- Dalian Wanda reportedly is close to a major motion-picture team-up with Sony.
- The partnership could see the two companies cooperate on a handful of films, including Spider-Man: Homecoming.
- By co-operating with Wanda, Sony could get around China’s 34 foreign-film quota.
Billionaire Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda is close to a major motion-picture team-up with Sony, Deadline Hollywood reported.
The partnership, if agreed, could see the two companies cooperate on a handful of films, including Spider-Man: Homecoming (蜘蛛侠：归来), which is set to open in theaters July 7, 2017.
Sony has had a spotty track record at the box office in the past couple of years, so partnering with the powerful Chinese company could help it by providing greater access to China’s growing market.
Sony was behind Blake Lively‘s The Shallows (鲨滩) which is till out in Chinese cinemas as well as Fede Alvarez‘s Don’t Breathe (屏住呼吸) which has hit the top of the box office the US. Its Ghostbusters (超能敢死队) reboot never made it in China.
The studio will wrap up the year with the anticipated space romance Passengers (太空旅客) starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. A Chinese trailer for Passengers was released just this week, a possible early sign it will get a cinematic release here in China.
Currently the number of foreign films allowed to enter China and be released on revenue-sharing terms is limited to 34 per year. By co-operating with Wanda, which is China’s largest distributor, Sony could get around that limit.
The possible Sony pact follows reports that Wanda was in talks with Viacom to acquire a 49 percent stake in Paramount Pictures, but the Viacom board has already nixed that idea.
Paramount partnered with the conglomerate for the release of several films in China, including Transformers: Age of Extinction and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.
Wanda has made no secret of its wish to invest heavily in the movie business. Earlier this year Wanda snapped up Legendary Entertainment for USD 3.5 billion and used its AMC Entertainment to buy European exhibitor Odeon & UCI Cinemas for USD 1.2 billion.