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Warner Brothers to develop Chinese language films

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image copyrightEDKO FILMS
image captionChina's home-grown films have also been performing well of late

Warner Brothers has teamed up with a Chinese investment firm to develop Chinese language films, as Hollywood continues its push into the country's lucrative movie market.

The joint venture with China Media Capital (CMC) will be launched ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's official visit to the US next week.

China's box office has already taken $4.7bn (£3bn) so far this year.

That's almost as much as it made during the whole of 2014 (£3.14bn).

image copyrightPA
image captionGeorge Osborne has held talks with the Chinese premier Li Keqiang

Studios like the Walt Disney Co, Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation SKG have also recently joined forces with Chinese businesses in an attempt to capitalise on China's box office growth.

Global studios have historically had difficulty with China's strict censorship laws and its strict quota system of just 34 imported films each year.

But films that qualify as co-productions and meet various criteria are exempt from the quota.

"The country's incredibly rich history and culture provide a huge trove of great stories, and we want to help tell those stories for new generations of filmgoers, in China and around the world," said Kevin Tsujihara, chairman and chief executive of Warner Bros, in a statement.

The joint venture with CMC will be named the Flagship Entertainment Group Ltd.

Meanwhile, film executives from the UK and China are meeting in London this week in an attempt to thrash out similar deals.

It follows the ratification of a co-production treaty in April, which will allow qualifying productions to access to benefits including film tax relief. Films produced under the scheme will also be exempt from China's quota system.

Among those attending this week's talks are Liu Yandong, the vice-premier of China, Lord Grade of Yarmouth, the chairman of Pinewood Studios, and culture minister Ed Vaizey.

It comes as the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, embarks on a week-long visit to China to promote UK trade.

President Xi Jinping is also visiting the UK next month.

Related Topics

  • Film
  • China economy
  • China

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