×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pinewood Inks Pact With China’s Seven Stars

Companies set up 50:50 joint venture titled Song Lin

LONDON — The U.K.’s Pinewood Shepperton is the latest company to tap into the rapidly growing Chinese market, setting up a 50-50 joint venture with Chinese entrepreneur Bruno Wu’s Seven Stars Media.

Wu, Seven Stars’ chairman and CEO, said he and Pinewood had identified a “significant number of business opportunities for the short, medium and long term.”

He said the new venture – called Song Lin, which means pine forest in Mandarin – aims to create co-production opportunities for Chinese producers, export Chinese film and TV overseas and improve the standard of media production in the country.

Pinewood will provide expertise and capital investment in the venture, which will create film and TV diploma courses to be delivered by U.K. educational institutions in Beijing, Tianjin and four other Chinese cities.

It will also develop production financing and related services for Chinese film and TV projects and set up film-themed entertainment venues in Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan.

Pinewood Shepperton  operates Pinewood, Shepperton and Teddington Studios in Blighty and provides services to the film and TV industry. Seven Stars is part of one of China’s leading private media groups, producing and distributing content and providing media services and events.

Popular on Variety

“The Chinese market for content is the fastest growing in the world and taking Pinewood’s experience and skills to that market in partnership with such an established and successful local partner is a truly exciting prospect,” said Pinewood CEO Ivan Dunleavy. “The partnership represents a strategic step forward for Pinewood’s international development. If successful, the joint venture could provide significant opportunities for U.K. film and TV producers.”

China’s entertainment and media market is worth $137.5 billion and is expected to grow 40% to $192.5 billion by 2016. China’s filmed entertainment market is worth $4.5 billion and is estimated to grow 65% to $7.4 billion by 2016.

Last year saw China become the top international market for theatrical box office, overtaking Japan. The country’s ticket sales generated $2.7 billion, rising 36% from 2011. The country has seen massive rise in box office with revenues topping $2 billion for the first time in 2011. It is estimated to hit $3.5 billion this year and $6.5 billion by 2017.

The number of companies making links in China has grown rapidly since Warner Bros. started the trend back in 2004, when it partnered with the China Film Group and Hengdian Group to create Warner China Film HG Corp.

Recent film co-productions include Keanu Reeves’ helming debut “Man of Tai Chi,” a co-production between Village Roadshow and the China Film Group and Dalian Wanda Group, and “Iron Man 3,” a co-production between Marvel Studios, Walt Disney’s China Division and China’s DMG Entertainment. DMG also co-produced last year’s sci-fi “Looper.”

Paramount recently announced it would team with state-run broadcaster CCTV’s China Movie Channel and its online movie service partner Jiaflix Enterprises to co-produce Michael Bay’s fourth installment in the “Transformers” franchise in China.

Twentieth Century Fox has done multiple deals with Chinese companies including Bona Film Group and Dalian Wanda. The studio recently announced a pact with China Film Group to co-produce historical drama “Tragedy of the Chinese Laborers,” helmed by Shekhar Kapur and starring Chow Yun Fat, Liam Neeson and Fan Bingbing, who makes her Hollywood debut in “Iron Man 3.”

Pictured (left to right): Seven Stars Entertainment CEO Fred Milstein, Seven Stars chairman-CEO Bruno Wu, Pinewood CEO Ivan Dunleavy and Pinewood chairman Michael Grade.

More Film

  • Kevin Hart, Jason Statham Heading for

    Jason Statham and Kevin Hart Heading for 'The Man From Toronto' Comedy

    Jason Statham and Kevin Hart are in talks to star in action comedy “The Man From Toronto,” which Sony Pictures will release on Nov. 20. Patrick Hughes, who directed “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” and “The Expendables 3,” will direct”The Man From Toronto” from a script by Robbie Fox, from a story by Fox and Jason Blumenthal. [...]

  • High Fidelity

    What’s Coming to Hulu in February 2020

    Next month, Hulu will ring in Valentine’s Day with some counterprogramming. The streaming service will debut its original series “High Fidelity,” a gender-swapped reimagining of Nick Hornby’s novel of the same name. Previously, the book was adapted into a 2000 movie from Stephen Frears starring John Cusack. Zoë Kravitz stars as Rob Brooks, a music-obsessive [...]

  • Wes Anderson

    Wes Anderson's 'French Dispatch' Sets Summer Release

    Wes Anderson’s star-studded comedic drama “The French Dispatch” will debut in theaters on July 24, Searchlight Pictures announced Wednesday. “The French Dispatch” is set in Paris during the 1950s and follows a group of journalists at an American newspaper bureau. The ensemble cast includes Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Lea Seydoux, Frances McDormand, [...]

  • Hillary Clinton Hulu Documentary

    Hillary Clinton Documentary Sells to Sky for U.K. Audiences (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Hillary,” a four-hour docuseries about the life and career of Hillary Clinton, has sold to Sky for U.K. distribution rights, Variety has learned. Clinton sat down for 35 hours of interviews with director Nanette Burstein (“On the Ropes”). The project premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to strong reviews, for offering an honest portrait [...]

  • Rhythm Section Movie

    Will Blake Lively's 'Rhythm Section' Fumble at the Box Office on Super Bowl Weekend?

    Ticket sales could grind to a halt over Super Bowl weekend, a notoriously quiet time of year at the box office. Two new movies are opening — Paramount’s spy thriller “The Rhythm Section” and Orion Pictures’ fantasy adventure “Gretel & Hansel” — though each is expected to make less than $10 million. Since the Super [...]

  • The Fight ACLU Documentary

    ACLU Sundance Doc 'The Fight' Headed to Magnolia Pictures

    Magnolia Pictures is wrapping up a low-seven-figure deal for distribution rights to the moving documentary “The Fight,” insiders told Variety. Premiering at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the project is directed by Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman, and Eli Despres. CAA and Submarine are brokering the deal on behalf of financiers. The directors also served as [...]

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    Quentin Tarantino on Re-Creating 1960s L.A. for 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'

    Quentin Tarantino’s earliest memory of Los Angeles was as a young boy visiting Grauman’s Chinese Theater, standing in the courtyard and looking at the handprints of John Wayne and Roy Rogers. He recollects the Mold-A-Rama machine outside that dispensed a souvenir wax pagoda if you inserted a quarter. The director had toyed with re-creating that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content