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Hollywood-China production venture raises $220M
Question of the Day
HONG KONG (AP) - Hollywood production house Legendary Entertainment and a Chinese studio have raised $220.5 million for the joint venture they’ve set up aimed at China’s increasingly lucrative film market.
Legendary Entertainment has produced hits including “The Dark Knight,” “Inception” and the two “Hangover” movies.
The Hong Kong-based joint venture, which was announced in June, plans to make one or two “major, event-style films” a year for worldwide audiences starting in 2013.
The partnership allows Legendary Entertainment to bypass Chinese import restrictions that effectively limit the country to about 20 foreign blockbusters a year.
“We want to do globally appealing movies, so there will be a lot of elements involving East meets West,” said Kelvin Wu, chief executive of Legendary East.
Recent Huayi releases include the hit Feng Xiaogang disaster epic “Aftershock,” the kung fu drama “Shaolin” and the Tsui Hark fantasy epic “Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame.” Its films accounted for 17 percent of China’s box office in 2010.
Chinese box office takings surged 64 percent to $1.5 billion in 2010.
“There’s huge room for growth and we want to be ready to enjoy the bigger market when it’s there. We don’t want to come in when the market is mature,” said Wu.
Paul Y. will fund its purchase by selling new shares to a private equity firm and other big investors and it will own the biggest stake. Legendary Entertainment and Legendary East’s management will own 40 percent while Huayi Brothers will own the remaining 10 percent.
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