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Legendary Entertainment has appointed Sirena Liu CEO of Legendary East, the studio’s China-based division, which is responsible for marketing, licensing and merchandising Legendary’s theatrical film and TV projects in the Middle Kingdom market.
The announcement was made Thursday by Legendary’s CEO Joshua Grode, to whom Liu will report. Liu also will work closely with Mary Parent, Legendary’s vice chairman of worldwide production, to manage the studio’s release of content in the region.
Liu joins Legendary from a long stint at Twentieth Century Fox’s Beijing office, where she spearheaded the studio’s China strategy and managed its local teams. She oversaw some of Fox’s most successful China releases, including The Martian, X-Men Apocalypse and War for the Planet of the Apes. Her team also was responsible for the successful importation of eight the studio’s R-rated films — always a challenge in China’s highly regulated market — including local breakthroughs like Logan and Alien, and Fox Searchlight’s prestige drama Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri.
“Sirena’s proven track record and profitability with China’s box office speaks for itself,” said Grode. “We are excited to tap into her world-class experience and perspective as we continue to build Legendary East’s presence in China and around the world.”
Said Liu: “Legendary is a top Hollywood studio full of energy and innovation with a focus of providing premium-quality content, and China remains the most exciting international film market, thus the combination of Legendary and China makes Legendary East the perfect place for me. I am excited to be part of the amazing Legendary team in China, building on Legendary’s solid history of successful title releases.”
Based in Legendary’s China office in eastern Beijing, Liu also will work with Legendary’s corporate owner, Dalian Wanda Group, to develop marketing opportunities — Wanda also owns China’s largest cinema circuit — and to develop official co-production projects.
In 2019, Legendary released Pokemon: Detective Pikachu in China, where it earned $97 million of the film’s $433 million worldwide box office total.
Legendary’s forthcoming slate includes the monster tentpole Godzilla vs. Kong and Denis Villeneuve’s much-anticipated adaptation of Dune.
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