Headlines from China: From ‘Dying to Survive’ to ‘Mission: Impossible-Fallout,’ Is Alibaba The Biggest Winner This Summer? 

From ‘Dying to Survive’ to ‘Mission: Impossible-Fallout,’ Is Alibaba The Biggest Winner This Summer? 

This year’s summer moviegoing season is halfway through, and the two hottest films in the middle kingdom, Dying to Survive and Hello Mr. Billionaire, have a common backer, which is Alibaba Pictures. Alibaba Pictures is not only a producer of both films, but also promoted them through its online ticketing platform Tao Piaopiao. In addition, Alibaba Pictures has teamed up with Paramount Pictures as an investor and official promotional partner for Tom Cruise’s action thriller film Mission: Impossible-Fallout, which will open in China on August 31. It seems that Alibaba Pictures is on track to become the biggest winner this summer, not just in China, but possibly around the world. However, one important fact that shouldn’t be overlooked is that Alibaba Pictures has been expanding aggressively by backing a wide range of projects. Its slate includes box office hits as well as box office bombs including this year’s biggest flop Asura. Alibaba Pictures’ profitability in 2018 remains unknown, and this obviously concerns its shareholders, as the box office success of Alibaba-backed films hasn’t significantly improved the company’s performance in the stock market. Read more on zhipianrenneican

Three Chinese-language Films Enter Venice Film Festival

On July 25, The 75th Venice Film Festival announced this year’s lineup. Three Chinese-language titles include Zhang Yimou’s Shadow, Tsai Ming-liang’s Your Face and Pema Tseden’s Jinpa. Tibetan film Jinpa will be screened as a part of the “Horizons” section, which represents the latest cinematic trends in international cinema. Zhang Yimou’s latest historical drama film Shadow, which will open in Chinese theaters on September 30, will have its world premiere in Venice. Your Face will also have its world premiere in Venice, which marks the 8th world premiere of a Tsai Ming-liang film at the Festival. The 75th Venice Film Festival runs from August 29 to September 8. Taiwanese actress Sylvia Chang is a jury member of this year’s Festival. Read more on dusheme

Market Value of Mahua FunAge Jumped from $44 M to $730 M in Two Years

As Hello Mr. Billionaire becomes the latest box office hit in China, it’s major investor Mahua FunAge is also reaching 5 billion yuan ($730 million) in market value after tapping into the motion pictures sector for three years. Founded in 2003 as an entertainment company specializing in stage play, Mahua FunAge started adapting its plays into movies in 2015. Since then, the company has produced four hit films, including Goodbye Mr. Loser, Mr. Donkey, Never Say Die, and Hello Mr. Billionaire. Its market value also jumped from $44 million to $730 million over the past two years. While it’s common to adapt stage plays into movies, Mahua FunAge probably is the only company that’s determined to make it the company’s specialty and business model. Read more on entgroup.cn