Chinese firm to invest $350m in US studio
CHINESE film company Perfect World Pictures will invest US$250 million (S$350 million) in a slate of Universal Pictures movies, extending the tie-ups between China and Hollywood, as the world's second-largest economy sees its box office soar.
The Chinese firm will help fund at least 50 Universal Pictures films over a five-year period through its Perfect Universe Investment unit, the company said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday.
Universal Pictures, owned by Comcast Corp, is the studio behind blockbusters such as Jurassic World and the Fast And Furious franchise, of which the latest instalment is one of the highest-grossing films released in China.
Perfect World said the investment gives it a "direct link" to one of the biggest Hollywood studios and will help the company expand.
The Chinese firm added it would receive a proportion of global ticket sales as well as television and merchandising revenues for the films it funded.
China's box-office takings are catching up fast with the United States - ticket sales are set to touch US$8.9 billion in 2019 from about US$5 billion last year, according to PwC.
However, global studios often have a tough time navigating censors and getting around a strict quota system for imported films.
Hollywood has been pushing hard in China. Warner Bros announced a joint venture with China Media Capital in September last year while Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Animation, Lions Gate Entertainment and Walt Disney have all tied up with local partners.
In November, Chinese film distributor Bona Film Group said it would invest US$235 million in a slate of Twentieth Century Fox movies and also help bring the Hollywood productions to the Chinese market.