BEIJING / LOS ANGELES – September 23, 2016 – Dalian Wanda Group and Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group today announced that they will enter into a strategic alliance that will include equity co-financing in some cases, comprising a number of Sony Pictures’ upcoming high-profile tentpole releases in China. The deal marks Wanda’s first multi-picture partnership with a major studio.
Wanda will provide its massive consumer-facing infrastructure in China to bolster Sony Pictures’ commitment to broaden its global presence. The mutually beneficial deal also furthers Wanda’s cross-cultural support of the global feature film industry.
“The Chinese market for Hollywood films continues to boom, and this alliance gives a huge boost to our ability to connect directly with its audiences. Wanda is a dynamic entertainment player led by the visionary chairman Wang Jianlin; we are honored to be in business with them. I am also pleased to be working again with my friend and former colleague Jack Gao,” said Tom Rothman, Chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group.
Following the acquisition of AMC and Legendary Entertainment in the US, Hoyts in Australia, and contracts to purchase Odeon & UCI in Europe, Wanda continues to identify mutually beneficial opportunities to work with major Hollywood studios to further its position as a worldwide entertainment leader. The deal will utilize Wanda's extensive digital and physical infrastructure, including Wanda Cinema Line – Asia’s largest cinema owner – as well as Wanda's 100+ entertainment plazas, its growing theme park business, and its leading electronic movie ticketing platform. Wanda recently announced a significant exhibition deal with IMAX, which will see the construction of 150 additional IMAX theatres in China.
Sony Pictures’ films in China are distributed by the China Film Group and Huaxia.
“As the global film industry continues to explode, Wanda will seek additional strategic alliances with content companies to foster international collaboration. Wanda’s track record and unparalleled assets in China make Wanda the key partner in the coveted Chinese marketplace. After much collaboration and discussion, Sony and Wanda came to a mutually beneficial agreement that will result in these two great companies collaborating on the most important films,” said Jack Gao, Sr. Vice President & CEO of Intl. Inv. and Operations, Wanda Cultural Industry Group. “This deal furthers our worldwide entertainment strategy as we look forward to positive returns and establishing closer relationships with leading media companies.”