Universal, Perfect World complete $500m deal
Universal Pictures and Perfect World Pictures Co Ltd announced on Wednesday that they will enter into a multiyear financing agreement worth $500 million.
The five-year partnership begins this year, and the Chinese company will co-finance 50 films from Universal, which had a successful 2015 in China thanks to major box office hits like JurassicWorld and Furious
The latter film was the highest-grossing film in China last year, taking in $390 million.
With the deal, Perfect World is “gaining exposure, business, as well as publicity,” said Marc Ganis, president and co-founder of Jiaflix, which helps Hollywood studios distribute films in China.
“They’re gaining exposure by aligning with one of the major studios.”
Though terms of the deal were not disclosed, financing will be split between debt and equity contributions, and Perfect World will be getting 25 percent share of most Universal films, though it is expected that the Hollywood studio’s biggest titles will be excluded from the deal, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The deal was first reported at the end of January by Variety.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Perfect World and appreciate the confidence it has in our film slates going forward after a record-breaking 2015,” Jeff Shell, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment, said in a statement. “With Perfect World’s history of success in the Chinese market, we look forward to exploring other opportunities to work together.”
The deal — one of the largest investments a Chinese company has made in an American film studio — now makes Perfect World a major investor in Hollywood, despite the company being previously best known for its television and video-game production and distribution.