China's iQiyi Buys Online Broadcast Rights to 800 Paramount Titles

'Transformers' (2007)

Michael Bay's ultra-lucrative franchise is based on the Hasbro toy line and subsequent cartoon series. The first film introduced moviegoing audiences to Bumblebee and Optimus Prime. Having directed four installments, Bay has announced he will not return to direct the fifth.  

The film unit of Internet giant Baidu will use its platform resources to market, distribute and promote Paramount films online.

Baidu's online video subsidiary unit, iQiyi, has signed a deal for the Internet broadcasting rights on 800 films and future movies of Paramount Pictures, the group said in a statement.

The 800 Paramount films to be featured on the iQiyi platform include the Transformers series, The Godfather, Forrest Gump, the Mission: Impossible series, Shrek, Terminator, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar.

Last month iQiyi announced it had reached five million paid subscribers and was planning to improve its content offering to serve paying members.

To date, iQiyi has around 6,000 films in its library from China, the U.S., Japan, South Korea, India and countries from Europe. The cooperation with Paramount will also be positive to promote Iqiyi’s paid services.

IQiyi said at the Shanghai International Film Festival that it plans to buy distribution rights to more than 1,000 U.S. movie titles to meet swelling demand from its users for Hollywood content.

It also plans to produce seven local films and one Hollywood-style film next year. Over one million users took part in its crowdfunding program for The Golden Era, a film by Hong Kong director Ann Hui, raising nearly $3 million in three minutes.