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China's Bona Film, Fox International Strike Multi-Picture Deal

20th Century Fox Logo - H 2012

After News Corp. acquired a 19.9 percent stake in the firm earlier this year, the Fox and Bona will now develop Chinese-language films.

Fox International Productions, a unit of News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox Film, has struck a multi-picture deal with China's Bona Film Group for Chinese-language films.

Under the agreement, the two companies said they will develop, produce and distribute films throughout China. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

News Corp. earlier this year acquired a 19.9 percent stake in Bona Film Group. The new film partnership furthers that relationship and strengthens Fox’s position in China.

“This is a significant step in what we believe will be a long-term, multi-faceted collaboration with News Corp. and its subsidiary companies,” said Dong Yu, chairman and CEO of Bona. “The films released under this partnership will combine Bona’s deep understanding of production, distribution and audience preferences in China with FIP’s international expertise to create movies that satisfy audiences’ growing demand for blockbuster characteristics.”

Said Sanford Panitch, president of Fox International Productions: “We continue to be excited about the opportunities in the world’s fastest growing market. Mr. Yu’s vision for Bona combined with the company’s stature as one of the leading distributors makes for great opportunities to co-produce and co-distribute Fox International Productions films in China.”

China's box office increased nearly 30 percent in 2011 to more than $2 billion, making China the world’s third largest film market behind the U.S. and Japan.

According to China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, the gross box office for the first half of 2012 totaled $1.3 billion, up 41.7 percent.

As of the end of June 2012, China had over 3,000 cinemas with nearly 11,000 screens.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai