Ten­cent to bud­get $295m for back­ing movie projects

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By BLOOMBERG

Ten­cent Hold­ings Ltd’s main movie arm plans to spend at least 2 bil­lion yuan ($295 mil­lion) in­vest­ing in Hol­ly­wood and Chi­nese films in the two years through 2017 to ex­pand its pres­ence in global en­ter­tain­ment pro­duc­tion, ac­cord­ing to peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter.

Ten­cent Pic­tures, which helped fi­nance do­mes­tic smash War­craft and the up­com­ing Kong: Skull Is­land, is in­vest­ing 1 bil­lion yuan this year and more than that in 2017 on a plethora of lo­cal and for­eign movie projects, the peo­ple said, re­quest­ing not to be named be­cause the mat­ter is pri­vate.

That fig­ure cov­ers only movie fi­nanc­ing and doesn’t in­clude the com­pany’s bud­get for in­tel­lec­tual property and con­tent ac­qui­si­tion, the peo­ple said.

China’s largest so­cial me­dia com­pany, which owns dom­i­nant mes­sag­ing ser­vices WeChat and QQ, is lay­ing the ground­work for a global en­ter­tain­ment em­pire.

Founded just last year, its film-mak­ing arm is be­gin­ning to pro­duce movies based on its trove of pop­u­lar in-house con­tent, adopt­ing a fran­chise model akin to Walt Dis­ney Co andMarvel.

The com­pany an­nounced in Septem­ber it will bankroll 21 projects based on con­tent in­clud­ing the Ti­bet Code, a fan­tasy se­ries in­volv­ing a hunt for an­cient trea­sure. It’s beef­ing up its sta­ble of mo­bile games by buy­ing Clash of Clans de­vel­oper Su­per­cell Oy.

China has be­come a fo­cus for Hol­ly­wood stu­dios in re­cent years as the US film mar­ket has stag­nated. Ticket sales in China are set to grow 22 per­cent to $10.4 bil­lion next year, ac­cord­ing to av­er­age pro­jec­tions byIHSMarkit Lt­dand Price­wa­ter­house­Coop­ers LLP.

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