Chinese Studios Huayi Brothers, Bona Take Stakes in U.S.-Based China Lion

The country's two publicly-listed studios seek greater to the North American distributor.

Publicly-listed Chinese studios Huayi Brothers Media Corp. and Bona Film Group Ltd. are both acquiring 20 percent stakes in U.S.-based China Lion Film Distribution, the companies announced Monday. 

China Lion last year began offering day and date releases for Chinese films, including blockbusters Aftershock, If You Are The One 2 and What Women Want, 12 films in all, through an exclusive deal in the U.S. with AMC.

Terms for the deal were not disclosed.

The company also named producer Greg Coote, CEO of Latitude Entertainment, as its chairman.

"This is a major milestone for both Bona and China’s film industry, as it will allow overseas Chinese to watch Chinese movies without delays, as well as open modern Chinese movies to a broader North American audience, and thereby help promote Chinese culture. I believe this is a strong win-win partnership," said Yu Dong, Bona's chairman and CEO, in a statement.

“In the past year China Lion has broken important ground by bringing to North American audiences the very best of Chinese cinema both from Huayi and other companies. We believe their management team will continue to build Chinese distribution in the important North America marketplace supported by strong partnerships such as AMC," said Wang Zhonglei, president of Huayi Brothers.