Today in Hong Kong, Global Road Entertainment parent Tang Media Partners unveiled a series of steps it’s taking as it looks to capitalize on China’s rapid growth, and as it promoted a so-called “dual-core” strategy.
Among notable moves, and along with its partners and backers China Everbright and Tencent, TMP has formed and funded a consortium to acquire Hollywood and other movies for distribution within the Middle Kingdom. The parties anticipate 10-20 pictures per year to go through the fund.
With Tencent’s Penguin Pictures, TMP will co-invest in and co-produce a TV series based on Meng Ru Shen Ji’s online novel Dian Dao Wei Zhi. Tencent Streaming Service has committed to buy the digital rights for the PROC.
TMP is also teaming with Reliance Entertainment in a cross-pollinating joint venture that will notably bring Indian films to China during what is a boom time for Bollywood in the Middle Kingdom. Under the JV, the companies will work to export Indian films to China, and vice versa. They will also team on co-productions. Chinese movies haven’t yet made huge inroads to India, but Bollywood pics led by Aamir Khan and Salman Khan have seen great returns in the past year. This weekend, 2017’s Hindi Medium starring Irrfan Khan came in at No. 2 behind Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One and despite new local product in the market.
TMP has been on the move in the past two years. In 2016, it acquired IM Global and established a TV JV with key shareholder Tencent. In the following year, TMP acquired Open Road Films, and has been integrating the non-Chinese assets into Global Road Entertainment which is run by Chairman and CEO Rob Friedman. At the Berlin Film Festival, he said Global Road anticipates spending in the range of $1B on production over the next three years. (Also in February, we reported that TMP had tapped investment bankers to raise what sources said is an additional $200M in equity capital.)
TMP says its on-the-ground production and distribution operations in the U.S. and China rep a unique “dual-core” strategy of Hollywood resources and China presence and give TMP China access to “the best Chinese IPs and stories, and superior Hollywood storytelling ability as well as film production technology.” Films acquired by TMP as well as Global Road’s output and local productions will go through TMP China.
In related news, Global Road today also announced a greenlight for martial arts action thriller The Last Masters with Lorenzo di Bonaventura producing. This will be the first U.S.-China co-production for Global Road and its parent TMP.