The boxing movie “Southpaw” released this weekend has an unlikely silent partner: Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Corp.
Wanda paid the nearly thirty million dollar production costs for the Jake Gyllenhaal film. It is being released by Weinstein Co., which is springing for nearly thirty-five million dollars of advertising expenses. The 2 organizations will split any profits.
“They were on the set and involved in production, postproduction, marketing, everything,” said Weinstein boss David Glasser. “They wanted to learn how we do what we do.”
In return, Weinstein is hoping Wanda will see that the movie gains favorable distribution rights in China, where the government grants licenses to only 34 foreign films per year.
“Southpaw” represents one of several gambits Chinese businesses have lately been using to tap into Hollywood moviemaking expertise.
4 recent heads of major Hollywood studios this past year have started jobs among startups backed by Chinese speculators. These four new companies have gathered commitments worth more than six-hundred-and-sixty million dollars from the Chinese.
They are launching movies amid a tsunami of Chinese investment in the entertainment industry, Silicon Valley technology and other U.S. industries. The companies in China aren’t only looking to turn a profit, those involved in the moves say, but rather to gain know-how in areas where they are not currently considered as global leaders.
AND SO TO VERSE:
I’ve got a little flutter that the Chinese should enjoy;
as certain as the fact that green’s the color of bok choy.
Ripe wooden nutmegs are demanded by consumers now;
if Shanghai wants a piece of it, they’ll get a real cash cow.
I can also offer them the Brooklyn Bridge half-price,
or how about a process that turns gravel into rice?
Why invest in movies when so often they are flops;
I can get you bargain prices on our milkweed crops.
If you think this is a fraud I’m pulling off — you’re right.
It’s payback for their hacking of our data day and night!