Business / Industries

Firms see Hollywood bright lights

By CINDY LIU (China Daily) Updated: 2015-02-25 08:38

Bona Film Group, China's largest privately owned distribution company, meanwhile, announced toward the end of 2014 that it had obtained the exclusive distribution rights in China for several co-productions with Studio 8, including Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, which is set to start shooting this April.

To many observers, the relationship between wealthy Chinese investors and the American film industry will only intensify.

Chinese investment in the US entertainment industry, including film, has grown to around $2.7 billion, according to the Rhodium Group, which tracks Chinese direct investment in the US.

Le Vision Pictures, one of China's leading entertainment companies, established a Los Angeles office in 2013 with a $200 million investment.

By the end of last year it had more than 10 employees, and was considered the premier creative engine in the "Beijing-Los Angeles-Silicon Valley". LeTV group also owns the largest online-film library in China.

Wanda Group, China's largest commercial property developer and owner of the AMC theater chain, also announced its first major entertainment real estate purchase in Los Angeles last August with a $1.2 billion investment.

Wang Jianlin, its chairman, said his ambitions in Los Angeles are aimed squarely at premier Hollywood film-industry targets that can help support the group's own Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis and Qingdao International Film Festival projects in China.

Robert Lundberg, senior vice-president of China Lion Film Distribution, said he considered the Wanda purchase a "smart move" and believes a flow of Chinese investment money into the industry is good for both Chinese and American filmmakers.

"On the other hand, there is also so much talent in China," Lundberg said, "and a lot of American producers still do not appreciate how many resources there are in China."

Hollywood film veteran Stephan Manpearl, the owner of Manpearl Entertainment Marketing, summed up the overall mood perfectly.

"In today's global economy," he said, "increasing interest in media and entertainment by Chinese companies is positive."

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