Emperor Motion Pictures Join Hands with UA Cinema Circuit to Operate Cinemas in China

16 March 2013 18 h 59 min Comments Off


(hkfilmart, Mar 15, 2013) One of Hong Kong’s leading Cinema operators UA Cinema Circuit has signed a Memorandum for Strategic Partnership with Emperor Motion Pictures (EMP) in mid-March to invest in and operate cinemas in Mainland China. Collaboration between UA and EMP started in 2008 when UA Films started partnering with EMP in film distribution. Films distributed include “Departures”, Oscar winner of Best Foreign Language Film in 2008; “Confession”, Hong Kong’s highest grossing Japanese movie in 2010; Hollywood megahit “The Hunger Games” and the highly controversial Korean film “Silenced”.

UA Cinema Circuit was the first to introduce the American style multiplex cinema to Hong Kong in 1985, and is now one of the major cinema circuits in Hong Kong with 3 UA Cinemas operating in Shenzhen and Guangzhou, Guangdong. It ventured onto the Mainland in the 1990s, operating multiplexes in Shanghai, Wuhan and Chongqing under the Studio City Cinemas brand, another subsidiary of Lark International Multimedia. Emperor Motion Pictures have always been a leading player in Hong Kong’s film industry, investing, producing and distributing numerous films from Hong Kong and overseas.

EMP and UA are joining forces again to venture onto the Mainland cinema market. Sites targeted are in cities with high potential for development, including Foshan, Dongguan, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Chongqing and Shanghai, in order to bring international movie experience into the Mainland. In this partnership, EMP will not only act as distributor and producer, but will get directly involved in the cinemas’ operation and management. Albert YEUNG, Chairman of Emperor Group, the parent company of EMP, believes that Emperor Motion Pictures has been extensively recognized for quality productions in recent years. But as cinema and movie complement each other, a good cinema will make the best out of a great movie. Considering the cinemas operated by UA Cinema Circuit have been doing well, YEUNG believes that this partnership will bring about financial benefits for both parties, and at the same time provide new movie experience to audience in China.

Emperor US Cinema, the first EMP-UA development project situated in the Nanhai VivoCity shopping mall in the city of Foshan, is scheduled to open in early 2014. The 6,000m2 state-of-the-art multiplex will have 12 screens and 1,500 seats. Stanley KO, Chairman of Lark International, the operator of UA Cinemas, feels the similarity in the operating concepts of UA and EMP. He believes the combination of UA Cinemas’ experience in cinema management and EMP’s strong industry background will give a superior advantage to the collaboration. While UA has always been open to diverse business concepts, it is hoping that the collaboration with EMP will lift its business a step forward and together they will bring the exceptional cinema experience to different cities in the Mainland.

According to survey performed by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), the total cinema box office gross in Mainland China last year was RMB 17billion, which is the world’s second-highest country box office income. Besides, last year alone there were 3,832 new screens installed in China, which was a remarkable number in terms of growth.

About Emperor Motion Pictures

Emperor Motion Pictures (EMP) was established in 2000 with business focus in the investment, production and distribution of motion pictures and television dramas, production and distribution of music as well as artist management. Over the years, EMP have invested in and produced a number of award-winning films, including Nick Cheung Ka-fai winning an unprecedented seven best actor accolades for his performance in “The Beast Stalker” and Nicholas Tse Ting-fung, managed by Emperor Entertainment Group, winning Best Actor award with “Stool Pigeon” at the 30th Hong Kong Film Awards in 2011. Other movies produced and distributed by EMP include: “The Twins Effect”, “Shaolin”, “The Great Magician”, “The Bullet Vanishes”, “The Last Supper”, “Back to 1942″ and “Beginning of the Great Revival”. One of EMP’s China-Hong Kong co-productions “Let the Bullets Fly”, directed by Jiang Wen, achieved a record-high RMB 700million box office in 2010. “Chinese Zodiac 12″, another co-production by EMP with Jackie Chan released recently in March 2013, has grossed a total world-wide box office of over RMB 1.3 Billion so far.

EMP is also keen on importing and distributing quality motion pictures in foreign languages, including Oscar-winner “Departures” (Best Foreign Language Film), “Silenced” from Korea, as well as controversial Hollywood blockbusters “Sex and the City: The Movie” and “The Hunger Games”.

About UA Cinema Circuit

Founded in 1985, UA Cinema Circuit was the first to bring multiplex cinema into Hong Kong. It was also the first to introduce IMAX experience to Hong Kong audience in 2007, opening the first IMAX theatre in UA Megabox. UA iSQUARE IMAX theatre is the highest grossing IMAX Theatre worldwide for “Avatar” in IMAX 3D and history.

UA currently operates 48 screens in 10 cinemas. As the business continues to grow, it targeted the market in Mainland China and opened UA KK Mall in Shenzhen in 2010. With the first IMAX theatre in the region, UA KK Mall soon became one of the top 3 highest-gross cinemas in Shenzhen.

In 2012, UA opened 2 new multiplex cinemas in Guangzhou: UA Mall of the World (with an IMAX theatre) at the underground shopping centre in Tianhe District, and UA Metropolitan Plaza situated just above Huangsha Metro Station. This year, US Cinema Circuit will extend farther into China with the opening of a new UA Cinema in Sichan. Located at Chengdu International Financial Centre, UA Chengdu IFC will have an IMAX house and is expected to open by the end of the year.

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