In an effort to drive box office of its films outside China, the Chinese government is said to be lining up incentives for Middle Kingdom pictures which perform above a certain threshold overseas. Reports in local media today say the word comes in a circular from a special film industry commission under the auspices of state authority SAPPRFT. According to the reports, a Chinese producer or agent authorized to handle the offshore business of a domestic film will be awarded an unspecified amount if the box office reaches at least 1M yuan ($153K). There would also reportedly be a cap of 1% of a film’s international box office. China’s box office at home is massive and growing at a breakneck pace, but getting movies to play outside the PROC has been an uphill battle. One recent success has been Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid which is the highest-grossing Chinese movie of all time at home with about $518M, and about $14M abroad. A further incentive, China Daily reports, would go to 20 local films with good “social and economic benefits” each year. In order to receive an award of “no more than 6M ($920K) yuan,” a title would have to reach 20M yuan ($3M) within China, and be seen by over 100K people.
News Corp. To Buy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Division For $349 Million
News Corp Australia CEO Peter Tonagh is set to take over as chief of Oz pay-TV giant Foxtel. The move comes as Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein has announced his departure “to pursue other interests.” Foxtel is a 50/50 joint-venture between News Corp and telco Telstra which has about 2.7M cable and satellite subscribers and offers streaming, broadband and other services. The Sydney Morning Herald separately reported today that Telstra is considering a 4.5B AUD ($3.36B) IPO or a sale of its stake in the company which is facing an increasingly competitive market. Netflix entered Oz a year ago and is thought to have gained 1M subs at a lower price point. Freudenstein spent four-and-a-half years at the reins of Foxtel. Highlights of his tenure include the 2012 London Olympics and the launch of the Foxtel Go service.
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