Joint China-Hollywood venture unveils movie line-up

March 17, 2016 | 03:15 am PT
Joint China-Hollywood venture unveils movie line-up
A joint Hollywood and Chinese production house on Wednesday announced a slew of upcoming films including an action-horror flick about a giant shark, as moviemakers increasingly look to tap into China's vast market.

The announcement in Hong Kong was made by Flagship Entertainment, a tie-up between Warner Brothers, China Media Capital and Hong Kong television broadcaster TVB, and comes with Hollywood awash with constantly growing Chinese funding.

US studios are also keen to capitalise on China's burgeoning cinema market at a time when Beijing is pushing entertainment as a source of "soft power".

"Working with our esteemed partners in Flagship... Warner Brothers is looking forward to helping create high-quality Chinese and Hong Kong films of every genre for audiences in China and around the world," the studio's chairman Kevin Tsujihara told reporters at the city's International Film and Television Market exhibition.

"We want Flagship to be a true cultural exchange between our companies and our countries," said Tsujihara, whose studio's highly anticipated "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" comes out later this month.

Flagship unveiled 12 new films.

They include "Meg", about the discovery of a gigantic ancestor of the great white shark, and "Beautiful Coma", a romance co-produced by Hong Kong director Peter Chan and US director Brett Ratner, who directed the "Rush Hour" franchise.

Other productions include a remake of the US comedy hit "Miss Congeniality" and another comedy "Mission Milano", which stars popular Hong Kong actor Andy Lau.

The main driver of Chinese cinema's phenomenal growth is a steady emergence of a modern consumerist lifestyle among China's burgeoning middle class.

In 2014, 8,035 movie screens - 22 per day - were installed in China and the screen count stood at 31,627 by the end of 2015, according to official sources.

Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group bought US film studio Legendary Entertainment in January for a record-breaking $3.5 billion - AFP

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