Transformers film hit by sponsor's complaint

PRIME EXPOSURE: A 6m-tall Optimus Prime figure being surrounded by journalists before the world premiere of the Hollywood movie Transformers: Age Of Extinction in Hong Kong on Thursday. The movie was filmed partly in Hong Kong.


    Jun 23, 2014

    Transformers film hit by sponsor's complaint


    THE China woes are not over yet for Michael Bay's latest film, Transformers: Age Of Extinction.

    A week before its expected release in the China, and almost everywhere else, the film was hit with a demand for the removal of any scenes depicting the logo or properties of Beijing Pangu Investment, which was a commercial sponsor of the film.

    Pangu issued a statement on Wednesday accusing Paramount Pictures, the studio behind the film, and others of failing to meet contractual obligations, and said it had filed court charges related to its allegations.

    The statement said that any images of its logos or buildings should be removed from the movie and its marketing materials.

    In a statement released on Friday, a Paramount spokesman said the studio was addressing the complaint, and acknowledged that a Pangu property appears in the film, the fourth in the Transformers series.

    "We regret that Pangu is not currently satisfied with certain aspects of our collaboration and are working to resolve its concerns," the statement said.

    On Thursday, the Xinhua Beijing news service said that one of Pangu's complaints involved an unfulfilled promise that the film's world premiere would be held at one of its hotels. Bay and his film's star, Mark Wahlberg, attended a premiere at a cultural centre in Hong Kong last week.

    Even so, plans to release Transformers: Age Of Extinction in China appeared to be on track as of Friday. Pangu's statement did not contain any complaints against the China Film Group, a government-controlled company that is distributing the movie in Chinese theatres.

    Though the film-makers have showcased it as a model of United States-China cooperation in movie production, the movie has had its share of problems.

    While shooting in Hong Kong last year, Bay was attacked with an air-conditioning unit - though not seriously injured - by men who were demanding money from the production company.

    Shortly afterwards, Hong Kong police investigated a second extortion effort against the film.