In a significant move, Amblin Partners, an American content provider founded by noted Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg and Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, on Sunday signed a strategic alliance with China’s Alibaba group to co-produce and finance films for global and Chinese film markets.
The two entered into a comprehensive strategic partnership to co-produce and finance films for global and Chinese audiences, as well as collaborate on the marketing, distribution and merchandising of Amblin Partners films in China, which has emerged as the world’s largest consumer market, a statement issued by Alibaba group here said.
Under the terms of the partnership, Alibaba Pictures will acquire a minority equity stake in Amblin Partners and an Alibaba Pictures representative will join Amblin Partners’ board of directors.
The agreement is signed at a ceremony attended by Spielberg, Chairman of Amblin Partners and Jack Ma, head of the multi-billion dollar Chinese e-commerce firm.
“We are proud and excited that such a valued company as Alibaba Pictures is joining with our other highly-respected partners, Reliance Entertainment, Participant Media and Entertainment One, in building our growth and strengthening our company even further,” Spielberg said.
“Our vision is to inspire and entertain audiences through creativity and imagination both here and around the world. We would also like to thank Jack Ma for his friendship and support,”he said.
Terming it as one of the most significant alliance in the world entertainment industry, Ma said “we have great respect for Spielberg as one of the world s most influential filmmakers and entrepreneurs. Among Chinese consumers, there is an increasing demand for premium global content. I believe this collaboration can serve as a cultural bridge and have a positive impact on the next generation of Chinese consumers.”
According to international accounting firm PwC, China’s box office collection is anticipated to reach $10.3 billion surpassing the United States in 2017 to claim the title of the world’s largest film market. The report forecasts that China’s box office revenue will hit $10.3 billion next year, while the United States is expected to ring up $10.14 billion.
With a compounded average annual growth of 19.1 per cent, China’s box office takings are expected to hit $15.08 billion by 2020, the report said.
The report estimates a whopping $49.3 billion of box office earnings across the globe in 2020, with nearly one third of it to be generated in China.
Xiaofeng, Chairman of Alibaba Pictures, said, “We look forward to working with Amblin Partners, a company that shares our vision of powerful storytelling. This partnership is the first of its kind for both Amblin Partners and Alibaba Pictures and marks an important milestone in our globalisation strategy to reach Chinese and global audiences alike”.
“We will also leverage Alibaba Group’s ecosystem as a channel for Amblin Partners’ films to reach hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers,” he said.