×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tencent Pictures’ Lineup Is a Mix of Hollywood Content and Chinese Propaganda

A slate of Chinese propaganda films rubs shoulders with high-profile Hollywood movies on Tencent Pictures’ upcoming lineup. 

The firm confirmed its investment in U.S. projects including TriStar Pictures’ “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” a film about beloved TV host Mr. Rogers, starring Tom Hanks; “Monster Hunter,” Paul W.S. Anderson’s next film adaptation of a video game; “Wish Dragon,” being co-produced by Sony Pictures Animation and China’s Base Animation; Paramount Pictures’ “Terminator: Dark Fate,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and “Top Gun: Maverick,” with Tom Cruise and Jennifer Connelly. 

All the major private-sector Chinese films studios are this year involved in patriotic pictures that not long ago would have been the preserve of China’s state-owned propaganda machine.

But Tencent appears to be playing it especially safe politically this year with a domestic slate of film and TV choices designed to appeal to Chinese authorities. At an event Monday night on the sidelines of the Shanghai International Film Festival, choices were presented in descending order of political correctness.

Its lineup kicks off with involvement in “Me and My Motherland,” a film tribute to the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, jointly directed by seven of the country’s top directors.

It was followed by the announcement of drama serials about a wartime university famous for producing prominent intellectuals, ethnic unity between Mongolians and Han Communists, and the efficacy of China’s court system and rule of law, among others. 

“The whole industry’s growth has slowed down and is facing many issues and challenges. Many friends from the industry have expressed their worries and anxieties,” Tencent Pictures CEO Edward Cheng said. “I told them we need to have faith. My answer is to stay hopeful.”

He said he remains optimistic because nowadays, films with a good reputation and word of mouth all have a chance of doing well at the box office, and because the market, with more than 60,000 screens, is enormous.

Since last year, the company has also become involved in film distribution. Cheng spoke at length of Chinese cinema’s global ambitions. “Film is a very important vessel to help Chinese culture to go out into the world,” he said. “In the future, we will feature more films with Chinese cultural content.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Julie Andrews

    Julie Andrews Selected for AFI's Life Achievement Award

    The American Film Institute Board of Trustees has selected Julie Andrews as the recipient of the 48th AFI Life Achievement Award. The award will be presented to Andrews on April 25 in Los Angeles. The ceremony will be telecast on TNT. “Julie Andrews is practically perfect in every way,” said Kathleen Kennedy, chair of the [...]

  • 4127_D001_00007_RC Phyllis Logan stars as Mrs.

    'Downton Abbey' to Dominate Box Office Weekend With $30 Million

    The feature film version of “Downton Abbey” is heading for an impressive $30 million opening weekend at 3,079 sites for an easy victory at the North American box office, early estimates showed Friday. The launch of Brad Pitt’s space drama “Ad Astra” will land in second with about $20 million, while Sylvester Stallone’s action-thriller “Rambo: [...]

  • BETWEEN TWO FERNS, 2019, PH_0027.RAF

    Film Review: 'Between Two Ferns: The Movie'

    If you’re a fan of “Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis,” the fake public-access talk show that Zach Galifianakis has been hosting online, for three to six minutes a pop, over the last 10 years, then you’ll probably like “Between Two Ferns: The Movie,” the snark-lite 82-minute road movie that Galifianakis and his director and [...]

  • The Irishman

    Martin Scorsese, Frances McDormand, Donald Sutherland Join Lineup of France's Lumiere Festival

    Martin Scorsese’s eagerly awaited Netflix movie “The Irishman” wasn’t completed on time to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival, but Thierry Fremaux, Cannes’s topper, managed to pin down the high-profile movie and Scorsese himself for the upcoming Lumiere festival in Lyon next month. Dedicated to heritage movies, the Lumiere festival was created 10 years [...]

  • 'Aladdin' Star Mena Massoud Calls for

    'Aladdin' Star Mena Massoud Calls for a Broader Diversity of Storytelling in Movies and TV

    The star of “Aladdin,” Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud, called for a greater diversity of storytelling in movies and television when he spoke at the glamorous opening ceremony Thursday of the 3rd edition of Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival. Massoud, whose credits include Amazon’s “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” and Hulu’s “Reprisal,” lauded “the power of art” [...]

  • 4127_D015_00199_RC(l-r) Laura Carmichael stars as Lady

    Box Office: 'Downton Abbey' Beats 'Ad Astra,' 'Rambo: Last Blood' on Thursday Night

    “Downton Abbey,” the movie continuation of the hit TV series centering on the Crawley family, has won Thursday previews with $2.1 million from 2,800 North American locations. Meanwhile, Brad Pitt’s space drama “Ad Astra” has launched with $1.5 million in previews, while Sylvester Stallone’s action-thriller “Rambo: Last Blood” scooped up $1.3 million at nearly 2,900 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content