Wanda Boards Paramount's 'Transformers 5' as Marketing Partner in China
At a glitzy event held during the Shanghai Film Festival, Wanda also unveiled a 27-film slate and a strategic content partnership with Chinese internet giant Tencent.
China's Dalian Wanda Group has boarded Paramount Pictures' Transformers: The Last Knight.
Wanda will market and promote the film in China through its vast cinema network, while also serving as a merchandising partner in the country. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
The firm unveiled the deal Monday during a characteristically extravagant announcement ceremony at the Wanda Reign seven-star hotel in central Shanghai. A cluster of overseas film figures, such as Julie Delpy and Sunny Pawar (the child star of Lion), and visiting executives like AMC Entertainment vp Elizabeth Frank, were in attendance for the packed-house event.
Wanda is the third Chinese firm to board Transformers 5. Last week, Weying Technology bought a stake in the film, saying it was entitled to an undisclosed share of global revenue for the movie, including theatrical, video, TV, VOD and merchandising. Chinese film company Huahua Media, which served as a marketing partner on Transformers 4, announced an unspecified stake in the new film at a Shanghai signing ceremony in December.
The Transformers partnership was just one piece of a sweeping slate Wanda unveiled Monday. Central to the conglomerate's vision for the film sector this year is a strategic partnership with Shenzhen-based internet giant Tencent. The companies are calling their partnership approach the "Intelligent People Strategy" — as in IP — with plans to recruit experienced talent and directors to develop original intellectual property to serve as the basis for film, television, VR, gaming projects and kids entertainment.
Throughout the lengthy presentation, Wanda Pictures unveiled no less than 27 titles on its film production and investment slate, spanning Chinese-language comedies, romantic comedies, actions projects, kids films and more. Among the most high-profile of the many titles was the big-budget fantasy action film Robosaur Wars, about giant battling robot dinosaurs, to be directed by Lu Chuan, who won best director at the 2009 Asian Film Awards for his art-house favorite City of Life and Death, and whose nature documentary Born in China was recently released worldwide by Disney Nature.