Jack Ma, Steven Spielberg forge pact on film production
Alibaba Pictures Group, the film arm of China’s internet giant Alibaba Group Holding, has joined with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners to jointly produce, distribute films for audiences both globally and in China.
Under the deal, Alibaba will take a minority stake in Amblin Partners. Amblin combines Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios, Participant Media, Reliance Entertainment and Entertainment One.
The two companies will also collaborate on the marketing, distribution and merchandising of Amblin Partners films in China, the world’s second-largest movie market. Following the stake purchase, Alibaba Pictures will have a representative on the Amblin board.
Hong Kong-listed Alibaba Pictures is an emerging movie powerhouse with businesses ranging from investment and financing, content sourcing and production, promotion and distribution, as well as cinema services. It also has partnerships with other Hollywood studios such as Paramount Pictures and Skydance Media on a project to project basis. The tie up with Amblin is the first strategic partnership that will enable Alibaba Pictures to become a stakeholder in a Hollywood company.
“The partnership is the first of its kind for both Amblin Partners and Alibaba Pictures and marks an important milestone in our globalisation strategy to reach Chinese and global audiences alike,” Alibaba Pictures chairman Shao Xiaofeng said during a press conference on Sunday in Beijing.
“We will also leverage Alibaba Group’s ecosystem as a channel for Amblin Partners’ films to reach hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers.”
Alibaba Pictures declined to reveal financial terms on the size of its stake in Amblin, or any specifics on the number of films on which they will collaborate.
The new deal adds to a string of Chinese ventures with Hollywood and foreign studios in a bid to gain market share in China and acquire Hollywood filmmaking know-how… see more
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