The H Collective Inks Three-Picture Co-Production Pact With China's iQiyi

Courtesy of The H Collective
Nic Crawley, CEO of The H Collective

Launched just in June of last year, The H Collective has been on a dealmaking spree during the early months of 2018.

The H Collective is expanding its membership.

The growing Los Angeles-based mini-studio has entered into a three-film co-production pact with Chinese streaming-video giant iQiyi. The deal was unveiled Friday at iQiyi’s annual Technology & Entertainment World Conference in central Beijing.

The partners say the co-produced titles will target both the North American and Chinese theatrical markets, the world's two largest box-office markets.

Launched just in June of last year, The H Collective has been on a dealmaking spree during the early months of 2018. Headed by former Paramount executive Nic Crawley, the company announced a co-buyout of Vin Diesel's xXx franchise in April, followed days later by a global distribution deal with Sony Pictures. 

The new partnership with iQiyi extends The H Collective's ties to the fast-growing Chinese market, where many of its backers and strategic partners are based. iQiyi will handle all digital and theatrical distribution in China for the three co-productions, as well as co-finance.

The two partners' first joint effort will be the action-comedy Counter Spy, based on a script being reworked by Thor: Ragnarok co-writer Craig Kyle. The story follows a barista at a Starbucks at CIA headquarters who gets entangled into a worldwide conspiracy.

"We are so proud to partner with iQiyi in China, rounding out our distribution pipeline for The H Collective’s films around the globe," said Crowley.

Added iQiyi Pictures president Ya Ning: "We are very confident that through our respective strengths, our solid partnership will produce excellent films for both China and the international market, including North America."

Other upcoming projects from The H Collective include a James Gunn-produced horror pic starring Elizabeth Banks and a drama titled The Parts You Lose, starring Aaron Paul, Scoot McNairy and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

One of China's largest entertainment companies, iQiyi went public in March on Nasdaq, raising about $2.25 billion for a valuation of $12.7 billion. The company is believed to be a narrow leader in the Chinese streaming video market, with an estimated 60.1 million subscribers as of March.