Legendary East, Chinese Firm Team on 'Seventh Son' Mobile Game

Seventh Son Film Still - H 2013

Seventh Son Film Still - H 2013

China is on track to become the world's second-biggest mobile games market this year.

Legendary Pictures has struck a partnership with Locojoy, a Chinese mobile gaming company, to promote the game version of Seventh Son, which is due to be released in China on Jan. 16.

"Every film company has big ambitions in China. Legendary is no exception," Liao Xuling, vp of Legendary's Asia unit, Legendary East, told M1905, the official website of state broadcaster CCTV’s movie channel CCTV6.

It's the first major link-up between a Hollywood film company and a domestic gaming company, the report said.

Read more Activision Takes Aim At China Market with Tencent 'Call of Duty' Deal

The Jeff Bridges-Julianne Moore fantasy epic, which is distributed worldwide by Universal, is not due to open in the U.S. until Feb. 6. The Sergei Bodrov-directed movie opened on Dec. 17 in France and has already performed strongly in Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

Seventh Son, in which Bridges plays a mentor to a young man (Ben Barnes) turned warrior, already has a distinctly Chinese flavor. The country's state-owned film company China Film Group made an "eight-figure" equity investment in Seventh Son and in another project by Thomas Tull's Legendary Entertainment feature film division, Warcraft.

The game version of Seventh Son will contain major elements of the movie, with scenes and fights originating in the film, and Legendary East hopes the mobile game will be a key marketing tool in pushing the movie in the world's second-largest film market.

China's mobile games market is on track to overtake the United States as the world's second biggest after Japan this year. The market has been driven by the huge penetration of smartphones, especially budget phones from the likes of Xiaomi and Meizu.

Read more China 2013 Video Game Market Grows 38 Percent to $13.7 Billion

Liao said that even though the box office was increasing strongly, there was a lot of untapped potential in the Chinese film market.

"In Hollywood, box office only accounts for 30 percent of the revenue and more depends on other derivative products. In China, box office is almost the only income for film," Liao said.

Liao said Legendary had chosen a domestic games company because the concept and design quality in China was very high in the mobile-games market.

Twitter: @cliffordcoonan