Paramount Pictures today unveiled its latest China investment deal on a movie, saying its upcoming Tom Cruise sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back will receive a significant investment from a joint venture of Huahua Media and Shanghai Film Group. The China companies also will join Paramount China as marketing partner on the movie, from Paramount and Skydance, which will open October 21 in China and U.S. theaters.
This deal follows similar tie-ups with Huahua Media on the studio’s recent Star Trek Beyond and Transformers: Age of Extinction. Paramount and Skydance’s Star Trek Beyond has grossed $62 million at the Middle Kingdom box office since its September 2 release there. Transfomers: Age of Extinction was the first film to cross the $300M box office milestone in China when it bowed there in 2014.
“Huahua’s marketing acumen was instrumental in the global success of Star Trek Beyond and Transformers: Age of Extinction,” Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey said. “We are excited that its team – and that of Shanghai Film Group – has come aboard as we release Jack Reacher: Never Go Back around the world.”
It’s the latest in a slew of deals as movie studios align with China biggies to make inroads into the booming box office market. Within the past 10 days, Sony Pictures and China’s Dalian Wanda pacted on a major co-financing deal, and China’s Fundamental Films yesterday took a 28% stake in Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp.
The Reacher sequel sees Cruise reprise his role as Lee Child’s tough-guy former Army MP. Edward Zwick directs the script from Richard Wenk and Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz. Cobie Smulders co-stars. Based on Child’s 18th novel in the Reacher series, the plot centers on Army Maj. Susan Turner (Smulders), who heads Reacher’s old investigative unit and is arrested for treason. Reacher will stop at nothing to prove her innocence and uncover the truth behind a major government conspiracy.
“Both Tom Cruise and his Jack Reacher character are universally loved in China, so we are excited to be able to bring this new film to fans there,” said Ren Zhonglun, president of Shanghai Film Group. “We look forward to working closely with Huahua and Paramount Pictures and to the release of another successful Jack Reacher film.”
Added Huahua CEO Kefei Wang: “We are poised to launch a powerful, multi-market campaign to drive a lucrative opening for the film in China. Huahua Media excels at quickly cultivating fan bases of millions in China for American films by forging cross-cultural connections that capture audiences.”