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Universal Pictures and China’s Perfect World Pictures are closing a $500 million movie slate funding deal, sources confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.
The five-year pact makes the Chinese TV production and video games company a co-financier, giving Universal a new source of funds.
It also makes Perfect World the latest Chinese player to align with a big-name Hollywood company. Conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group recently sealed a $3.5 billion deal to acquire Legendary Entertainment.
Perfect World’s investment will give it a 25 percent revenue share of most, but not all, Universal films, according to sources. Excluded are such franchise releases as future Fast & Furious or Minions films and other titles from the latter’s producer Illumination Entertainment. It also does not give Perfect World the Chinese rights to Universal’s revenue sharing imports.
Universal declined to comment.
Thanks to three hits (Jurassic World, Furious 7 and Minions) that made more than $1 billion in box office, Universal had its most profitable year ever in 2015.
Perfect World isn’t a big name in Hollywood yet like other companies. In addition to its TV production work, it has also been active in film distribution. For example, it was the Chinese co-distributor on Lionsgate’s Divergent, Insurgent and Ender’s Game, as well as Universal’s Rush. It has also served as a producer-distributor on romantic comedy Sophie’s Revenge (2009), with Zhang Ziyi and Fan Bingbing, among others.
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