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BUSINESS
April 25, 2012 | Los Angeles Times
The Securities and Exchange Commission has sent letters to at least four major Hollywood studios, including Walt Disney Studios and DreamWorks Animation, over dealings in China, a person familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak publicly confirmed Tuesday. The letters center on the studios' dealings with China Film Group, a state-run company whose responsibilities include determining which foreign movies get access to a limited number of slots each year for revenue-sharing deals in the red-hot Chinese movie market, which is now the second-largest in the world behind the United States.
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 28, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
The web crawler beat out the Caped Crusader on their first day going head-to-head in China. Sony Pictures' "The Amazing Spider-Man" grossed $5.46 million after it started playing in theaters Monday, while Warner Bros.' "The Dark Knight Rises" took in $4.45 million. "Spider-Man" played in slightly more theaters -- 2,515 compared to 2,400 for the Batman movie -- and benefited from surcharges for 3-D tickets, making the two movies' performances very close. The two movies opened on the same day, a gambit by state-owned distributor China Film Group to limit the grosses of American movies and boost the share of box office generated by local productions.
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BUSINESS
March 6, 2011 | By David Pierson, Los Angeles Times
Not long ago when Zhang Guomiao wanted to see a film, he'd head for the village square. There, itinerant cinema operators would unfurl a canvas screen, set up some static-filled speakers and show a grainy movie in the open air. "We had to bring our own stools if we wanted to sit," said Zhang, 47, who remembered chickens clucking by his feet and neighbors talking loudly. "You couldn't hear much of the movie. " These days he visits a new seven-screen multiplex outfitted with plush seating, 3-D screens and popcorn imported from the U.S. The rice farmer went with friends to see the best-picture Academy Award nominee "Inception," marveling at the science-fiction thriller's special effects, throbbing soundtrack — and the clean cinema floors.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 13, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
Hollywood tentpoles "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "Prometheus" will all open in a single week in China as the communist country takes its most aggressive step yet to limit the box office of American imports. Though it first became clear last month that the state-owned China Film Group intended to open the two superhero films on the same day, Warner Bros. had been lobbying to delay the release of its "Dark Knight Rises" until September. That effort failed, as both movies have now been officially dated for Aug. 27. Adding to the competition for the limited number of screens and moviegoers' attention, China Film has dated the Ridley Scott-directed science-fiction movie "Prometheus" for Sept.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 14, 2009 | Associated Press
Jackie Chan will play the wise kung-fu master in a Hollywood-Chinese remake of the 1984 hit "The Karate Kid," a movie company publicist said Monday. Chan's young disciple in "Kung Fu Kid" will be played by Jaden Smith, the son of Hollywood stars Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, China Film Group spokesman Weng Li said. Will Smith is one of the movie's producers. In "The Karate Kid," Pat Morita plays the iconic building handyman Mr. Miyagi, who trains one of his young tenants, portrayed by Ralph Macchio, into an accomplished fighter.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
This post has been corrected. See below for details. Village Roadshow Entertainment, the production and finance company behind such film franchises as "Sherlock Holmes"and "Happy Feet," has raised $380 million in new capital. The money will allow the production outfit to expand the number of movies it makes with longtime studio partner Warner Bros.as well as grow a new China-based venture. The equity, which comes from investment firm Trinity Opportunities Limited and was arranged with Hong Kong's Shikumen Capital Management, will give Village Roadshow the ability to access more of a $1-billion debt facility that it set up last year.
BUSINESS
March 22, 2011 | By David Pierson, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
China has missed the deadline to comply with a World Trade Organization ruling to loosen state controls on foreign media, the U.S. trade representative said, delaying wider U.S. access to its fast growing market for films, music, books and other entertainment. China had until March 19 to end its practice of restricting foreign media from entering the country without a state distributor. The "U.S. government is disappointed that China has not yet fully complied with the WTO ruling in this case, a lack of compliance which China has acknowledged," Nkenge Harmon, a U.S. trade representative spokeswoman, said Tuesday.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 19, 2008 | From the Associated Press
Two English-language movies, including Golden Globe winner "Atonement," have been cleared to show in China in February, amid recent worries that Beijing has imposed a short-term ban on Hollywood films, a film company official said Friday. "Atonement," starring Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, and the fantasy family movie "The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep" will be released in Chinese theaters next month, Weng Li, a spokesman for the state-run China Film Group, the country's exclusive movie importer, said in an interview.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 18, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Disney's latest China strategy doesn't involve Mickey, Minnie or Goofy. It's all about an enchanted vegetable. The Walt Disney Co. China announced this week that it will release a Chinese-language movie, "The Magic Gourd," this summer -- its first co-production with the state-run China Film Group. The movie, based on a novel written by the late Chinese children's writer Zhang Tianyi, is about a boy who discovers a gourd -- a squash-like vegetable -- that grants him wishes.
BUSINESS
December 15, 2005 | From Associated Press
Walt Disney Co. on Wednesday announced its first film production in China, adding to its efforts to break into the booming Chinese entertainment market. The Chinese-language film, "The Secret of the Magic Gourd," began shooting in October in the city of Hangzhou and is due to be released next year, Disney said. It is based on a popular children's book by late Chinese novelist Zhang Tianyi. Disney's partners are state-owned China Film Group Corp. and Hong Kong's Centro Digital Pictures Ltd.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 30, 2012 | By Ben Fritz and Amy Kaufman
The head-to-head battle of two animated giants in China turned out to be a rout. Twentieth Century Fox's "Ice Age: Continental Drift" destroyed Universal Pictures' '"The Lorax" at the box office after both opened Friday -- the first salvo in an effort by the country's largest film distributor to depress ticket sales of Hollywood movies. Released through China Film Group, the fourth "Ice Age" film grossed $15.7 million, while "The Lorax" took in only $964,000. Fox was helped by securing far more theaters: 3,500, compared with just 1,060 for Universal.
BUSINESS
July 13, 2012 | By Ben Fritz, John Horn and Tommy Yang, Los Angeles Times
China'sgovernment-controlled film distributor is releasing two of Hollywood's biggest 3-D animated movies of the year on the same weekend, forcing them to compete head-on and potentially denting their ticket sales in the world's second-most-lucrative market. The movies - 20th Century Fox's sequel"Ice Age: Continental Drift" and"The Lorax" from Universal Pictures - will both be released July 27 by China Film Group. In the U.S. and elsewhere, the two family pictures were released months apart to avoid cannibalizing each other's box office.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 12, 2012 | By Ben Fritz, John Horn and Tommy Yang
China's government-controlled distributor China Film Group is releasing two of Hollywood's biggest 3-D animated movies of the year on the same weekend, forcing the pair to compete head-on and potentially denting their ticket sales in the world's second-most lucrative market. The movies -- 20th Century Fox's sequel "Ice Age: Continental Drift" and "The Lorax" from Universal Pictures -- will both be released July 27. In the U.S. and elsewhere, the two family pictures were released months apart to avoid cannibalizing each other's box office.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
This post has been corrected. See below for details. Village Roadshow Entertainment, the production and finance company behind such film franchises as "Sherlock Holmes"and "Happy Feet," has raised $380 million in new capital. The money will allow the production outfit to expand the number of movies it makes with longtime studio partner Warner Bros.as well as grow a new China-based venture. The equity, which comes from investment firm Trinity Opportunities Limited and was arranged with Hong Kong's Shikumen Capital Management, will give Village Roadshow the ability to access more of a $1-billion debt facility that it set up last year.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 15, 2012 | By Jonathan Landreth
SHANGHAI - Fifteen years ago, Jean-Jacques Annaud was demonized by the Chinese Communist Party for his film “Seven Years in Tibet” - the cadres were unhappy with his cinematic portrayal of the People's Liberation Army's invasion of the region in 1949 and his casting of the sister of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. A decade and a half on, the 68-year-old French director is being welcomed here with open arms. On Saturday, Annaud will arrive in China to chair the jury of the 15th Shanghai International Film Festival, which kicks off this weekend with 17 films from around the world in competition.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 23, 2012 | By Richard Verrier
Beverly Hills-based RealD Inc. is further expanding its presence in China. The 3-D equipment supplier said Wednesday it had a signed a deal to install 100 3-D screens for the Bona Film Group's theater circuit in China.  Bona, a leading film distributor in China, plans to install RealD 3-D systems at each of the company's 11 theater locations. "3-D technology gives moviegoers a more immersive visual experience, which takes the movie business to a new level," said Don Yu, chairman and CEO of Bona Film Group.
BUSINESS
January 19, 2010 | By Ben Fritz and David Pierson
"Avatar" may be too popular for its own good in China. The communist nation's state-run movie distributor, China Film Group, unexpectedly began pulling the blockbuster science-fiction picture from 1,628 2-D screens this week in favor of a biography of the ancient philosopher Confucius. Paul Hanneman, co-president of international distribution for 20th Century Fox, the movie's distributor, confirmed the move, which the studio learned about Monday evening. According to the Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily, the switch was made at the urging of propaganda officials who are concerned that "Avatar" is taking too much market share from Chinese films and drawing unwanted attention to the sensitive issue of forced evictions.
BUSINESS
April 25, 2012 | Los Angeles Times
The Securities and Exchange Commission has sent letters to at least four major Hollywood studios, including Walt Disney Studios and DreamWorks Animation, over dealings in China, a person familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak publicly confirmed Tuesday. The letters center on the studios' dealings with China Film Group, a state-run company whose responsibilities include determining which foreign movies get access to a limited number of slots each year for revenue-sharing deals in the red-hot Chinese movie market, which is now the second-largest in the world behind the United States.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2012 | By Richard Verrier, Ben Fritz, Jim Puzzanghera and John Horn
The Securities and Exchange Commission has sent letters to at least four major Hollywood studios, including Walt Disney Studios and DreamWorks Animation, over dealings in China, a person familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak publicly confirmed Tuesday. The letters center on the studios' dealings with China Film Group, the state-run company whose responsibilities include determining which foreign movies get access to a limited number of slots each year for revenue-sharing deals in the red hot Chinese movie market, now the second-largest movie market in the world behind the United States.
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