‘Winter Soldier’ to Fire Asia Shot With China’s Youku-Tudou

HONG KONG — The Walt Disney Co.’ and Marvel Entertainment’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is to be co-marketed in China by Youku-Tudou, the country’s largest online video company.

Scarlett Johansson will travel to Beijing’s Sanlitun Village for a red carpet premiere event on Monday (March 24). She will also show behind the scenes footage and appear on the video outfit’s “Star Talk” program. Youku-Tudou will live stream the event to targeted subscribers.

It is one of the first times that a major Hollywood movie kicks off its Asian premiere in China, rather than Japan’s Tokyo or the South Korean capital Seoul.

For NYSE-listed Youku-Tudou, the arrangement underlines its ambitions and expands the range of partnerships it is involved with. It was previously a partner on the China launch of “Despicable Me.”

On a trip to Los Angeles last week, CEO Victor Koo was recently quoted as saying that the company is “open to discussing strategic options.” That may mean using the company’s huge reach with Chinese consumers, internet and mobile users as a platform for more Hollywood partnerships.

In financial circles his remarks were taken as also meaning that Youku-Tudou might also be looking at acquisitions or a corporate tie up with a giant such as Tencent or Alibaba.

Hollywood films can only be imported through a single channel in China and releasing is largely limited to working with a state-owned distributor. But Hollywood studios are increasingly taking a greater role in the marketing of their movies in the country.

China is now the world’s second largest theatrical box office market, last year worth a cumulative $3.5 billion.

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