China's Bona Film Group in Talks With Hollywood Studios About Co-Productions

The Hollywood Sign - Los Angeles - H 2011
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The Hollywood Sign - Los Angeles - H 2011

After a recent investment from News Corp., the company is holding discussions with Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox about co-production opportunities.

LONDON -- Chinese film producer and distributor Bona Film Group is talking with four Hollywood studios about potentially co-producing movies for international distribution, The Wall Street Journal reported.

"We hope to work with the larger studio houses ... and we're having discussions with several," the paper quoted Bona CEO Dong Yu as saying. "We hope to do two movies per year through co-productions."

He specifically mentioned NBCUniversal's Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, Viacom's Paramount Pictures and News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox, adding that he was "hopeful" the first co-production could start in 2013.

Last month, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. unveiled a deal to take a roughly 20 percent stake in Bona. The partners said back then that the investment didn't include any production portion.

To date, Chinese-U.S. co-productions generally have been made on a one-off basis, but Hollywood studios recently have looked for new opportunities in China, including Disney, which earlier this year partnered with China's DMG Entertainment to co-produce the next Iron Man movie in China.

Bona, which had its IPO on Nasdaq on late 2010, distributes films, invests and produces movies, owns and operates movie theaters and manages Chinese artists.


Twitter: @georgszalai