Alibaba Pictures, the movie division of Jack Ma’s Chinese e-commerce giant, is to invest in Paramount Pictures’ “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.” The move represents Alibaba Pictures’ first investment in a Hollywood blockbuster.
Christopher McQuarrie’s movie, which stars Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, opens July 31 in the U.S. The “Mission: Impossible” franchise has grossed more than $2 billion at the worldwide box office.
Alibaba will be the official partner for the movie’s promotion in China, where it will work with Paramount on online ticketing, merchandising and promotion.
Alibaba Group’s Taobao Movie, an app that allows online ticketing and advance seat selection, will be one of the major ticketing platforms for the film in China. Taobao Movie also interlinks with Alibaba Group’s mobile shopping app Mobile Taobao, which has a large user base, and the third-party online payment platform Alipay, which gives consumers access to Taobao Movie to buy tickets.
Alibaba and Paramount will also work together on linking online ticketing with merchandise sales, where ticket buyers will be able to purchase Paramount-authorized “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” products through Taobao Movie and other affiliated platforms in the Alibaba ecosystem.
“‘Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation’ is our first step toward internationalization, and Alibaba Pictures looks forward to collaborating with more international movie studios where we can consolidate resources, technologies and talents to establish a world-class integrated entertainment platform for the film industry,” Zhang Qiang, CEO of Alibaba Pictures, said.
“Last fall, Jack Ma, Brad Grey, Zhang Qiang and our teams met in Los Angeles to talk about ways our companies could cooperate together,” said Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount Pictures. “We hope today’s announcement is the first of many collaborations between us. Alibaba’s commitment to offering its customers innovative programs, including one-of-a-kind retail and entertainment experiences in China, make them perfect partners for us on the launch of ‘Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation,’ and we are thrilled to be working with them to create a successful campaign for one of our studio’s most popular franchises.”