Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
| 西游 降魔篇
After the lame CJ7, Stephen Chow finally bounces back as a comic writer-director.
Man of Tai Chi
Pedestrian action vehicle for stuntman Tiger Chen is totally generic fare.
China B.O. passes RMB20 billion in 2013
Domestic films take 55% share
Hong Kong cinema's identity crisis
Is localisation the future of Hong Kong film-making?
China box office up 35% in 2013
Local films' revenue grows 93.8% year-on-year
Location Face-off: Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia
Experience, incentives and facilities attract shoots
Grandmaster leads Golden Horse nominees
Five including Ilo Ilo tied with 6 nominations
The Stolen Years awakes atop China box office
Unbeatable top Hong Kong film of 2013
Asian Film Summit announces first speakers
Toronto event invites Reeves, To and Yoda
Toronto announces first wave of titles
N. American premieres of high-profile Asian films
Huayi forecasts 300% rise in profits
Television, talent and theatrical up in 2013
China box office up 36% in H1 2013
Domestic films secure 62.3% market share
Tai Chi defeated by Blind Detective in China
Keanu Reeves' action film lands soft opening blows
Competition closes in on Tiny Times
Blind Detective may dethrone hit youth drama; Tai Chi opens soft
Hong Kong BO growth slows in 2013
Box office revenue up 1.43% in first half of 2013
Radius reaches out for Man of Tai Chi
China-US co-prod finds distributor
Roadshow buys into Irresistible
Basser joins board, Ho promoted
So Young enters China's all-time top ten
Local films take 7 of 10 top spots
Reeves unveils Tai Chi teaser
Beijing festival platform for directorial debut
Lost in translation
Selling and marketing Chinese-language films overseas is becoming trickier
Local films score at BO around Asia
Journey, Boys, Miracle, Loman, Assassin dominate
Journey breaks China single-day BO record
Fantasy takes record from Transformers 3
Hollywood maintains grip on HK CNY
Die Hard conquers Stephen Chow's Journey to the West
Journey to the West conquers China
Comedy secures opening day record for a local film
Theme park pact for Chow, ChinaVision
Partners extend range of joint interests
Chinavision takes Chow's Journey
Equity sliced thinner, 5-pic co-investment deal
Speaking a new language: Chinglish
English-language movies as a new meeting point for China and Hollywood
Tai Chi starts its stretch
Production underway on Reeves debut
Reeves adds festival duties
Action star heads for HK, Beijing events
Berlin titles strike early sales
Competition films claimed by Asian buyers
Mok joins Man of Tai Chi
Reeves directorial debut finds leading lady
Universal boards Reeves' Man of Tai Chi
Martial arts picture to shoot from Feb
Village Roadshow Asia announces first titles
China-Hollywood bridge allies self with Zhang, Kong, Chow
Village confirms cash for Asia film
By Patrick Frater
Fri, 06 July 2012, 12:52 PM (HKT)
Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, an affiliate of Australia's publicly-listed Village Roadshow Limited, has raised US$275 million of finance for film production in Asia and the US.
The new cash is intended to boost the China-focussed Village Roadshow Entertainment Group Asia 威秀電影亞洲公司 and increase the number of co-financed and co-produced films by Village Roadshow Pictures where it co-invests in Hollywood studio titles alongside Warner Bros.
The finance takes the form of a six year mezzanine debt and equity arrangement, provided by Trinity Opportunities Limited and arranged by VREG and Hong Kong-based Shikumen Capital Management. It is additional to a $1 billion loan facility led by Rabobank International and JP Morgan Chase. As part of the financial manoeuvres, VRL will increase its stake in VREG from 41% to 47.6%.
"VREG's new funding will allow it to boost its film production operations over the next few years, including continued growth in the important market of China, where VREG Asia's first co-produced films are scheduled for release in 2013," said executive chairman of VRL, Robert Kirby.
Plans for VREG Asia were also clarified. "VREG Asia intends to mirror its US-based business model built on a strong portfolio of films and has launched its production business with an initial slate of projects, with plans to ramp up to five to eight titles per year," VRL said in a statement.
The first release for VREG Asia is Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons 西游 降魔篇, scheduled for February 2013. Directed by Stephen CHOW 周星馳, Journey is currently in post-production and is being co-produced with Edko Films Ltd 安樂影片有限公司 and Chow's Bingo Movie Development.
Its Man of Tai Chi 太極俠, which is still shooting in Hong Kong under the direction of Keanu REEVES, is also set for release during 2013. Universal and VREG Asia are co-financing and will co-distribute together with China Film Group Corporation 中國電影集團公司 and Wanda Media Co Ltd 萬達影視傳媒有限公司.
VRL said that its previously envisaged initial public offering of VREG is now "a medium term option." It is understood to have closely examined the possibility of an IPO on either the Hong Kong or Singapore stock exchanges.