Universal Pictures and China’s Perfect World Pictures are all set now on their co-financing deal, which has a 50-film or five-year cap — whichever comes first.
Month-ago media reports placed the slate’s valuation at $500 million.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Perfect World and appreciate the confidence it has in our film slates going forward after a record-breaking 2015,” said Jeff Shell, chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, and Michael Chi, chairman, Perfect World. “With Perfect World’s history of success in the Chinese market, we look forward to exploring other opportunities to work together.”
“Building out our film business and expanding into international markets are two of the most important initiatives for Perfect World,” Chi added. “Universal has had a stellar last few years, and with a slate that boasts many titles that we know will thrive in the marketplace, we are confident our partnership with them is a solid step in the right direction. Our partnership with Universal is not just about making movies together, but also about the opportunities that exist in the synergy across our multiple business lines to maximize strategic value for all involved.”
“This deal represents the first time a Chinese non-SOE entertainment company will be working directly with a major U.S. studio,” Universal stated in its Wednesday morning media release. Additionally, this will be the first time a Chinese company has invested in a multiyear slate deal with a major studio.
Perfect World was represented by Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP. Universal Pictures was advised on the transaction by The Raine Group and represented by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.
Legendary Entertainment will continue to finance select Universal titles.