Episode 26: The Erosion of China-Hollywood Movie Financing Deals
Sky Moore joins Online Editor Anthony Zangrillo on the Fordham IPLJ Podcast to discuss the recent implosion of certain China-Hollywood co-production financing deals. Sky is a partner in the corporate entertainment department of Stroock, practicing entertainment, corporate, and tax law. Sky has been practicing in the entertainment industry since 1981, and represents a broad spectrum of clients throughout the entertainment industry, including producers, sales agents, foreign distributors and financiers, and has handled some of the largest financing transactions in Hollywood.
Earlier in March, Eldridge Industries, which owns TV unit Dick Clark Productions, terminated the $1 billion sale agreement with Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda Group decided upon in November. Wanda had only paid $25 million of this purchase price. Additionally, Paramount’s deal with Huahua Media and Shanghai Film Group is floundering because Paramount hasn’t seen a cent of the promised $1 billion. Even though Hollywood deals fall apart all the time, there appears to be less security in these Chinese-invested projects. Are Chinese film investors just “tourist investors,” arriving with great fanfare, taking meetings with players across town, kicking the tires of every studio and production company that may be interested in Chinese investment, suggesting that a deal might be imminent, and then going back to China without agreeing to anything? Furthermore, is this a bigger issue because the Chinese yuan is a regulated currency? Are the fractured deals more of a result of the government rather than the film studios? Chinese regulators appear to be clamping down on foreign investment deals, due to the hundreds of billions of dollars leaving the country. The podcast addresses these issues and speculates on what movie subject will finally be the breakaway co-production hit both Hollywood and China are searching for.
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Editor’s Note: This podcast was recorded before President Trump’s reversed his position on labeling China a currency manipulator.