China slows Hollywood investments as film industry takes a new turn

Global Business

For the past few years, Chinese investors have been pouring money into Hollywood.

Funding movies, partnering with production companies and buying out entire firms. But lately, we’re hearing about deals between China and Hollywood falling apart.

CGTN’s May Lee reports.

China's investments in Hollywood slows the film industry takes a new turn

Funding movies, partnering with production companies and buying out entire firms. But lately, we're hearing about deals between China and Hollywood falling apart.

There’s been a buying spree in Hollywood and Dalian Wanda has led the way. In 2012, it bought the AMC movie theater chain for $2.6 billion.

Then, in early 2016, it was Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion followed by an offer to purchase Dick Clark Productions for a billion dollars but that deal has come to a screeching halt.

There have been other busts – a head scratching $350 million deal between Chinese copper mining company Xinke and Voltage Pictures has been scrapped.

Same goes for a $2 billion offer by Chinese tech and entertainment company LeEco to buyout LA-based TV maker Vizio.

$1 billion film financing deal involving Chinese firms Huahua Media, Shanghai Film Group and Paramount Pictures once presumed off is now reportedly on again.

Some cite recent restrictions by Beijing on capital outflow impacting big foreign investments. There’s another reason, say skeptics, for the string of imploding deals.

“The idea that China and the U.S. could come together and make films jointly makes no sense at all. You have massively different histories, cultures, societies, expectations and above all languages. That means that yoking these two worlds together is not a natural fit in terms of making film,.” Stephen Galloway, executive features editor at The Hollywood Reporter said.

But prominent media and entertainment attorney Lindsay Conner who has worked on mega deals between China and Hollywood said there’s no need to panic.

President and producer Jean Su, at Broadvision Entertainment, which just released its first independent film “Grey Lady,” believes investors don’t need to spend millions or billions for a quality product. But in time, China may no longer need to invest in foreign entertainment.

Especially since China’s indigenous audience dwarfs any other market in the world. In other words, if they need to, they can manage on their own and create the perfect Hollywood ending.