Hol­ly­wood movies of­ten get higher re­turns in China com­pared with do­mes­tic movies.”

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

Cash-rich Alibaba Pic­tures Group Ltd made its first ma­jor move into Hol­ly­wood by in­vest­ing in the next Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble movie.

The film di­vi­sion of e-com­merce gi­ant Alibaba Group Hold­ing Ltd has agreed to a deal with Cal­i­for­nia-based Para­mount Pic­tures to pro­mote the Hol­ly­wood block­buster in China, it said in a state­ment onWed­nes­day.

The Hong Kong-listed Alibaba Pic­tures will team up with Para­mount in online tick­et­ing, pro­mo­tions and mer­chan­dis­ing for Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble - Rogue Na­tion in China.

No fi­nan­cial fig­ures about the deal were re­leased.

“Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble - Rogue Na­tion is our first step to­ward in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion and Alibaba Pic­tures looks for­ward to col­lab­o­rat­ing with more in­ter­na­tional movie stu­dios,” ZhangQiang, CEO of Alibaba Pic­tures, said in a state­ment.

The film stars Tom Cruise and is due in the­aters on July 31. One of Para­mount’s big box-of­fice earn­ers, the pre­vi­ous four films in the fran­chise grossed $2 bil­lion world­wide.

Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble - Rogue Na­tion is ex­pected to be another smash hit for Para­mount and at the same time in­crease the pres­ence of Alibaba Pic­tures on the global stage.

Set up last year to tap into the dig­i­tal en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try, Alibaba Pic­tures has a team in Cal­i­for­nia to look for in­vest­ment and part­ner­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties.

This deal with Para­mount is the latest move to cash in on China’s movie boom, ac­cord­ing to Huang Guofeng, an an­a­lyst at In­ter­net con­sul­tancy Analysys In­ter­na­tional.

Team­ing up with Hol­ly­wood­movie stu­dios is im­por­tant for Chi­nese com­pa­nies as they ex­pand into the coun­try’s boom­ing dig­i­tal in­dus­try.

“Hol­ly­wood movies of­ten get higher re­turns in China com­pared with do­mes­tic movies,” Huang said. “By team­ing up with Hol­ly­wood part­ners, Alibaba Pic­tures can be a key player in the fu­ture when China in­creases its quota on for­eign movie im­ports.”

China’s quota sys­tem re­stricts for­eign film im­ports to 34 a year. But the num­ber is likely to in­crease fur­ther in 2017, ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try in­sid­ers, when a new quota sys­tem is brought in.

Many of China’s tra­di­tional film­mak­ers, such as Huayi Broth­ers Media Group and Bona Film Group, have been rid­ing the go­ing global wave. But this has not stopped China’s pow­er­ful In­ter­net com­pa­nies from flex­ing their mus­cles in the film in­dus­try.

Huang said Alibaba Pic­tures may lack ex­pe­ri­ence in mak­ing movies, but its online plat­forms can be used to pro­mote and sell tick­ets online.

“Plus, it has enough cash to in­vest and buy new ti­tles be­cause it has a very rich par­ent com­pany, which raised $25 bil­lion in the world’s largest ini­tial public of­fer­ing last year,” he said. “What­ever it lacks, it can go out and buy.”

en­ter­tain­ment

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