Filmart: 'Operation Red Sea' Backer Er Dong Cultural Group Plans Hong Kong IPO

Emperor Motion Picture Group
'Operation Red Sea'

The fledgling studio is producing John Woo's Chinese-language remake of the action auteur's 1989 classic 'The Killers.'

Three-year-old Beijing-headquartered Chinese studio Er Dong Cultural Group is planning an IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2019, according to Group CEO Yang Fan. If successfully listed, it will be the first Chinese film studio to be so in Hong Kong.

The studio, established by Chinese entrepreneur and financier Allen Chen Shuo-Gang in 2015, rose rapidly through its aggressive investment strategy. On its slate is the John Woo-produced Chinese-language remake of 1989 classic The Killers, to be directed by former film editor Huang Hai and written by veteran TV writer Thirteen Chan. It has also backed more than 30 high-profile current and future films, including the second-highest-grossing film in China of all time, Operation Red Sea, which took $536 million at the Chinese box office; the upcoming Sons of the Neon Night, starring Tony Leung Ka-fai and Sean Lau; and last year's actioner Paradox and the third installment in The Storm Riders series, Storm Cloud, both starring Louis Koo.

Boasting the slogan "Chinese movies for the world," the company is pursuing a strategy to focus on Hong Kong filmmakers, actors and productions. At a Filmart event on Monday, Yang emphasized that the studio wants to use Hong Kong-China co-productions to “obscure the distinction between Hong Kong and Chinese films, as they are all Chinese-language films.”