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Chinese Companies Still Take Hollywood’s Calls

Chinese Companies Still Take Hollywood’s CallsChinese Companies Still Take Hollywood’s Calls

From the perspective of a midsize Hollywood company hoping for a sky-high takeover bid or a major studio that once counted on generous slate financing, China these days looks like a disappointment.

The acquisitions gravy train that slopped easy money across the Pacific was halted more than a year ago by the Chinese government. Deals like the takeovers of Dick Clark Prods., Voltage Pictures and Vizio collapsed.

Others may yet be unwound: Wanda is dismayed by two years of gargantuan losses at Legendary Entertainment and Universal is expected to offload its stake in Oriental DreamWorks, Variety reported.

But Hollywood executives who have now turned their backs on China would be surprised to discover how different the picture looks from the Middle Kingdom, where entertainment is growing, tech is booming and interest in teaming up with overseas partners still runs high. For starters, the Chinese box office resumed its upward course last year after a temporary slowdown in 2016. That flat period was the only blip in a 15-year theatrical bull market. With cinema-building continuing apace in China’s smaller towns, the predictions that the Chinese theatrical market will overtake North America’s now look much more solid, with 2020 the likely year that happens.

 

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