Alibaba Pictures, Amblin to co-produce films for global, Chinese audiences

Sun Oct 9, 2016 10:12am EDT
 
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BEIJING (Reuters) - Steven Spielberg's Amblin Partners and Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd, the film unit of Chinese billionaire Jack Ma's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said on Sunday they will co-produce and finance films for global and Chinese audiences.

They will also collaborate on the marketing, distribution and merchandising of Amblin Partner films in China, the companies said in a joint statement.

Amblin Partners creates film, television and digital content under the Amblin Entertainment, DreamWorks Pictures and Participant Media brands.

Big Chinese companies including Dalian Wanda Group Co are looking to bring more Western films and movie-making prowess into China even as they seek to expand their footprint in Hollywood.

China's masses have the ability to keep Hollywood movies afloat, industry watchers say. They expect China to soon surpass the United States as the world's biggest movie market.

This year's 'Warcraft', which was a box office flop in the United States, raked in hundreds of millions of dollars in China, making it one of the country's highest-grossing films of the year.

"Some of the stories I'm hoping Jack and I can tell in this new partnership between Amblin Partners and Alibaba Pictures will be able to bring Chinese-themed stories to the American audience, and we can do co-productions between our company and your company," Spielberg said at a briefing in Beijing.

"And we can bring more of China to America, and bring some more of America to China."

Hong Kong-listed Alibaba Pictures has yet to release any films, although the company formerly known as ChinaVision Media Group Ltd has several projects in production.   Continued...

 
Steven Spielberg (L), film director and chairman of Amblin Partners and Jack Ma, chairman and chief executive of Alibaba Group, attend an event to announce partnership between Alibaba Pictures Group Limited and Amblin Partners, in Beijing, China, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Shirley Feng