James Cameron Company Launches 3D Film Venture in China

UP: James Cameron
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Footage of "Titanic" in 3D wows media during an 18-minute preview, suggesting the April rerelease could sink The Lion King 3D's recent box-office record.

The "Avatar" director is the latest Hollywood player to strike a deal in the fast-growing country.

James Cameron's Cameron Pace Group has signed a joint venture agreement in China to promote 3D filmmaking, develop the availability of the necessary equipment and provide training.

Financial and ownership details of the venture weren't immediately clear. Cameron Pace provides 3D technologies and production services.

Citing the country's official Xinhua News Agency, Bloomberg News said that the company struck the deal in the northern Chinese province of Tianjin.

CPG co-chairmen Cameron and Vince Pace, Gong Jing, chairman of Tianjin Hitech Holding Group, and Wang Dafang, chairman of Tianjin North Film Group, signed the contract, according to Bloomberg.

Cameron said the success of his films Avatar and Titanic in China proved that the Chinese movie-going audience loves 3D, the report said. The recent release of Titanic 3D had the largest opening ever in China, taking in $58 million in its first weekend.

Cameron also traveled to China in April to attend the Beijing International Film Festival where he told THR he was considering teaming with China for the Avatar sequels.

Hollywood studios have also struck a range of deals in China this year. Walt Disney agreed to co-produce Iron Man 3 in the country, followed by an investment of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. in Bona Film Group. And this week, DreamWorks Animation detailed plans for its joint venture in China, which includes an animation studio and the establishment of an entertainment complex.

Earlier this week, Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment teamed with virtual effects firm Weta Digital and entertainment content software company Autodesk to develop virtual production technology for use in the production of the Avatar sequels.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai