DreamWorks Animation, Chinese Online Video Site Youku Strike Deal for 'Kung Fu Panda' Films


It is the first time that DWA titles will be made available through an online platform in China.

NEW YORK -- DreamWorks Animation and Chinese online video site Youku.com said Monday that they have reached a first-of-its-kind online distribution agreement for rights to the Kung Fu Panda franchise films in China.

It is the first time that DreamWorks Animation titles, currently distributed by Paramount Pictures, will be made available through an online platform in China. The companies didn't disclose financial details.

Both Kung Fu Panda titles are available for on-demand viewing on Youku Premium and will later debut on Youku's Hollywood Movie Channel after the paid viewing window closes, the companies said.

"As technology matures and Chinese Internet users increasingly turn to the web for entertainment, Youku has been able to expand on the traditional movie release roadmap through agreements for studio films such as Kung Fu Panda and Kung Fu Panda 2," said Victor Koo, chairman and CEO of Youku. "Both titles have a proven track record of success with Chinese audiences, and we look forward to expanding our alignment with Hollywood studios in the future to offer even more compelling content."

Said Kelley Avery, head of worldwide franchise strategy and distribution for DWA: "Youku is an innovative company with extraordinary reach in China, and we are thrilled that the Kung Fu Panda features will now be offered through their platform, which presents high-quality content to consumers online."

Youku has made recently released films available for on-demand viewing for a certain period of time before becoming available on a subscription basis, followed by free-on-demand viewing.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai