Five-year deal to cover up to three movies

BEIJING — Chinese shingle Huayi Brothers has announced a long-term co-operation deal with Daniel Wu and Stephen Fung’s Hong Kong-based indie production house Diversion Pictures.

Huayi prexy Wang Zhongjun said this was the first time this kind of contract had been signed in the Chinese biz, but it was an established model in the international film market, where indie filmmakers work with large shingles, where the bigger group provides support on marketing, distribution and on access to hardtops.

“Huayi Brothers is one of the companies who has this platform to offer, and we are happy to be the first company to make this deal. The co-operation agreement ties in with the future development of Huayi,”

said Wang.

Both Wu and Fung are popular thesps in Hong Kong and, increasingly, on the Mainland and the U.S.-raised pair have dabbled in production and helming in recent years. They hope to co-operate with groups within the region, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, other parts of Asia and the U.S.

“The investors know we are film professionals and that we have a better feeling for subject matter and also for B.O.,” said Fung. “The only principle we have is: Ideas, ideas and ideas. To make productions being loved by audiences.”

The co-operation deal is for five years and the aim is to produce two or three movies during that period, aimed primarily at a younger aud.

Huayi Brothers has been busy in recent months.

Last month it announced a project called Film H, which envisages 10 new epics and actioners by 11 helmers, including Feng Xiaogang and Hark Tsui, and rising stars like Tom Lin and Wuershan.

Huayi’s first film of this year, part of the Film H project, will be “Taichi,” helmed by Stephen Fung.

Huayi dominated B.O. last year with “Aftershock” and “If You Are the One 2,” taking in receipts $258.7 million in 2010.

The group has also announced plans to build a $152 million indoor studio in Shanghai, complete with culture and tourist center.

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