It seems there could be trouble in BIG China according to a story just out on Deadline Hollywood. The much talked about alliance with the Huahua Media and Shanghai Film Group, is reported to be hitting some bumps. Between a lagging Chinese economy, companies changing hands and what is reported to be lack of syndication. This could impact the 5th Transformers film, "The Last Knight" that is slated for release in June 2017.
It is no secret that China has been key in maintaining the profitability of Micheal Bay's big budget films that are cram-packed with explosions and rampant destruction. However, this may no longer be enough for Chinese cinema to buy it.
The two companies are not strangers to the studio. They had both been involved in other films at Paramount including xXx: The Return of Xander Cage which was the first movie under the 2-year deal with an option to extend for 3 years. Ghost In The Shell was next which gets its release on March 31. And next up is Transformers this summer.
According to a high level source with knowledge of the Chinese deal, “The way they do it in China is that they announce the deal, then try to syndicate it out. It’s that simple. They won’t tell you this, but they couldn’t syndicate the deal.”
The problems seem to be compounded by the fact that there are growing economic tensions between China, that are not always fans of the USA and vice versa. With the move to make America Great Again, there may be new difficulties for those looking to do business in / with China.
But getting money out of China right now — where once it flowed — has grown more difficult. Also, as we’ve seen happen with Dalian Wanda Group with the Dick Clark Productions deal going upside down, the movement of money into the U.S. has been somewhat stifled by the Chinese government. Deadline eluded that this all might happen earlier this year with the new Donald Trump presidency.