Warner Bros.' New Financier to Pursue China Films

James Packer

"There is a real chance to grab the opportunity in China," says Australian media mogul James Packer of his partnership with Warner Bros. and RatPac Entertainment.

The fledgling financing arrangement between Warner Bros. and RatPac Entertainment, a partnership between filmmaker Brett Ratner and Australian media chief James Packer will aim to produce movies in China, local media reported.

"There is a globalization play here," Packer told the Australian Financial Review. "There is a real chance to grab the opportunity in China. In 10 years, the Chinese box office will have overtaken the United States'. I'd like to see my business interests spread out evenly across the U.S., Australia and China," he said. 

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Packer and Ratner struck a co-financing deal for their RatPac-Dune Entertainment company with Warner Brothers worth $450 million to produce 75 movies over four years, as reported in The Hollywood Reporter.

The deal will allow the consortium to build library assets, and the newspaper quoted a source saying Packer was keen to co-finance Chinese movies.

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"Anyone can co-finance movies. But to get movies to work in Asia you need to know how things work. It's more than putting a Chinese actor in the film," he said. "They have to satisfy their domestic audience."

Packer has built up a substantial casino business in Macau with Lawrence Ho, Melco Crown, which has a market value of $17 billion. The RatPac will co-finance films, including the Robert De Niro- and Sylvester Stallone-starrer Grudge Match and Gravity, featuring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock.

Other projects include Clint Eastwood's Jersey Boys and The Water Diviner.