SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese film company Perfect World Pictures Co Ltd will invest $250 million into a slate of Universal Pictures movies, extending the tie-ups between China and Hollywood, as the world’s second largest economy sees its box office soar.
The Chinese firm will help fund at least 50 Universal Pictures films over a five-year period through its Perfect Universe Investment Inc investment unit, the company said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday.
Universal Pictures, owned by Comcast Corp , is the studio behind blockbusters such as “Jurassic World” and “Fast and Furious”, the latest installment which is one of China’s biggest-ever grossing films.
Perfect World said the investment gives them a “direct link” into one of the biggest Hollywood studios, and would help them expand.
The Chinese firm added it would receive a proportion of global ticket sales, television and merchandising revenues for the films it funded.
China’s box office takings are catching up fast with the United States; ticket sales are set to touch $8.9 billion in 2019 from about $5 billion last year, according to PwC.
However, global studios often have a tough time navigating censors and getting around a strict quota system for imported films.
Hollywood has been pushing hard in China: Warner Brothers announced a joint venture with China Media Capital in September, while Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc , Lions Gate Entertainment Corp and Walt Disney Co have all joined with local partners.
In November, Chinese film distributor Bona Film Group Ltd said it would invest $235 million into a slate of Twentieth Century Fox movies and help bring Hollywood productions to the Chinese market.
(Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)