Johnny Depp’s ‘Transcendence’ Scores China Partner DMG Entertainment

Johnny Depp.
Johnny Depp.
 

Alcon Entertainment and China’s DMG Entertainment on Thursday announced a multi-picture deal in Beijing, which will first see them co-finance, produce and distribute the 2014 Johnny Depp-starring tentpole Transcendence.

The two companies also announced that they will next partner on the reboot of Point Break, which Alcon has been developing.

DMG will distribute both pictures in China, while Warner Bros. will distribute them in North America. 

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“We are very excited that these will be the first two films of what will be a long-lasting and very successful partnership with Alcon,” said Dan Mintz, DMG Entertainment CEO. “We look forward to making history with our new partner.”

“DMG brings a level of global insight and imagination to the project, and, most importantly, a strong relevancy to China," said Alcon co-founders and co-CEOs Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove."Their track record is unprecedented. To watch DMG’s performance on the U.S.-China collaborations of Looper and Iron Man 3, and then know our movies are following on that kind of success ... it’s nothing less than awesome.”

Directed by Christopher Nolan’s longtime cinematographer Wally Pfister, Transcendence stars Depp, Morgan Freeman, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall and Kate Mara in a sci-fi story of artificial intelligence. It will be executive produced by Nolan and Emma Thomas.

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“Without giving away too much, Transcendence is about that moment when human consciousness and the insanely fast rise of computing power collide,” Mintz said. “It pulls from the idea of singularity to tell a truly meaningful story that is more ‘science reality’ than science fiction. This is something that is likely to happen in our lifetimes and that makes it a story everyone can get into.”

DMG last partnered with Marvel/Disney to co-produce Iron Man 3. The project wasn't able to secure official co-production status from the Chinese government (which entails a higher take of local box office), but DMG's local connections gave the film unprecedented marketing reach in the country, including a promotional event hosted by Robert Downey Jr. within the historic Forbidden City in Beijing and various product-placement deals with Chinese brands. The film also was released in a special Chinese cut, featuring more footage of Chinese stars Wang Xueqi and Fan Bingbing, which DMG consulted on. Iron Man 3 grossed $123 million (¥755 million) in the country.

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