Scenic spot wins movie suit
A scenic area in Southwest China’s Chongqing municipality won a case against the producers of Transformers: Age of Extinction on Thursday, as the latter failed to honor a product placement contract that required the scenic spot’s logo to appear in the 2014 film.
According to the verdict of the Chongqing No 3 Intermediate People’s Court, Paramount Pictures Corp and Beijingbased 1905 Internet Technology Co must pay Chongqing Wulong Karst Tourism Group Co2 million yuan($297,000) in compensation.
The court also rejected a counterclaim by 1905 Internet Technology, which said Chongqing Wulong Karst Tourism Group did not make a required payment of about 12.4 million yuan on time.
Lawyers for both companies said that they will decide whether to appeal the verdict later.
“It is a valuable lesson for us and other Chinese companies,” Li Jianguo, deputy general manager of Chongqing Wulong Karst Tourism Group, told the media after the ruling was announced.
Paramount Pictures and 1905 Internet Technology declined interviews.
As the world’s second-largest movie market, China has attracted growing attention from international film companies, presenting more opportunities for local companies to profit from product placement in blockbusters.
Transformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth installment in the series, was an enormous success in China, grossing nearly 2 billion yuan in box office sales since it debuted on June 27, 2014.
One of the key scenes in the film was shot at a scenic area in Wulong.
Chongqing Wulong Karst Tourism Group signed a deal with producers of the movie in 2013. The production companies promised to display the scenic spot’s logo in the movie, but it was nowhere to be seen when the film hit the big screen in June 2014.
Chongqing Wulong Karst Tourism Group filed the lawsuit in July 2014, accusing the two companies of violating the terms of their contract.
Poster of Transformers: Age of Extinction taken at a scenic area in Wulong, Chongqing municipality.