Bona Film Seeks Top Billing in China With Hollywood’s Aid

5 July 2013 8 h 03 min Comments Off

polybona

(Bloomberg, Jul 04, 2013) Bona Film Group Ltd. (BONA) founder Yu Dong is trying to build China’s largest private filmmaker into a global player, and to get there he’s calling on one of Hollywood’s tried-and-true plots: A great train robbery.

“Moscow Mission,” about a series of robberies on a line linking Beijing to Moscow, is one of four Chinese-language movies Yu is developing with 21st Century Fox Inc. (FOXA) The project joins an American screenwriter with a Chinese director and actors. A Chinese writer will probably be called in, too. He’s working on a fifth film with Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)’s Universal Pictures.

Yu is tapping Hollywood expertise as Beijing-based Bona seeks to exploit soaring demand for home-grown films. Ticket sales in China rose 27 percent to 10.3 billionyuan ($1.68 billion) in the first half of 2013, led by local productions, the China Daily reported this week. Ernst & Young predicts the country, with box-office sales growing about 30 percent a year, will pass the U.S. as the biggest market by 2020.

“If Bona is able to control 7 to 10 percent of the market going forward, we’re in position to become one of the biggest film companies in the world,” Yu said in an interview through a translator. “Given the really rapid growth, this is the market we want to focus on.”

Bona owns theaters and a talent agency, along with production and distribution. Yu sold a 20 percent stake to News Corp. last year, before Chairman Rupert Murdochsplit that company into separate entertainment and publishing businesses.

Local Profits

Yu competes with companies including the government-backed China Film Group, the country’s largest producer and distributor, and Huayi Brothers Media Corp. (300027), which is independent. Bona and Huayi must navigate an official censorship board and government controls over distribution. Like its competitors, Bona also distributes Hollywood films.

Bona and Fox say that over the long run, lower-cost Chinese-language movies will yield a higher return than foreign blockbusters.

Tallies for the first half of 2013 support the premise. Box-office sales for domestic films more than doubled during the first half of this year, accounting for 63 percent of ticket sales, China Daily reported on July 2.

Chinese films account for four of the top five releases this year, according to EntGroup, a Beijing-based researcher. Huayi Brothers’ “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons” was the top-grossing movie with sales of $199.8 million.Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s “Iron Man 3” was second with $121.3 million.

…/…

full article

Related posts:

Comments are closed

Other News

  • China (mainland) film Brilliant future expected for Chinese cinema: interview

    Brilliant future expected for Chinese cinema: interview

    Jiang Wen (R), a well-known Chinese director, walks down the red carpet with his wife Zhou Yun at the opening ceremony of the 70th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Aug 29, 2013. [Photo / Xinhua] (Xinhua, 04 Sep, 2013)Chinese films have achieved over the past few years very positive results in terms of both quantity and quality, and will drive their technology-led development, 70th Venice Film Festival president Alberto Barbera told Xinhua in a recent exclusive interview. This venerable [...]

    Read more →
  • Breaking news China (mainland) film Cloudary extends script to movie industry

    Cloudary extends script to movie industry

    (chinadaily.com.cn, 26 Aug, 2013) Cloudary Corp – an online literature platform owned by interactive media giant Shanda Group – said on Friday that it reached a film script agreement with the Chinese movie firm Seven Stars Films. Seven Stars Films, a movie production and investment firm owned by Chinese media entrepreneu r Bruno Wu, will link Cloudary’s literature with the world’s movie industry. Wu, who is married to popular TV host Yang Lan, founded Seven Star Films in 2012. The [...]

    Read more →
  • Breaking news China (mainland) film China’s movie market booms with local content

    China’s movie market booms with local content

    ( Agencies, 23 Aug, 2013) In “American Dreams in China”, Cheng Dongqing is giving a lecture in an abandoned factory in Beijing . Snow falls through the damaged roof and a power cut sends students reaching for their flashlights. The movie , about how young Chinese in the 1990s tried every means to learn English so they could study overseas, is part of a boom in domestic productions that is outpacing foreign film s at the box office in China. [...]

    Read more →
  • Breaking news China (mainland) film Fast forward with film

    Fast forward with film

    (China Daily, 23 Aug, 2013) In the past year, Chinese films have galloped ahead like a dark horse, beating Hollywood imports. It is hardly surprising that most of these domestic hits are comedies. Comedy is mostly local. When Hollywood sent scouts to recover the secret formula, many of them reported that these Chinese movies were not particularly funny. Of course not. When you translate every line into English, you have lost much of the fun, leaving only a few sight [...]

    Read more →
  • Breaking news China (mainland) Digital Mobile game firms looking abroad

    Mobile game firms looking abroad

    (China Daily, 21 Aug, 2013) Intensifying domestic competition is driving Chinese mobile game developers into overseas markets, said Google Inc, owner of the world’s most used smartphone operating system. Japan and South Korea may become “sizeable” money-spinners for developers in China in the coming years, it added. “Tapping into South Korea and Japan makes sense for Chinese developers, because both countries have a large smartphone user base and high sales volume in the mobile gaming sector,” said Ben Zhang, China [...]

    Read more →
  • Breaking news China (mainland) tv PPTV denies buyout rumors

    PPTV denies buyout rumors

    (chinadaily.com.cn, 14 Aug, 2013) Online video provider PPTV has denied rumors it will be jointly acquired by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Hunan Satellite TV. “We have noticed related media reports. PPTV is operating independently, well, and we have nothing to announce at present,” PPTV told China Daily on Wednesday. A report from IT industry portal 36kr.com said on Wednesday that the prospective deal is almost closed, with the transaction reaching $400 million. It cited venture capital sources [...]

    Read more →
  • Breaking news China (mainland) film Film industry needs long tail to grow

    Film industry needs long tail to grow

    (China Daily, 15 Aug, 2013) The domestic film market registered record half-yearly box office returns of 10.9 billion yuan ($1.77 billion) in the first six months of this year, up 35 percent year-on-year, and there have been excited voices saying that the Chinese film industry is about to boom in the international market. However, box office success is just part of the industry’s chain, and without the further development of licensed movie merchandising, the Chinese film industry is still in [...]

    Read more →
  • Breaking news China (mainland) Digital New WeChat game becoming painfully popular

    New WeChat game becoming painfully popular

    (chinadaily.com.cn, 15 Aug, 2013) A new mobile phone game on WeChat, a social network app in China, is proving so popular that it’s causing hand injuries for many Chinese users. The game, which was recently introduced to WeChat’s 400 million subscribers, allows users to compete online with their friends in aircraft battles. Within two hours after the release of the game on Aug 5, there were more than 180 million downloads. But Zou Cheng, an orthopedic doctor at Hangzhou First [...]

    Read more →