×
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.

“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.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Jimmy Stewart Lisa Lu

    New Book ‘Hollywood Chinese’ Dives Into Forgotten History

    Growing up in San Francisco’s Chinatown neighborhood during the 1960s, Chinese American filmmaker and author Arthur Dong saw plenty of people who looked like him in his community. But on-screen at the movies was a different story: Portrayals of Asian people leaned heavily into stereotypes or, worse, were outright offensive and with many roles played [...]

  • Waltz For Monica

    Swedish Publishing Icon Inspires Project by 'Waltz for Monica' Screenwriter

    Peter Birro, the successful Swedish screenwriter of “438 Days” and “Waltz for Monica” has partnered with the prominent journalist and producer Christina Birro to develop the screenplay for “Elda & Amelia,” a story inspired by the life and career of the publishing executive/businesswoman Amelia Adamo and her mother. Naima Abed and Emilie Georges, whose production [...]

  • CBS HEADQUARTERS

    CBS-Viacom Merger Details Revealed, Shares to Trade on Nasdaq

    Negotiations between CBS and Viacom went down to the wire on the day the long-gestating transaction was finally sealed on Aug. 13. CBS Corp. and Viacom revealed the timeline of the merger talks in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Thursday that runs more than 650 pages. Also Thursday, CBS and Viacom said the shares [...]

  • The Jesus Rolls

    Rome Film Review: 'The Jesus Rolls'

    The Jesus lives! The oddball bowling obsessive immortalized by John Turturro in “The Big Lebowski” resurfaces two decades later in “The Jesus Rolls,” a road movie every bit as eccentric as the character he played in the 1998 cult favorite. In a way, the “Lebowski” connection does a disservice to Turturro’s film — an in-spirit [...]

  • Abominable

    Malaysia Orders Cuts to 'Abominable' Over Controversial Map Scene

    Malaysia has ordered cuts to the U.S.-Chinese animated feature “Abominable,” which includes a scene involving a map that portrays China’s contested territorial claims in the South China Sea. The map scene has already caused the film to be banned in Vietnam. The Philippines’ foreign minister, Teodoro Locsin, called this week for “Abominable” to be boycotted, [...]

  • Kung Fu Panda 3

    Universal's Beijing Resort to Partner With Alibaba on Digitization

    Amid fierce controversy about the leverage China has over U.S. entertainment firms with significant mainland operations, Universal Beijing Resort and Alibaba announced a strategic partnership Thursday to digitize the forthcoming theme park in China’s capital. Facial recognition and the use of big data will be the norm at the new resort, which will use an [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content