×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Alibaba Pictures Group’s Losses Hit $141 Million

Blaming an ocean of red ink on increased marketing expenses, Alibaba Pictures Group reported Friday that losses exceeded revenues in 2016.

APG, the films division of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, said that calendar-year revenues had increased from $38.1 million (RMB263 million) to $131 million (RMB904 million). But its consolidated losses doubled from $71 million (RMB490 million) to $141 million (RMB979 million).

Sales and marketing expenses for 2016 were RMB1.08 billion, compared with approximately RMB111.9 million in 2015, primarily for marketing to encourage moviegoers to use the Tao Piao Piao online ticketing platform. The company’s administrative costs also grew from RMB278 million to RMB720 million as its staff numbers swelled from the acquisitions of Tao Piao Piao and film finance unit Yulebao. APG said Tao Piao Piao is now connected to 6,000 cinema complexes and that its revenue base “expanded gradually” in the second half of last year as the business model matured.

APG’s production business also saw losses increase, as some projects, which the company did not identify, fell below box-office expectations. Chinese titles released in 2016 included “Soul Mate” and “Ferry Man,” while its Hollywood titles included “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” and “Star Trek Beyond.”

In this year’s pipeline are romantic comedy “Ao Jiao Yu Pian Jian,” to be released in April, and “Once Upon a Time,” for release in summer. Other major projects in development include game adaptation “Gujian Qitan 2,” which will be made as a feature film and a TV series.

Following the arrival of Yu Yongfu as chairman and CEO in December, APG says it will increasingly focus on made-for-Internet content.

During 2016, APG invested a total of $507 million (RMB3.25 billion) in convertible bonds and equity stakes in exhibition chain Dadi Cinema Group, producer and distributor Bona Film Group, film financier Hehe Film, Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners, and in a newly launched investment fund.

The company warned in February that it would post major losses. But publication of the results had little immediate impact on the its share price, which was unchanged at 11.30 a.m. Friday, local time in China. At HK$1.40 per share, the company has a market capitalization of US$5.11 billion (HK$35.3 billion).

More Biz

  • Leaving Neverland HBO

    'Leaving Neverland' Lawsuit Proves to Be a Judicial Hot Potato

    The Michael Jackson estate sued HBO last month for airing the documentary “Leaving Neverland,” which accuses the late King of Pop of serial child sexual abuse. Since then, the case has had a difficult time finding a judge to handle it. Three federal judges have recused themselves in the last week, citing potential financial conflicts [...]

  • Members of the public mourn at

    Guy Oseary’s New Zealand Fundraiser Nears $150,000, Continues Raising Money

    In the wake of the horrific shootings at New Zealand mosques last week that killed some 49 people, Maverick chief Guy Oseary launched a GoFundMe campaign to “support those affected by this tragedy at this very difficult time,” and began it with an $18,000 donation. Boosted by donations from many celebrities — including Amy Schumer, [...]

  • Cesar Sayoc Headshot

    Florida Man Pleads Guilty in CNN Pipe Bomb Case

    A Florida man pleaded guilty Thursday to sending pipe bombs to CNN and prominent critics of President Donald Trump. Cesar Sayoc appeared in federal court in New York, where he pleaded to 65 counts stemming from the mailing of 16 devices. He faces life in prison, plus 120 months, at his sentencing on Sept. 12. [...]

  • Tencent Profits Hit $1 Billion Per

    Tencent Profits Hit $1 Billion per Month as Company Loses Fizz

    Growing regulatory encroachments into its games business, a smaller than expected spin-off for its music division, and a fourth quarter profits drop, pointed to a troubling year for Chinese tech giant Tencent. Its financial results for the full 2018 period, while delivering profits of nearly $1 billion a month, appeared to bear out that thesis. [...]

  • splice

    Splice Raises $57.5 Million in Latest Funding Round

    Splice, a favorite of music creators that allows access to a library of three million rights-cleared sounds, announced today that the company closed a Series C funding round at $57.5 million. That brings Splice’s total amount raised to roughly $102 million since its launch in 2013. It raised a Series B in November of 2017. [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    WGA Leaders to Meet With Showrunners on Agency Packaging Fight (EXCLUSIVE)

    WGA leaders are set to meet Wednesday night with a group of showrunners who are raising concerns about the guild’s handling of negotiations with talent agents over the issue of packaging fees and agency-affiliated productions. The meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. at WGA West headquarters. WGA West president David Goodman is expected to attend. [...]

  • Bill Murray St Vincent 2014

    Weinstein Co. Sued Over Trademark Infringement in Bill Murray Film

    A horse-racing announcer has sued the Weinstein Co., claiming that the company infringed on his trademarked phrase in a 2014 Bill Murray movie. Dave Johnson is the man behind “And down the stretch they come!,” which he began using while calling races in Illinois in the 1960s. The phrase took off when Johnson moved to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content