingly looks to China, executives who understand the culture and business practices there have become incredibly valuable.

Hollywood’s obsession with China is creating a new class of executive: Asia ambassador. Sources say Fox International Productions has hired Michael Andreen, a Disney veteran who has spent much of the past year in China working to foster U.S.-Chinese co-productions, to serve as senior vp production under FIP head Sanford Panitch.

Although based in Los Angeles, Andreen’s experience in China will make him especially valuable. His appointment comes as all of the major studios now have offices in Beijing with a mandate to make inroads in film, home entertainment, TV, digital and theme parks. (Universal, the last holdout, has lured Jo Yan from Disney to run its new Beijing operation.) And on July 28, Disney named studio veteran Paul Candland to the newly created post of president of Disney’s entire Asia operation, overseeing China, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

DMG Pacts With China Film Association to Promote Chinese Movie Industry
Beijing, July 30th (Hollywood Reporter)

The company behind Hollywood co-productions “Looper” and “Iron Man 3″ joins the state-backed group to tackle issues facing the business in the country.

The China Film Association (CFA) has announced the formation of the International Communication Committee of the China Film Association (ICCCFA) at a press event held in Beijing on Wednesday.

The subcommittee will deal with the most pressing issues facing the Chinese film industry. Its first act was to create a film forum where cultural export strategies, best practices for Hollywood-Chinese co-productions, cultural exchanges of young filmmakers and other issues will be discussed between key stakeholders.

Kang Jianmin, secretary-general of the China Film Association, said: “The mission of the Chinese film industry should not only focus on content, even though content is king. It should also nurture a solid foundation of new technology, creativity and talent – in other words, focusing on industry development at-large. This macro-strategy, if successfully implemented, will most rapidly create a world-class film industry.”

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

China’s Wanda Plans to Buy ‘One or Two Large International Entertainment Companies‎’
Hong Kong, July 24th (Hollywood Reporter)

Amid consolidation chatter in the U.S., the owner of exhibition giant AMC says it plans to become a “real” multinational company and “intensify” its investment in the entertainment sector globally.

Amid chatter about possible consolidation in the U.S. entertainment industry following 21st Century Fox’s recently rejected $80 billion bid for Time Warner, China’s Wanda Group said Thursday it plans to make one or two big entertainment deals abroad.

The hotel, cinema and property conglomerate, which owns U.S. exhibition giant AMC, said it outlined its strategic plans to further internationalize through investments and key overseas acquisitions at a semiannual meeting in Harbin on July 12 but only made the plans public this week.

Wanda’s billionaire chairman Wang Jianlin said he wanted his company to be among the first Chinese businesses to be truly international.

“In the second half of this year, Wanda will intensify its investment in the entertainment sector overseas by acquiring one or two large international entertainment companies,” declared Wang, adding that the investment arm of Wanda is currently undergoing negotiations with certain companies, Wanda said in a statement on its website.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

China Film Group Plans $740 Million IPO
Beijing, June 27th (Hollywood Reporter)

After years of stop-start negotiations, the country’s largest film producer and distributor is finally going public. – See more at:

The state-owned colossus China Film Group is planning a $740 million initial public offering ahead of a stock market listing in Shanghai, according to regulator information.

China Film is a giant in the Chinese film industry. In addition to producing, importing, exporting and distributing films, it also operates theater chains, sells film equipment and manages talent.

China’s film market is the second biggest in the world and has grown rapidly, and the listing of China Film Group is a sign of concerted efforts to build up an infrastructure for future growth and help the industry compete with Hollywood.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

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