UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. & BEIJING--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Amblin Partners and Alibaba Pictures Group Limited (SEHK code: 1060; "Alibaba Pictures"), the entertainment company partially owned by Alibaba Group, today announced they have entered into a comprehensive strategic partnership to co-produce and finance films for global and Chinese audiences, as well as collaborate on the marketing, distribution and merchandising of Amblin Partners films in China, the world’s largest consumer market. Under the terms of the partnership, Alibaba Pictures will also acquire a minority equity stake in Amblin Partners and an Alibaba Pictures representative will join Amblin Partners’ board of directors.
SHAO Xiaofeng, Chairman of Alibaba Pictures, said, “We look forward to working with Amblin Partners, a company that shares our vision of powerful storytelling. This partnership is the first of its kind for both Amblin Partners and Alibaba Pictures and marks an important milestone in our globalization strategy to reach Chinese and global audiences alike. We will also leverage Alibaba Group’s ecosystem as a channel for Amblin Partners’ films to reach hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers.”
Steven Spielberg, Chairman of Amblin Partners, said, “We are proud and excited that such a valued company as Alibaba Pictures is joining with our other highly-respected partners, Reliance Entertainment, Participant Media and Entertainment One, in building our growth and strengthening our company even further. Our vision is to inspire and entertain audiences through creativity and imagination both here and around the world. We would also like to thank Jack Ma for his friendship and support.”
Amblin Partners and Alibaba Pictures hosted a press conference in Beijing to announce the partnership, where Alibaba Group’s Executive Chairman, Jack Ma, attended as a special guest. Mr. Ma commented, “We have great respect for Mr. Spielberg as one of the world’s most influential filmmakers and entrepreneurs. Among Chinese consumers, there is an increasing demand for premium global content. I believe this collaboration can serve as a cultural bridge and have a positive impact on the next generation of Chinese consumers.”
Alibaba Pictures joins Amblin Partners’ group of investors, and will be its first Chinese partner. Amblin Partners believes that Alibaba Pictures is the perfect company to align with given its deep, long-standing relationships in the Chinese media business and its ability to broaden Amblin Partners’ distribution reach.
Amblin Partners and Alibaba Pictures will leverage their combined resources, technology and talent to co-produce films that appeal to China and global audiences, and collaborate on other Amblin Partners projects around the world. This is expected to drive further growth in the film industry across China, delivering consumers immersive, innovative and culturally-rich entertainment and experiences. Alibaba Pictures will also have the option to co-finance Amblin Partners films worldwide.
Alibaba Pictures will be the marketing, distribution and merchandising partner for Amblin Partners films in China, leveraging its businesses spanning digital marketing, online ticketing, cinema services and operations and entertainment e-commerce. As a result of its relationship with Alibaba Group, Alibaba Pictures will also give Amblin Partners the opportunity to benefit from exposure to Alibaba Group’s vast ecosystem of 434 million active users and various platforms, including online streaming (Youku Tudou), over-the-top provider (Tmall set-top box) and leading e-commerce marketplaces (Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com).
For more information on the partnership, read a Q&A with Alibaba Pictures President ZHANG Wei on Alizila.com, Alibaba Group’s corporate news site.
About Amblin Partners
Amblin Partners is a content creation company formed by DreamWorks Studios, Participant Media, Reliance Entertainment and Entertainment One (eOne). The company develops and produces films using the Amblin, DreamWorks Pictures and Participant banners and includes Amblin Television, a longtime leader in quality programming.
About Alibaba Pictures Group Limited
Alibaba Pictures is an Internet-driven movie and television entertainment powerhouse. The company’s operations integrate the full entertainment value chain, including investment and financing, content sourcing and production, promotion and distribution, as well as cinema services.
Alibaba Pictures has invested in the production of movies such as Ferry Man, Three Lives Three Worlds Ten Miles of Peach Blossom and Ao Jiao Yu Pian Jian. It has also invested in international film projects such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Star Trek Beyond, Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation, and REAL starring popular Korean actor Kim Soo Hyun. Alibaba Pictures has also partnered with Skydance Media to finance and produce the WWII-themed feature film Flying Tigers, for which renowned Hollywood screenwriter Randall Wallace is on board write the script. Meanwhile, it has an upcoming TV series and movie Swords of Legends 2.
Alibaba Pictures has launched “Project A” for young filmmakers across the globe, which aims to nurture a new generation of film production talent.
Alibaba Pictures is listed on both The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (stock code: 1060) and the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (stock code: S91). Alibaba Group is the largest shareholder.