30 Apr 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.
Chinese name: 华谊兄弟 Huá yì xiōngdì
Activities: Production, Distribution, Sales
Representative Film: The Ex-Files: Return of the Exes, Mile 22
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.
Chinese name: 万达 Wàndá
Activities: Production, Sales, Distribution
Representative Film: Detective Chinatown, Go Away Mr. Tumor
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.
Bona Film Group
Chinese name: 博纳 Bó nà
Activities: Production, Distribution, Talent Agency
Representative Film: Operation Red Sea, God of War
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.
光线传媒 Guāngxiàn chuánméi
Activities: Production, Distribution, Buyers’ Rep
Representative Film: Your Name (Animation), Cry Me A Sad River
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.
Chinese name: 阿里影业 Ālǐ yǐng yè
Activities: VOD, Distribution
Representative Film: Hello Mr. Billionaire
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
Chinese name: 星皓影业 Xīng hào yǐng yè
Activities: Production, Distribution
Representative Film: The Monkey King in 3D
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.
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
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.
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.
New Classics Media
Chinese name: 新丽传媒 Xīn lì Chuán Méi
Representative Film: Legend of the Demon Cat, Some Like It Hot
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 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.
Chinese name: 华策 Huá cè
Activities: TV and Film Production, Sales, ICP, Film investment
Representative Film: Kung Fu Yoga, Wu Kong
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.
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
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.
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.