Tencent set to invest $295 million in film projects

The company has already helped fund movies like Warcraft and Kong: Skull Island

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
November 9, 2016
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The relationship between Hollywood and China is fascinating. Each side relies on the other for to advance their film businesses. American studios have started to cater products to Chinese audiences, and Chinese production companies will often put Hollywood stars in their movies to cater to a more global audience.

Alibaba has been making a big push into film production, with the formation of Alibaba Pictures Group, its the entertainment division, but it will have competition from one of it main rivals, Chinese investment holding company Tencent.

Tencent has also gotten into on the action, having helped finance movies like “Warcraft” and “Kong: Skull Island." Now the company is getting ready to spend a good amount of money over the next two to continue to invest in those projects, according to a report from Bloomberg on Tuesday.

In the next two years, Tencent will spend at least 2 billion yuan ($295 million) investing in Hollywood and Chinese films. That includes 1 billion yuan in 2016, and more than that in 2017.

The films will be financed through Tencent Pictures its film-making arm which was founded last year, and which announced in September that it will be backing a total of 21 projects.

Some of the movies it will produce include the “Tibet Code,” a fantasy series that will involve a hunt for ancient treasure. It will also be partnering with writer David S. Goyer, and with Legendary Entertainment, which it worked with on both "Warcraft and "Kong."

This news comes only a month after it was announced that Alibaba had purchased Amblin Partners, an American film and television production company founded by director and producer Steven Spielberg.

Together, they will co-produce and finance films for global and Chinese audiences, as well as collaborate on the marketing, distribution and merchandising of Amblin Partners films in China. 

The partnership also includes digital distribution of content in China, not just theatrical releases, and Amblin can also "leverage the consumer data and insights from the Alibaba Group ecosystem which will help us better create, market and distribute content.

There’s a good reason that Hollywood is so interested in China, as ticket sales in the country are projected to grow 22 percent to $10.4 billion next year.

The relationship between China and Hollywood is not going away any time soon. In fact, it’s only going to get deeper as time goes on.

VatorNews reached out to Tencent for confirmation. We will update this story if we learn more. 

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