Uni­ver­sal, Per­fect World com­plete $500m deal

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By AMY HE in New York amyhe@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

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.

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