Wanda and News Corp’s Fox could co-produce films in China

15 September 2012 16 h 36 min Comments Off

According to an article published by Reuters, the Fox film studio is nearing agreement with Dalian Wanda Group, the new owner of AMC theaters chain, to co-produce films in China.

Fox co-Chairman Jim Gianopulos acknowledged talks that were first reported in the Los Angeles Times. Gianopulos said he and Sanford Panitch, Fox’s international president, started negotiations with Wanda during a trip to China last year.

A Fox studio executive told the News agency that the talks between Wanda and Fox began last year and continued in early September when Wanda’s chairman, Wang Jianlin, came to Los Angeles to announce the closing of the company’s $2.6 billion purchase of theater owner AMC Entertainment.

During that visit Wang met with Disney, Universal, Warner Brothers and other studio executives to discuss co-financing English or Chinese-language films or to create a fund to invest in a slate of films, according to several people with knowledge of those meetings.

During his visit to Los Angeles earlier this month, Wang said his company is prepared to invest $10 billion over the next decade to expand its U.S. holdings and plans to buy hotels, shopping malls and more theaters. Wanda recently announced on its website that it spent $80 million to enter the film industry and expects to make six films this year and 10 annually.

In Hollywood, Wang said “We have the will and capability to go global, The acquisition of AMC is the first step”. He added that is company “was prepared to spend substantial amounts to invest in Hollywood films, either as co-productions of individual films or through a fund to invest in a group of movies.”

“China is an exciting new market, and the infrastructure Wanda has put in place is very impressive,” Gianopulos said in an interview. “The process now is to find the right movies for this agreement.”

Fox, part of News Corp, is among the most aggressive Hollywood studios in setting up joint projects with Chinese companies. It co-produced the Chinese language film “Hot Summer Days” with China’s Huayi Brothers Media in 2010 and it bought a 20 percent stake in Beijing-based Bona Film Group, one of the leading Chinese private film producer and distributor.

Source: LA Times, Reuters (14/09/12)

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