Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and China Media Capital Partners (CMC) are forming a joint venture called Flagship Entertainment Group Ltd. to produce Chinese language films for the Chinese market. Flagship—majority-owned by CMC—could see its first production released as early as 2016, according to the partners.
The new joint venture—based in Los Angeles, Beijing, and Hong Kong—will facilitate Warner Bros.’ entry into the Chinese film market. By combining the production expertise of Warner Bros. with the market know-how of CMC, Flagship will give the former easier access to Chinese theaters.
With 15 new screens added daily, China is the second largest film market after North America. The market space has been limited for foreign films however; the government supports domestically produced films by imposing quotas and moratoriums on foreign productions.
Flagship isn’t CMC’s first Hollywood partnership. CMC partnered with Shanghai Media and DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. to form Oriental DreamWorks, set to release its first film “Kung Fu Panda 3” in January 2016. Other recent Hollywood-China alliances include movie deals with Huanyi Brothers Media Corp., Beijing Enlight Media Co., and Hollywood investment in Zhang Yimou’s latest film “The Great Wall.”