Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Variety: Chinese media giants link up

Chinese film colossus China Film Group has announced a strategic link-up with new media experts China Vision Media Group, which will see each invest $88 million and integrate their resources, as well as bolster work by young helmers.

The co-operation deal extends to film, TV and new media as well as a range of joint co-operation projects, the groups said at a joint signing ceremony at a downtown hotel in Beijing on Wednesday.

China's biz is hopping right now -- average monthly box office between January and May this year was $150 million, and the Film Bureau reckons this year's B.O. will soar to $1.5 billion.

Among the projects to benefit from the link up will be "Founding of a Party," the follow up to the blockbuster propaganda pic "Founding of a Republic," which will again be directed by China Film Group prexy Han Sanping and helmer Huang Jianxin. Other projects will include Shang Jing's "My Own Swordsman," "The Underdog Knight 2," by Ding Sheng, and "Qiu Jin," which deals with the events leading to the establishment of the 1911 Republic, which is sure to be a big theme in cinema in China next year as the centenary approaches.

China Vision Media are flush with cash having recently received 1 billion yuan ($150 million) of credit from Bank of Beijing.

The signing ceremony was attended by the great and the good of Chinese cinema. As well as Han Sanping and Dong Ping, chairman of China Vision Media Group, the attendees also included Cui Bin, prexy of China Vision Media, Liu Xiaolin, the CEO of China Vision Media, and helmers Huang Jianxin, Shang Jing and Ding Cheng, as well as thesps Chen Baoguo, Liu Ye, Zhang Jingchu, Zhao Liang, Vincent Chiao and Huang Man.

On the new media side, the co-operation deal will see both shingles invest and lens 365 new media audio and video programs, each three-minutes long, a major platform in China where a huge number of webizens access their online content using their cellphones.

Meanwhile, China Film Group content will be carried on Vision Media's new media platform, Renmin video mobile phone TV.

China Film Group is a true giant of the Chinese film biz, dominating production, distribution, marketing and importing foreign films. It operates more than 400 movie theaters, accounting for more than a half of the country's total box-office market share. China Vision Media Group is involved in film and television drama production, media management and wireless new media operation of mobile phone and is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

"The co-operation with China Film Group will be an effective integration of media development. CFG's advantage is the contents and theater distribution network, while our strength is in traditional and new media. A co-operation means our resources complement each other," said China Vision Media chairman Dong.

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