China Invests $1 Billion Into Paramount

By January 25, 2017

Paramount Pictures could really use a boost at the box office, especially after the rough start this year already.

But at least they will get a boost in their bank account.

Shanghai Film Group Corp. and Huahua Media are infusing $1 billion into Paramount, according to Variety, designed to help the studio continue its more recent practice of finding co-financing for its various films.

China-based Shanghai Film was founded in 2001, and not only produces a number of different Chinese titles, but also owns a number of cinemas in China itself. Its size is second only to China’s Wanda Group, which made some headlines in November after it was revealed to be the $1 billion buyer of Dick Clark Productions.

Huahua, more formally known as Huahua Culture Communication and Investment Co., specializes in film marketing, distribution and production, according to the company’s website.

It also has an existing working relationship with Paramount, co-financing last year’s Star Trek: Beyond and helping the film earn $66 million in China.

Paramount and Huahua also partnered for Transformers: Age of Extinction in 2014, which the trade publication points out made $300 million in China alone.

Shanghai Film has worked a little with Paramount in the past as well, primarily on last year’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, which earned just $8 million in China.

The first film the Chinese conglomerates co-financed as part of the deal was xXx: Return of Xander Cage starring Vin Diesel, which opened last weekend to $20.1 million and second place to M. Night Shyamalan’s Split. The film, however, already has earned $50.3 million overseas, according to The Numbers, and it hasn’t even opened in China yet.

Paramount finished sixth among the major studios last year with $843.7 million, representing a 7.5 percent market share. That’s compared to Disney, which lead all studios in 2016 with $2.9 billion, and a 26.1 percent market share.

And 2017 had a very rocky start for Paramount, which has eight films currently in theaters – more than any other studio to this point. Yet, according to The Numbers, it’s ranked fifth with $79 million, and an 11.2 percent market share.

Universal Pictures, led by Sing and Split, currently sits on top of the other studios with $130.7 million, and an 18.6 percent market share.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael began what has become nearly 19 years of entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based out of New York City where he is the editor of a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in the Bronx.