×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

China’s Alibaba Pictures to Partner on STX’s UglyDolls Franchise

STX Entertainment and China’s Alibaba Pictures are partnering to co-produce and co-finance projects in the UglyDolls universe, including the upcoming “UglyDolls” animated movie.

The deal, announced Friday, confirms what was previously revealed in the prospectus of STX’s abandoned IPO in Hong Kong. It includes a previously announced animated TV series with Hulu, digital and print publishing, mobile and educational games, soundtrack and music, and merchandising and licensing programs covering toys, dolls, arts and crafts, collectibles, and other ancillaries.

“This partnership with STX on UglyDolls is very important to us because it allows us to build out this beloved global intellectual property for years to come leveraging the strength of the entire Alibaba ecosystem,” said Zhang Wei, president of Alibaba Pictures. “More importantly, the values that UglyDolls stand for – believing in yourself, acceptance of differences, and never giving up on one’s dreams – are universal and ones we are proud to promote through our work.”

Variety first reported in 2015 that STX had launched a family and animation division with the “UglyDolls” movie as its first project in a deal with Pretty Ugly LLC, the toy company behind the critters. The toys subvert the idea of ugly by turning the adjective into a positive, and include characters such as Wage, Babo, Ice-Bat, and Wedgehead.

In the film, Kelly Clarkson’s character Moxy and her UglyDolls friends confront what it means to be different and struggle with their desire to be loved. Voice talent includes Chinese pop star Wang Leehom along with Nick Jonas, Blake Shelton, Janelle Monáe, Wanda Sykes, Emma Roberts, Gabriel Iglesias, Bebe Rexha, Charli XCX, Lizzo, and Pitbull.

STXfilms will release “UglyDolls” on May 3 in North America as a launch vehicle for the franchise. Hasbro is the global master toy licensee. Atlantic Records will release the movie soundtrack.

“It is an honor to bring a company of Alibaba’s unparalleled reputation, high quality and considerable assets into the STX family,” said STX chairman and CEO Robert Simonds. “After collaborating on a number of projects, including co-producing the upcoming action sci-fi film ‘Steel Soldiers,’ this new venture further deepens our relationship and provides an incredible platform for us to create universally resonant content for audiences around the world.”

More Film

  • Noah CentineoNickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, Show,

    Kids’ Choice Awards 2019: JoJo Siwa, Noah Centineo Take on Bullying

    This year’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards was full of positivity and encouragement to be yourself. DJ Khaled, known for his upbeat mantras, hosted the 32nd annual awards ceremony alongside JoJo Siwa at USC’s Galen center. Siwa accepted the award for favorite social music star. Siwa said in her acceptance speech, “I get hated on every [...]

  • Us Scriptwriter and Film-maker Larry Cohen

    Larry Cohen, Cult Horror Writer-Director of 'It's Alive,' Dies at 77

    Larry Cohen, best known for his work as a B-movie producer and director in the ’70s and his later work in screenwriting, has died. He was 77. Cohen’s friend, actor and publicist Shade Rupe, confirmed the news, which was announced in a post to Cohen’s official Facebook page. Rupe said Cohen died in Los Angeles [...]

  • Captain Marvel

    Box Office: 'Captain Marvel' Shatters $900 Million Milestone

    Brie Larson’s “Captain Marvel” continues to do heroic business. In its latest box office milestone, the female-fronted superhero tentpole zoomed past $900 million in ticket sales worldwide. “Captain Marvel” brought in a mighty $87 million globally this weekend, including $52 million from international territories. It has now generated $589 million overseas for a global haul [...]

  • Us - Lupita Nyong’o - cr:

    Box Office: Jordan Peele's 'Us' Stuns With $70 Million Opening Weekend

    Talk about scary good. Universal’s “Us,” the second directorial effort from Jordan Peele, pulled off a stunning debut, generating $70 million from 3,741 North American locations. That haul is enough to land it the second-best opening weekend of the year behind Disney’s “Captain Marvel” ($153 million). The psychological thriller about a family confronted by a [...]

  • SHAZAM

    Film Review: 'Shazam!'

    In “Shazam!,” Zachary Levi brings off something so winning it’s irresistible. He plays a square-jawed, rippling-muscled man of might, with a cheesy Day-Glo lighting bolt affixed to his chest, who projects an insanely wholesome and old-fashioned idea of what a superhero can be. But he’s also playing a breathless teenage kid on the inside, and [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Showrunners, Screenwriters Back WGA in Agency Battle, Sides to Meet Again Tuesday

    More than 750 showrunners and screenwriters have backed the WGA’s battle against talent agencies taking packaging fees and other changes to the rules governing the business relationship between agents and writers. The letter of support issued Saturday is significant because of the immense clout showrunners and prominent screenwriters possess in Hollywood. Several showrunners had recently [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content