LOS ANGELES, April 2 Viacom Inc's
Paramount Pictures said on Tuesday it reached a deal with the
government-run China Movie Channel and its online movie service
partner, Jiaflix Enterprises, to produce "Transformers 4" in
China Movie Channel said in the joint announcement that the
deal marks the first time it will work with a western studio to
produce a film in China, although other studios such as Walt
Disney Co have entered deals with other parties to
produce films there to tap the booming Chinese box office.
The Chinese box office grew 36 percent to $2.7 billion in
2012, reflecting in part the country's move to open its market
to more American movies. It did not lift its annual quota of 20
foreign films, but essentially expanded it through other
concessions that pleased Hollywood. For instance, Beijing
permitted 14 premium format films, such as IMAX or 3D, to be
exempt from the quota, as will the 2D versions of those films.
"Transformers 4" is expected to be released in China and in
the United States on or about June 27, 2014.
The China Movie Channel and Jiaflix in June announced they
would launch an online service like Netflix in China this year
The "Transformers" movies are among the most popular films
ever released in China. "Transformers 3, Dark of the Moon,"
released theatrically in 2011, grossed $165 million in China and
over $1.1 billion worldwide, the companies said.
The hottest-selling Hollywood film in China to date was
2009's "Avatar," which opened in China in the first week of
January 2010 and went on to gross $221.9 million, according to
the Hollywood Reporter.