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In Hollywood’s latest move to make more movies friendly for the Chinese market, The Walt Disney Company has entered a co-production agreement with Shanghai Media Group Pictures, one of the top studios in China. The agreement will lead to Disney-branded films produced specifically with Chinese audiences in mind.
The deal will have U.S.-based writers work with their Chinese counterparts to create films that are still in the Disney-style, but have “Chinese elements,” notes The Hollywood Reporter.
The films will be made in English, but will be aimed at the widest possible international audience. Disney Studios EVP Production Tony To is overseeing the partnership, reports Deadline.
“The combination of our media coverage and understanding of the China market and Disney’s long-standing success in telling magical stories will surely spark a brand new chemistry that transcends age and borders,” SMG Pictures CEO Su Xiao said in a statement.
SMG is the second-largest media company in China and is state-owned. The company includes everything from TV companies and newspapers to sports franchises and even real estate holdings. It is one of three Chinese companies that is working with Dreamworks Animation on Kung Fu Panda 3.
Of course, this is just the latest China-Hollywood partnership. Disney previously worked with DMG for Iron Man 3, which wound up making $120 million in China alone. The studios even produced a special cut of the film for Chinese audiences.
China is the second-biggest film market in the world, grossing $3.6 billion last year.