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China’s Bona Film Sees Profits Up By 69%

HONG KONG — Bona Film Group achieved profits some 10% above guidance in the second quarter of the year as it was boosted by the strong theatrical performances of “Overheard 3” and “To Love Somebody.”

For the April to June 2014 period revenues hit US$44.9 million, an increase of 59%. Non-GAAP net income was US$3.4 million, compared with non-GAAP net income of US$2.0 million in the second quarter of 2013.

The revenue growth markedly outstripped the 25% expansion of China’s gross box office in the first half of the year.

With strong revenues to come from hits “The Continent” and “The White Haired Witch” released in July the company forecasts net income for the third quarter of 2014 in the range of US$7.5 million to US$8.0 million.

In a discussion with financial analysts, Bona’s chairman and CEO Yu Dong said that the company is on course to enjoy gross revenues of RMB3 billion, giving it roughly 10% market share. He also said that the company typically owns a greater piece of each film’s equity than its peers in the top 5 Chinese film conglomerates.

The “Overheard” series is now the company’s most successful franchise in the company’s history. The company credited part of its success to a marketing tie-up with online video platform Youku Tudou.

Following the increase of its stake in Bona, Chinese investment conglomerate appointed Pan Donghui as an additional Bona board director of the Company. Pan is a VP of Fosun Group, and president of both Fosun Internet & Global Strategy Group and Fosun TMT & Entertainment Group.

Yu noted that Fosun had also made an investment in Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8 company, and said that Bona and Fosun are exploring “a range of synergies in China and overseas.” In China these are likely to involve property and theme park development. And Yu said that the two may collaborate in a large shopping mall development in Shanghai’s Bund district.

Bona’s COO Jeffrey Chan dismissed concerns that the disposal of 21st Century Fox share stake in Bona would jeopardise production relations between Bona and Fox International Productions. “The deal is predicated on production and management capabilities, not share ownership. I am confident we will have more cooperation with Fox in the future,” Chan said. Production of ‘Bride Wars,” the first of five agreed projects between Bona and FIP, wrapped on Aug. 8 and is scheduled for release in early 2015.

Production is now under way on “Man From Macau 2,” a more family friendly sequel to its recent gambling comedy hit. The sequel is again directed by Wong Jing and produced by Andrew Lau. It stars Chow Yun-fat, Nicholas Cheung and Carina Lau. Yu said that a third instalment is already under consideration. Release is set for early 2015.

The company also green-lighted “Emperor Holiday,” a family entertainment piece involving five celebrity father and child pairings. Production began this month.

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