Emperor hires Chan for China Theaters Push

Hong Kong studio expands into mainland China exhibition sector

Damon Chan
Courtesy of Damon Chan

HONG KONG – Hong Kong’s Emperor Motion Pictures has hired Damon Chan to head its expansion in to the fast growing exhibition sector in mainland China.

Emperor also confirmed the appointment of Daniel Yu as production controller.

Chan joins from Orange Sky Golden Harvest, where he was COO (China). He is appointed as EMP’s general manager, exhibitions (PRC).

The company unveiled its plans to break into the mainland theater sector in March 2013 in partnership with another Hong Kong firm UA Cinemas.

Their first joint site Emperor UA Vivo City is scheduled to open in Foshan next month, with plans in other cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen to follow.

“It is very exciting to be heading a team that is charged with growing a new business, especially in mainland China. I look forward to identifying and growing EMP’s new opportunities in the fast growing exhibition landscape there,” said Chan.

According to the latest official data some 325 cinema complexes were opened in China in the first three months of 2014, adding 1,609 screens. That brings the national total to 20,007.

Thanks to the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, a treaty between Hong Kong and mainland government, Hong Kong companies can own majority stakes in Chinese cinema chains. Other foreign companies are limited to minority positions.

Yu has over two decades of experience as a film producer having co-founded Team Work Productions with star actor Andy Lau in 1990, and in 2000 launched October Pictures, which offers above and below-the-line services to film-makers and operates in Hong Kong, Beijing and Korea.

“Their joint expertise and experience will be invaluable in helping us identify the films the market wants and also find great venues to screen them in,” said Albert Lee, CEO of EMP.