China's Alibaba Pictures Investing in Paramount's 'Mission: Impossible 5'
'Rogue Nation' will be the company's first investment in a Hollywood project.
China's Alibaba Pictures said on Wednesday that Paramount's Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation will be its first Hollywood investment.
In addition to making an investment of an unspecified amount in the Tom Cruise-led franchise film, Alibaba Pictures, the film unit of e-commerce giant Alibaba, said it would become an official partner for the promotion of the movie in China.
In a statement, the companies said Alibaba Pictures and Paramount would collaborate in the areas of online ticketing, merchandising and promotion of the movie in China.
Zhang Qiang, CEO of Alibaba Pictures, said: “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation is our first step toward internationalization, and Alibaba Pictures looks forward to collaborating with more international movie studios where we can consolidate resources, technologies and talents to establish a world-class integrated entertainment platform for the film industry."
"Last fall, Jack Ma, Brad Grey, Zhang Qiang and our teams met in Los Angeles to talk about ways our companies could cooperate together,” said Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount. “We hope today’s announcement is the first of many collaborations between us. Alibaba’s commitment to offering its customers innovative programs, including one-of-a-kind retail and entertainment experiences in China, make them perfect partners for us on the launch of Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, and we are thrilled to be working with them to create a successful campaign for one of our studio's most popular franchises."
Alibaba Pictures has a sizeable war chest for investment, which will swell further as the company recently sought to raise $1.6 billion. Last year, the company raised $807 million from a share offering that put Internet giant and parent company Alibaba in full control of the company.
To date, Alibaba Pictures has used very little of this war chest, although the company is involved in a slate of films to be produced by Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-wai, including Bai Du Ren, which will be directed by novelist Zhang Jiajia and feature Tony Leung as the lead actor.
In March, Alibaba bought an 8.8 percent stake in Enlight Media, one of China’s leading private film and TV companies, for $380 million, the latest in a string of acquisitions in its strategy of expanding in the entertainment business.