Co-Pro Targets, Part 4: Chinese Independents

Co-Pro Targets, Part 4: Chinese Independents

Here is part four of my series on co-pro targets. Today’s blog covers Chinese independents. Below is the first half of this list which highlights China’s top independent production companies.

  1. Huayi Brothers

Chinese name: 华谊兄弟  Huá yì xiōngdì

Activities:  Production, Distribution, Sales

Representative Film:  The Ex-Files: Return of the Exes, Mile 22

Website:   www.huayimedia.com

Cinando or IMDB:   http://bit.ly/2V33Q0N

Telephone: Tel:  86 10 6580 5888

Why? They have big plans to work closer with Hollywood. Not only are they scooping up Hollywood films to distribute (see article) – they also have a co-financing deal with STX  Entertainment.

Shanghai: Huayi Brothers Unveils 2019 Slate, Distribution Plans for 6 Hollywood Films in China

  1. Wanda

Chinese name: 万达 Wàndá

Activities: Production, Sales, Distribution

Representative Film: Detective Chinatown, Go Away Mr. Tumor

Website:  www.wandamedia.cn

Cinando or IMDB:  http://bit.ly/2ZLeKXH

Telephone: Tel: 86 10 5960 5035

Why? Despite a year of turbulence  – Wanda’s film business revenue grew by 9% in 2018. Although it sold off a chunk of it AMC exhibition business – Wanda is looking to put more butts in seats by producing blockbusters.  Why?  It’s updating its theatres so moviegoers have a premium experience. Quota restrictions limit Hollywood movies. Plus Wanda is keen not to depend on Hollywood’s output. Additionally, the ‘trade war’ with the US is pushing Chinese production companies to up their own output of crowd-pleasing films. Double points if that film can travel overseas.

Wanda to consolidate movie units to produce blockbusters

China’s Wanda Grows Film Business Despite Year of Turbulence

  1. Bona Film Group

Chinese name: 博纳 Bó nà

Activities: Production, Distribution, Talent Agency

Representative Film: Operation Red Sea, God of War

Website:  bonafilm.cn

Cinando or IMDB:  http://bit.ly/2J4b0up

Telephone: Tel:  86 10 5631 0700

Why? Bona is looking to expand not only in China but in Hollywood too. It’s backed by two Chinese powerhouse firms – Alibaba and Tencent which support Bona’s marketing and distribution. On March 27, 2019, it won an official cinema circuit license. Bona will have more control over cinema screenings and operations. It will be looking to feed its new pipeline.

Bona Plans Bigger Role In China, Hollywood

Bona Film Group wins official cinema circuit license in China  

  1. Enlight Pictures

光线传媒 Guāngxiàn chuánméi

Activities: Production, Distribution, Buyers’ Rep

Representative Film:  Your Name (Animation), Cry Me A Sad River

Website:  www.ewang.com

Cinando or IMDB:  http://bit.ly/2J4twmw

Telephone: Tel:  010 645 161 45  (NYC number)

Why? Enlight was named a top player in the highly competitive Chinese distribution market. It also had a recent successful run with “Dying to Survive”, “Crazy Alien” and “Pegasus”. After its success with the Japanese manga adapted to film – Animal World, it may be looking out for more ways to work with Japan or Japanese IP.

Tokyo: Expanding China-Japan Ties Dominate Market Buzz 

Film Distribution Market 2019: Top Key Players

  1. Ali Group

Chinese name: 阿里影业  Ālǐ yǐng yè

Activities: VOD, Distribution

Representative Film: Hello Mr. Billionaire

Website:  http://www.alibabapictures.com

Cinando or IMDB:  http://bit.ly/2PDqxCN

Telephone: Tel: 86 1059115586

Why? Alibaba is a deep-pocketed internet platform.  It recently loaned RMB 700 million (103 million USD) to Huayi Brothers.  Besides Hollywood films – it also invested in Hollywood movies such as Green Book and A Dog’s Journey.  It’s also a strategic partner to the US company STX Entertainment.

Bonus tip  – It recently bought a stake in celebrity race car driver/filmmaker Han Han’s company Tingdong Film

Alibaba Lends $100 Million to Huayi Bros. in Film Investment Expansion

  1. Filmko Film 

Chinese name: 星皓影业 Xīng hào yǐng yè

Activities: Production, Distribution

Representative Film: The Monkey King in 3D

Website:  http://www.filmkofilm.cn/Group/

Cinando or IMDB:  http://bit.ly/2UMvVo4

Telephone: Tel:  852 2379 9999

Why? Filmko has a powerful IP with its Monkey King franchise.  It also has a successful track record with Imax and recruiting Hollywood talent.

IMAX Enjoys Its Biggest Opening Day at the Chinese Box Office

Filmko recruits Hollywood talents for 3D Monkey King Shoot

  1. MaoYan Media

Chinese name:  新猫眼 Xīn māoyǎn

Activities: Buyers’ Rep, movie ticket platform, Film investment. Additionally, they co-produce and co-distribute films.

Representative Film:  Mr. Donkey, Buddies in India, Sky on Fire

Website:  https://maoyan.com

Cinando or IMDB:  http://bit.ly/2vsTOqB

Telephone: Tel:  86 18610295656

Why? MaoYan recently splashed the cash to buy a stake in the Chinese production company – Huanxi Media. MaoYan is looking to move beyond its dependence its movie ticket sales business.

China’s Maoyan Spends $50 Million Buying Huanxi Media Share Stake

Bonus tip: Huanxi Media is controlled by top Chinese directors such as Xu Zheng,  Ning Hao,  Jia Zhangke, Wang Xiaoshuai, Peter Chan Ho-sun, and Wong Kar-wai.

  1. New Classics Media

Chinese name: 新丽传媒 Xīn lì Chuán Méi

Activities: Production

Representative Film:  Legend of the Demon Cat, Some Like It Hot

Website    www.ncmchina.com

Cinando or IMDB: http://bit.ly/2vwKKRi

Telephone: Tel:  86-010-57387055

Why? E-commerce giant Tencent bought New Classics Media (for a whopping $2.25 billion USD).  Tencent owns China Literature – its publishing subsidiary.  Tencent is looking mine its vast literary IP with its new TV production house. New Classics Media has a strong script development track record (I’m talking to you – screenwriters!).

Large internet platforms are looking to content for its growing consumer base – not just for Film and TV – but for web series as well.

Tencent Unit Buys New Classics Media for $2.25 Billion

  1. Huace

Chinese name: 华策 Huá cè

Activities: TV and Film Production, Sales, ICP, Film investment

Representative Film: Kung Fu Yoga, Wu Kong

Website:  www.huacemedia.com   http://en.huacemedia.com/

Cinando or IMDB:  http://bit.ly/2V3Bvrb

Telephone: Tel: 86 10 570 24 878

LA Office:  LA Office  (Distribution) 626 808 6864

Why? Huace is China’s largest TV production company. It is looking for American TV to adapt. It recently acquired the Hilary Duff-fronted “Younger” Chinese remake rights.  In the past, it signed a $300 million film financing deal with Arclight Films.

TV Land Comedy-Drama ‘Younger’ To Be Remade In China Via Endemol Shine China & Huace Group

China’s Huace Group signs $300-million film financing deal with Arclight Films

  1. Ten Cent Pictures

Chinese name: 腾讯影业 Téngxùn yǐng yè

Tencent Penguin Pictures (Shanghai),  Focused on Film and TV Production

Activities: Production, Distribution, Video Platform

Representative Film:  Men in Black: International, Lost In Apocalypse, 
Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries
  (TV Series)

Website:  none listed but can find information here:  bit.ly/2VclwqY

Cinando or IMDB:  http://bit.ly/2WesFmQ

Telephone: Tel: 86-010-62673296

Why? Tencent Video has over 100 million users daily on its video platform and over 82 million subscribers. It took a minority stake in David Ellison’s Skydance and is backing STX Entertainment.

Tencent recently signed a with youth media company Vice to distribute its new globetrotting series

However, unlike Wanda’s overeager foray into the US market – Tencent is so big it doesn’t really need Hollywood. It hasn’t attracted the Chinese government’s crackdown as Wanda did. Its also traded on the New York and Hong Kong stock exchanges so it has freely-accessible offshore equity. That’s music to any American producer’s ears.

Quietly And Carefully, Chinese Mega-Corporation Tencent Holdings Sets Sights On Hollywood

Vice Inks Production Deal With China’s Tencent Video for Original Youth Culture Series

If you’d like to see an E-book with all the Co-Pro targets in this blog series (US majors, Indies, Chinese majors, indies) – please leave a comment.

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