A remake of sci-fi title “Tekken” and a Chinese remake of “Opposite Days” are among the movie projects set to be bankrolled by a Chinese business platform, Financing City Network.
The films are part of a 10-picture slate of Chinese and U.S. movies with combined production budgets of some $300 million that are set to use the platform in the next three years.
Joining FCN in a three-way deal signed at Cannes are veteran Hollywood producer Steven Paul (“Ghost Rider,” “Baby Geniuses,” “Tekken”), through his SP Intl. Pictures, and East & West Culture Media Co.
FCN will provide 70% of the budget on each co-production with China, where East & West and SPIP are the lead producers. East & West and SPIP will be required to bring in the remaining finance. FCN will also co-finance up to 90% on all remakes of U.S. properties brought by SPIP/East & West.
Paul’s SP Releasing will acquire and distribute the films in North American theaters. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, which has a recently signed deal with SPIP, may handle theatrical, homevideo and digital windows, both in North American and international territories. In other cases, third-party sales agents may represent sales.
Presided over by Chinese media entrepreneur Sky Liang, East & West also includes partners British producer Christopher Milburn (“An American Haunting,” “Outcast”); Swiss producer Francesco Juilland (“Legendary,” “Feardotcom,” “Extreme Oops”); and Chinese media entrepreneur Rocky Wang.
“(East & West) is able to open up the platform to projects and third-party sales companies such as Sierra/Affinity or IM Global,” Julliand said.
The Financing City Web platform is a pre-existing business and finance matching service for small and medium-sized enterprises, and positions itself as a business-to-business version of Alibaba. It is looking at the possibility of an IPO next year.
With some 600,000 members, FCN last year raised some $4.87 billion (RMB30 billion) for business ventures. The venture with East and West and SPIP is the first time the platform has been systematically used for film project financing. It has previously been used for individual movie projects. One was “The Calligraphy Master” from state-owned Youth Film Studio, which appeared in the recent Beijing Film Festival. Liang said that the film raised over $1.5 million within one minute of it being offered on the http://www.352.com website.
FCN has recently signed up media sector users – and therefore potential project investors – Beijing Film Academy, China News Documentary Film Group and Beijing TV NEO Media Investment.