'Transformers: Age of Extinction' Chinese Partner Terminates Collaboration Contract

"Transformers: Age of Extinction"
"Transformers: Age of Extinction"
 Paramount Pictures

Just days before the film's launch in China, a Beijing investment company has pulled out of a sponsorship deal with the producers of the fourth installment of the Transformers franchise claiming breach of contract.

The collaboration deal involved Beijing Pangu Investment providing financial resources to the production, in exchange for the company’s flagship building in Beijing, the Pangu Plaza Hotel, being shown in the film.

In a statement, Beijing Pangu Investment accused Paramount Pictures and other Chinese associate partners in Transformers: Age of Extinction of not meeting the terms of their contract.

“This has caused huge financial loss and damage to the reputation of our company,” it said in a statement.

When contacted by The Hollywood Reporter, a Paramount rep stated: "Pangu Plaza has a prominent placement in Transformers 4 and it looks beautiful onscreen. We regret that Pangu is not currently satisfied with certain aspects of our collaboration and are working to resolve its concerns." 

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It was not clear what impact Beijing Pangu’s withdrawal would have on the efforts to market the film, which has strong Chinese elements in a bid to woo the lucrative Chinese market.

Beijing Pangu Investment said the contract with the associate collaboration partners was terminated June 15 and said Transformers could not use any of Pangu’s buildings or logos in marketing and distributing the film. If any of these had been used, they must be deleted, according to the statement.

Beijing Pangu Investment said it  already had filed a lawsuit with the courts about not meeting the terms of the contract and damage to its reputation and financial loss.

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Beijing National Stadium and Beijing National Aquatics Center, the two Beijing Olympics venues nearby, also feature in the film.

The deal was launched with great fanfare last year at the Shanghai International Film Festival, and the producers of the Transformers franchise have been carefully cultivating the Chinese market. The movie made its world premiere in Hong Kong on June 20 and is due to close the Shanghai International Film Festival on June 22.

The last installment of the franchise, Dark of the Moon, earned $177.9 million in China.

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