×

Chinese Partners Play With Fourth ‘Transformers’

Par brokers co-operation agreement with China Movie Channel and Jiaflix for pic

The “Transformers” film franchise has found a few friends in China to get the fourth installment made.

Just don’t call it a co-production.

Paramount Pictures has brokered what it calls a “co-operation agreement” with state-backed broadcaster CCTV’s China Movie Channel and Jiaflix Enterprises to produce “Transformers 4,” which Michael Bay is returning to helm.

CCTV comes under the umbrella of the powerful State Administration of Radio Film and Television.

Deal essentially means that China’s version of the BBC and Netflix will help produce and market the film in the country, helping secure filming locations, cast local talent, and manage post-production and theatrical promotions there. Studio can file for official co-production status, granted by the Chinese government, at a later time.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but third pic was produced for around $200 million. Relationship with China Movie Channel and Jiaflix does include an undisclosed investment in the production of “Transformers 4,” with both companies also expected to receive a percentage of the box office results after its release.

Project is the first time that China Movie Channel, also known as CCTV-6, has worked on the production of a film with a western studio, the company said.

Launched in 1995, China Movie Channel is the country’s only national movie channel and biggest movie broadcaster reaching close to 1 billion people. It owns the domestic telecast rights to more than 95% of all Chinese movies ever made, and over 80% of all international syndication rights for Chinese films.

The “Transformers” franchise has played well in the country, with “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” earning more than $165 million there, in 2011.

“We see this relationship as a reflection of the global power and appeal of both this unique franchise and Michael Bay’s talents as a filmmaker,” said Paramount vice chair Rob Moore.

The partnership with Chinese companies now makes the fourth film a locally produced production, which will help get it into more theaters when it bows sometime around June 27, 2014, in the country.

“This is the beginning of a new era of collaboration with the Hollywood studios,” said Yan Xiaoming, chairman of China Movie Channel. “We are very confident that the China Movie Channel/Jiaflix co-operation with Paramount will result in the famous ‘Transformers’ brand being an even bigger success.”

Hollywood has stepped up its efforts to land such partnerships as a way to circumvent China’s quota system that limits the number of foreign films that can play in its theaters, and studios are flipping through their Rolodexes to call up anyone they know in the territory to open doors.

In Paramount’s case, that meant Sid Ganis, former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, who now serves as chairman of Jiaflix, which helps export Chinese films to oversees territories and manages the production of films in China.

Company already had a relationship with Paramount, with the studio being the first to supply more than 250 films a year to a new video streaming partnership between Jiaflix and M1905.com — also known as China Movie Web — a unit of China Movie Channel. Jiaflix partners Marc Ganis and Kenneth Huang were also instrumental in the “Transformers 4” deal.

“China Movie Channel and our official movie web site M1905.com have been long-term trusted partners with Jiaflix,” Xiaoming said. “We have been working together in the field of importing Hollywood movies for Chinese television and Internet, including Paramount movies, as well as introducing Chinese movies to the North American market and are very delighted with the results we have accomplished together.”

Based on the Hasbro toys, “Transformers 4” will star Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz and Jack Reynor.

Its Chinese deal follows last month’s announcement from Disney that it would release a version of Marvel Studios’ “Iron Man 3” cut specifically for moviegoers there. It will also feature additional footage shot in Beijing and more of the local actors cast for the film, produced with Beijing-based DMG Entertainment.

More Biz

  • Photo taken July 18, 2019, from

    More Than 20 Feared Dead in Arson Attack on Japan's Kyoto Animation

    UPDATED: More than 20 people are feared to have died Thursday in an arson attack on the Kyoto Animation company in Japan, shocking a nation in which extreme violence is very rare. Emergency services in Kyoto City received a call about 10:35 a.m. local time Thursday reporting an explosion on the first floor of the [...]

  • Haim Saban

    Haim Saban Pledges to Invest $500 Million to Launch Music Label

    Businessman, investor and philanthropist Haim Saban, who heads the Saban Capital Group, has pledged to invest $500 million to launch a record label. Saban Music Group (SMG) will be led by music executive Gustavo Lopez and focus on “international A&R, artist development and strategically supporting a 360 model for artists,” reads a release announcing SMG, [...]

  • Street scene Sunset Boulevard at night

    In Los Angeles, Rock and Roll Fights to Save the Sunset Strip

    On a recent Saturday evening on Sunset Boulevard, just beyond the nightly caravan of European sports cars and open-air tour buses that have seen better days, the famous Tower Records building was once again bathed in the familiar red and yellow paint job of the iconic music store that once occupied its stone-brick walls. Though [...]

  • Plume of black smoke rising from

    Universal Music Files Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit From Artists Claiming Fire Damage

    Universal Music Group filed a motion on Wednesday to dismiss a class-action lawsuit from attorneys representing Soundgarden, Hole, Steve Earle and the estates of Tupac and Tom Petty over master recordings reportedly destroyed in a 2008 fire, the extent of which was revealed last month in a New York Times article. UMG argues that the musicians cannot pursue a [...]

  • After Yet Another Rejection, What Could

    After Yet Another Rejection, What Could Be Next for Woodstock 50?

    In the wake of the Town of Vernon’s third rejection of Woodstock 50’s permit application to hold its music festival at a venue in the Upstate New York municipality, one may well wonder what the troubled event’s next move might be. In the hours after the latest rejection was announced, even the optimistic-bordering-on-unrealistic producers sounded [...]

  • US actor Kevin Spacey (C) is

    Kevin Spacey Sexual Assault Case Dropped in Nantucket

    Nantucket prosecutors have dropped a sexual assault case against actor Kevin Spacey, citing the “unavailability” of the complaining witness. Spacey had been accused of groping an 18-year-old busboy at the Club Car restaurant in July 2016. He was charged with indecent sexual assault, and a trial was set to be held in the fall. However, [...]

  • Plume of black smoke rising from

    Universal Music Updates Staff on Fire Damage in Internal Memo (Read)

    Ahead of an expected motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed last month by several artists over damage in the 2008 fire that destroyed hundreds of thousands of master recordings, according to the New York Times, the company’s chief archivist, Pat Kraus, issued a memo to the staff that has been obtained by Variety. While the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content