With only a week until “Transformers 4: Age of Extinction” opens in China, a prominent sponsor is demanding that Paramount remove their image from the film and marketing materials because of a dispute.
Beijing Pangushi, an investment company, this week announced that it was pulling out of a sponsorship deal with Paramount, complaining that Paramount and other partners did not give them full value of showing their buildings in the blockbuster movie.
Pangushi said the alleged failure to deliver caused them “huge financial loss and bad reputation of our company,” a translated press release stated.
A spokesman for Paramount said the two sides were working on settling the dispute. “Pangu Plaza has a prominent placement in Transformers 4 and it looks beautiful onscreen,” a Paramount spokesperson said in a statement. “We regret that Pangu is not currently satisfied with certain aspects of our collaboration and are working to resolve its concerns.”
Paramount and its partners announced last year that it had reached an agreement with investment giant Beijing Pangushi Investment Co., Ltd. to display a number of Beijing landmarks in the Michael Bay-directed film. The deal called for the company’s flagship building, the Pangu Plaza Hotel, to be displayed in the movie, as well as two Olympic venues, the Beijing National Stadium and Beijing National Aquatics Center.
However, the investment company has pulled permission for their licensed content to be used in the film, and declared that Paramount and co. could not use Beijing Pangushi’s image, logo, or views of the building in either the marketing or the film itself — demanding that Paramount remove those elements from the film.
“When marketing and distributing TRANSFORMERS 4: AGE OF DISTINCTION, [Paramount] is not allowed to use our company’s image, logo, our building’s inside and outside views and its recognition elements, if already used in the film, they shall all be deleted,” stated the news release.
Beijing Pangushi has also already filed charges to the court regarding its complaint and alleged loss of reputation and money.
“Transformers” is banking big on the Chinese box office; the third film in the saga, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” made $177 million in the country in 2011, and the fourth, which stars Mark Wahlberg in place of Shia LaBeouf, was designed as a co-production to help Paramount circumvent the limit on imported movies to the country. Scenes were shot in China, as well.
However, this new development could hamstring the promotion of the film, which is co-produced by the state-backed China Movie Channel.