Paramount’s New Chief Jim Gianopulos Revives $1 Billion China Slate Deal (EXCLUSIVE)

Jim Gianopulos, chairman and CEO of
Niu daqing - Imaginechina

Paramount Pictures has revived its $1 billion slate deal with two Chinese media companies, which was presumed dead last month, according to several sources.

The studio’s new Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos, who took over the studio in March, traveled to Beijing last week to try and resurrect the deal with Shanghai Film Group and Huahua Media. He was accompanied on the trip by a Viacom executive as well as some Paramount colleagues, including worldwide marketing and distribution president Megan Colligan. The Paramount team was there to promote this summer’s tentpole sequel “Transformers: The Last Knight” at the Beijing International Film Festival.

First announced in January, the Chinese financing deal hit a roadblock in March as China continued to apply greater scrutiny to overseas investments.

Though listed on the Shanghai stock exchange, Shanghai Film Group remains majority state-owned. State-owned companies have been subject to especially strict regulation on overseas investment since the Chinese government began its measures in November to bolster its currency and curb speculation. Huahua Media has significant operations offshore, and was able to provide its share of the payments under the agreement. But Shanghai Film Group struggled to hold up its end of the bargain.

The deal was originally brokered by Brad Grey, who was then Paramount’s chairman and CEO. Grey departed in February, leaving a question as to whether the Chinese investors would choose to stay in the deal under Paramount’s new leadership.

As originally announced, the co-financing agreement would have the two Chinese firms investing in all of Paramount’s films over the next three years. Sources in China close to the deal said the parties discussed with Gianopulos what specific films they were going to invest in. It’s believed that the resurrected deal did not include all of the movies on Paramount’s slate. They also said the parties have an option to extend for a fourth year on the same terms. The two Chinese firms would have their own office on the Paramount lot.

Both companies have previously partnered with Paramount on individual films. Huahua Media, a marketing and distribution firm, partnered on the marketing of “Transformers: Age of Extinction” and “Star Trek Beyond,” among others, while Shanghai Film Group and Huahua Media were invovled with the China release of “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.”

Last year, Paramount seriously explored selling a 49% stake to China’s Dalian Wanda Group, but the Viacom board ultimately rejected the plan.

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  1. this is great news…

  2. EK says:

    These are some of the dumbest comments yet to be posted regarding a VARIETY article! Scary.

  3. jnsesq says:

    This is GREAT news in Hollyweird! China will have its Communist writers already in place.

  4. R. Johnson says:

    Great! Now China can dictate the message Americans watch on the big screen all in the name of entertainment. And who’s idea was this?

  5. Adana SEO says:

    I am too confused…

  6. Jim A says:

    Let me understand this. China invests big bucks in Hollywood and will not intervien with NK who wants ICBM’s that can hit the west coast. China is smarter than that.

  7. Noticeable heterogeneity says:

    Do any of those Hollowood azoles put their country above their personal enrichment?

  8. So…everybody is accusing Trump of telling lies when he calls Chna a “currency manipulator” but here it is in this Variety article…BIG AS DAY…

    “…[Chinese] State-owned companies have been subject to especially strict regulation on overseas investment since the Chinese government began its measures in November to bolster its currency and curb speculation…. ”

    I guess it’s more PALATABLE if a LIBERAL says it, eh?

    • Rudy Mario says:

      Manipulating currency and taking steps to bolster currency and preventing speculation on currency are not the same thing.
      Most countries including the US take these steps.
      This does not mean that China has not manipulated it’s currency. Just thst they are not the same.

  9. Layla Hansen says:

    And the said there were no Communists in Hollywood…

    • Glen Dorn says:

      They’ve been in Hollywood since the late ’20s.

      Hollywood has mostly failed in pushing the progressive Democrat propaganda message, so…..

      The Democrats (and George Soros) have decided to bring in the pros in propaganda!

  10. Sarah says:

    I think that the Chinese faked the latest capital restriction outflow to get a better deal from Hollywood. They know we are screwing them over with the prices we have begun to ask…the problem is that LA is so far from Washington, DC, where people understand China a bit better. I hope Paramount gets as much as possible. Stockholders beware!!! The Chinese government is literally behind negotiations. It is how the govt/private industry work in tandem there. I hope they are focused & actually ask for more after this capital restriction bull. Remember, China needs this deal more than LA needs them–they are desperate for good public relations after the latest anti-Chinese American election. And they are seeing anti-Chinese sentiment in Europe too. Paramount could literally ask for any amount. Go to it! Negotiate hard. Just ask the Donald. It’s actually what he is pretty good at doing.

  11. Lenny says:

    Go ahead variety block me i dare you. I have this page saved so i can report you to the BBB for allowing hate speech but limiting my free speech. Sounds like youre already owned by china

  12. Lenny says:

    I am glad i refuse to go to the movies now. Crap like this teally makes you wonder…. are we being lied to? Yes. Yes we are. Hollywood has their own agenda. Its called ruin art censor movies and make nothing but remakes trash and more sequels to moves that suck. Oh and m night shamalamading dong is ruining tales from the crypt by making it a pg13 sellout on tnt.

  13. Machismo says:

    Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos – Bought and paid for. South China Sea, North Korea, Who is on China’s side?

  14. Lenny says:

    This is terrible. We are only going to get PC pg13 movies from now on after this. China ruined star wars and now they are going to ruin the rest.

    Thats why we got a brittish white girl as the lead. Because china is extremely racist to black people and the brits are less despised then Americans.

    This sucks. I remember the 80s when bearly every movie was awesome rated R and fun. Now everything is PC pg 13 and made to not offend anyone cause youre all snowflakes (non political just sensitive) and cant handle rated R films. For shame.

  15. Jose Ortega says:

    Trade is a good thing. It helps to prevent wars.

  16. Richard1939 says:

    Only one thing to do. . . BOYCOTT Hollyweird. Do not go to the movies…Stay away from the movie theaters. PERIOD!

  17. Grctecrtc says:

    Why would Hollywood sell out to the Chinese? Just one last FU to America and white men before they are done?

  18. Ari Manuel says:

    Commies rule in Hollywood..Marvelous news – Drink up and celebrate pervs.

  19. rplat says:

    Hollywood . . . the epicenter of the Communist States of America and an enemy of the Constitution.

  20. Actually black slaves were just purchased in Africa. They were already enslaved in Africa. The opium war was fought between Great Britain and China. If you think Hollywood is censored, you aren’t watching anything filmed in the past 10 years. Vulgarity and sex are rampant. So if anyone needs to update their history knowledge, I think it’s you.

  21. Samuel says:

    Too late for that. USA has been at it for over a 100 years already. From red face, black face, yellow face, yellow peril, the “leaders of the free world” has done it all.

    zakkeith – anti Chinese persecution in the USA history timeline
    zakkeith – hollywood asian stereotypes

  22. Jaks says:

    How can this be a good situation. China is still one of the most oppressive regimes, who still look at every email leaving their country. If deemed to be against the ruling government in anyway that email will be deleted. That is only one way in which China controls the people. And your going to partner these people with..well Hollyweird. Yeah this is gonna work.

    • you are right we must fight back or good bye USA

    • Samuel says:

      Someone needs a history lesson on oppression. Does mass murdering the First Nations, 400+ years of Black slavery, opium wars against China, mass murder across South East Asia and overthrowing governments count as oppression? If so, USA is the #1 most oppressive regime in human history. BTW, hollywood is in bed with the CIA. How do you think America’s genocides like the Vietnam War get turned into “heroic” Rambo?

      Operation Hollywood Pentagon Shapes Censors
      Killing Hope C I Interventions
      Kill Anything That Moves American
      Sideshow Kissinger Nixon Destruction Cambodia
      Overthrow Americas Century Regime Change
      Full Spectrum Dominance Totalitarian Democracy

      • Sorry to inform you, but Slavery at 400+ years to the U.S.? Hardly, we were the LAST to engage in it, and it didn’t really go into full swing here until the later part of the 1600’s, and ended in 1865. At best, maybe 150 years in the U.S., but elsewhere? YES, The Dutch were the largest traders in human flesh, and it’s well documented that tribes sold other conquered tribes as slaves while owning slaves themselves! Even the Native Americans had slaves from other conquered tribes. I guess that’s what you mean by First Nations? Opium Wars against China? That my friend was the U.K., not the United States. You’re reading misinformation, or you are not comprehending?

      • Lenny says:

        Samuel i think you are confused. Perhaps go live in china and have a daughter that they force you to kill or abort.

      • Grctecrtc says:

        China under Mao killed tens of millions and on every bill of its currency is the image of a man who was worse than Hitler. Who just over 50 years ago killed 10s of millions of its own people. Purged anyone who had connections to the pre-communist world out by shelling their residence. Forcing everyone to carry little red Communist Manifestos in their pockets wherever they went and tortured people in slave labor camps to death through sleep deprivations and communist indoctrination. This place is the result of all that. This is the country where Stalin and Hitler won and persevered. They look down and discriminate against anyone living outside the city. And nurse their true xenophobia against any non-Chinese.

      • Mike Garcia says:

        Did you suck bath water?

      • rplat says:

        You are an unknowing, mindless idiot. Take your moronic comments and your sick logic and stick them in your ear . . . or the orifice of your choice.

  23. Joe says:

    The real question will be :
    What happens if we go to war with Korea ? Are they going to lose their holdings if they back Kimmy ?

    • Pragmatic42 says:

      There you go. Someone who is actually thinking. This is the reason the deal is back on. This and nothing else.

  24. Sam says:

    How can these corporate-whores sell out to a communist country???

  25. Fred Jones says:

    The Chinese will get taken for every dime they put in. HA HA HA…

  26. Pathetic. What was once the spearhead of freedom has become the enforcer of tyranny. Shame on Hollywood.

    • Samuel says:

      oh really? Tell me, how did the illegal invasion and genocide in Vietnam end up with American “heroes” like Rambo?

      Source: Operation Hollywood Pentagon Shapes Censors

  27. Bob Roberton says:

    It makes sense that Communists would want to buy Hollywood. They already have plenty of experience in pushing their agenda.

    • Greg says:

      Sam, you do realize that the Vietnam war was started by the French

    • Samuel says:


      Only country pushing their agenda are those who call mass murder “humanitarian interventions”. I’ll leave it to our own general Wesley “we will take out 7 countries in five years” Clark to tell you the rest.

  28. Yip Yap says:

    Hollywood selling out. How stupid can it get?

    China has nothing good for the future of the USA. Period.

  29. John Pound says:

    American businesses need to stop selling off American assets. WTF is wrong with people?

  30. joe 812 says:

    A few expensive flops and the moneys gone

  31. Vlad says:

    Now it can be official; Hollywood is Communist.

    • Charlie says:

      Both are 100% COMMUNIST !! Scary. Now China will own 2 or 3 & Saudis-Qatar 4 or 5. Of 7 total Large Studios left in Hollywood. Great more Media control.

  32. Bill says:

    Hollywood and China…similar fascistic approaches to free thought.

  33. Bill says:

    The Chinese plug in to the ultimate propaganda machine.

  34. GoatMum3 says:

    I’ve heard it on good authority the Chinese want the flash of news articles and to be wined and dined but ultimately the deal will fail.

  35. SPIKE says:

    that’s a lotta egg rolls, Jimmie

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