China Box Office King Ge You Signs Three-Picture Deal with Hong Kong's Emperor Motion Pictures
The Cannes best actor winner has the option to direct and produce along with starring.
HONG KONG – Emperor Motion Pictures signed a five-year, three-picture deal with Chinese box office king Ge You to develop tailor-made vehicles for the actor-director-producer to star in, which he might also direct and produce if he chooses to. EMP has agreed to invest not less than $78 million into the three projects.
Presently the most bankable actor in the Chinese film industry, Ge’s previous topline films, including Let the Bullets Fly, If You Are the One and its sequel, has grossed over $200 million at the Chinese box office. In 2011 alone, Ge’s work has grossed over 1 billion yuan ($157 million), earning him the moniker “Billion Ge.” EMP and Ge’s last collaboration, the Jiang Wen-directed Let the Bullets Fly, took over 700 million yuan in China last year, setting a domestic box office record.
Although no specific project is now announced, “EMP is going to develop three starring vehicles with Ge, but he can also direct and produce if he so wishes. The deal is not expressly exclusive but will give the priority with Ge’s next future projects to EMP,” said EMP CEO Albert Lee at the announcement.
The new agreement is also a step for the Chinese superstar to venture further into the international scene. Ge praises EMP’s expertise in the international film market, “I believe this partnership will help elevate the international standard of Chinese movies,” he said. Ge’s 1993 film Farewell My Concubine, directed by Chen Kaige, was nominated for an Academy Award in the best foreign language film category. He won the best actor award at the 1994 Cannes International Film Festival for his role in Zhang Yimou’s To Live.