Paramount Pictures Corp. and China’s Huahua Media have mutually ended an agreement that would have financed 25 percent of Paramount’s film slate through 2019, citing recent changes in Chinese foreign investment policies.
Paramount said in a statement that the company has secured a series of individual agreements with financing partners including Hasbro Inc., Skydance Media and others that will provide committed or expected financing for approximately 25 percent of production costs of the studio’s film slate for fiscal 2018 and 2019.
Paramount announced the three-year financing agreement, valued at $1 billion, with China’s Huahua and Shanghai film group in January. By September, that deal appeared to be falling apart as Paramount executives told investors that parent Viacom Inc. had not received its first payment.
At that time, Paramount Chairman and Chief Executive Jim Gianopulos attributed the delay to regulatory hurdles to Chinese investment in what China called sensitive sectors outside of China, including entertainment.
“The actions we are announcing … establish a financing model that is better aligned to Paramount’s new strategic approach to film production,” Gianopulos said in a statement. “Our focus on a more balanced slate – a mix of big, broad audience films and more targeted and co-branded films made with greater fiscal discipline – demands a more flexible and tailored financing model going forward.”
Media and entertainment reporter Diane Haithman can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @dhaithman.
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