China’s Weying Technology has taken an investment position in Paramount Pictures’ “Transformers: The Last Knight,” which releases in North America and China next week.
Under the deal, Weying will be entitled to an unspecified share of global revenues, including theatrical, video, TV, VoD, and merchandising. It will also be a strategic marketing and promotional partner on the film.
The movie is scheduled for release in North America next Wednesday, June 21, and in China two days later.
The film already has one Chinese investor, Huahua Media. Huahua and Shanghai Film Group are also co-financers of Paramount’s forward production slate according to a deal that initially saw the pair commit 25% of production finance before that was upped to 30%.
The “Transformers” franchise has been a huge performer in China, and expectations for “The Last Knight” are similarly huge. Box office data tracker Ent Group recently forecast that “The Last Knight” would gross $290 million in mainland Chinese theaters.
Weying has rapidly evolved and diversified from its roots in online ticketing via WeChat into a conglomerate with marketing strengths and, more recently, ambitions in production and distribution. Last fall, Weying unveiled its first production slate. In December, it announced the establishment of an offshore film investment fund, based in Hong Kong.
Weying has already partnered with Paramount on two movies this year. It was a co-financer and marketing partner on “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” and “Ghost in the Shell.”
At Cannes this year, Weying announced that it had picked up China rights to a slate of nine films from sales agent Wild Bunch. They included several titles from Cannes’ main competition.