Legendary East and China Film Co., Ltd. have signed a multi-year deal to jointly produce major films for the global market.
The agreement is the first long-term, multi-year deal between China Film Co. — the largest producer and distributor of Chinese content — and a Chinese or international partner.
The first slate of pictures being developed for the deal will be announced in the coming months, and each film is planned as a U.S.-China co-production. The agreement calls for the two companies to fund the development and production of several pictures over the initial three-year term.
“We are very much looking forward to working with Legendary East and are impressed by their strong achievements to date," said Han Sanping, chairman of China Film Co. Ltd. "There can be no doubt that this is one of the most important collaborations for CFGC in the coming years. We believe that through strong collaboration between CFGC and Legendary East, we will be able to make films that are more appealing to filmgoers, creating new genres that, through the magic of film, bring greater variety to audiences around the world.”
“We truly value the opportunity to work with China Film Co., Ltd., a leader in the vital Chinese motion picture marketplace,” said Legendary Entertainment founder and CEO Thomas Tull (pictured), whose company's films include the "Dark Knight" trilogy. “We look forward to combining our very complementary strengths to serve the global entertainment market.”
The Motion Picture Association of America says China is now the top theatrical market outside of North America, generating an estimated $2.7 billion in ticket sales in 2012.
The deal was negotiated by Zhao Haicheng, Mao Xiaotian, Kang Xiaoze and Deng Meng on behalf of China Film Co., Ltd. and Legendary East CEO Peter Loehr, and Legendary Entertainment and Legendary East General Counsel Martin Willhite on behalf of Legendary East.
Here's an analysis of the deal by Wrap editor Sharon Waxman: