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New Video Bets that America's Audiences Want China's Blockbusters

Indiewire By Indiewire Staff | Indiewire April 1, 2011 at 9:0AM

North American audiences have new access to Chinese blockbusters through New Video, which will be the exclusive distributor of China Lion titles across cable VOD, television, digital and DVD.
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North American audiences have new access to Chinese blockbusters through New Video, which will be the exclusive distributor of China Lion titles across cable VOD, television, digital and DVD.

The first films in this partnership include Chinese box-office hit “Aftershock” and the Chinese remake of the 2000 Mel Gibson/Helent Hunt vehicle, “What Women Want.” Titles will be available to U.S. audiences after their respective day-and-date release in both territories.

This is the second North American partnership for China Lion, which recently made an exclusive arrangement with AMC to provide theatrical exhibition for up to 15 China Lion films per year. That deal calls for films to go out on at a minimum of 23 North American screens, in areas with large Chinese demographics. A number of these premieres are slated to be day-and-date releases with China.

indieWIRE Asks: Would you be interested in seeing China's blockbusters, in theaters or otherwise? Tell us in the comments.

Below is the full release:


NEW VIDEO® AND CHINA LION FILM DISTRIBUTION® PARTNER TO BRING CHINESE BOX OFFICE HITS TO NORTH AMERICAN AUDIENCES

Dramas, Romantic Comedies and Martial Arts Films Theatrically Released in North America to be Distributed by New Video via Cable VOD, Television, Digital and DVD

New York, NY -- April 1, 2011 -- New Video, a leading entertainment distributor and digital content aggregator, announced today a major partnership with China Lion Film Distribution, in which New Video will be China Lion’s exclusive North American distributor across Cable VOD, Television, Digital and DVD platforms. Through agreements with some of China’s leading film studios, China Lion is reintroducing mainstream Chinese and other Asian movies to theatrical audiences in other parts of the world. In turn, New Video will distribute a selection of these films to home audiences after they are theatrically released day-and-date in the U.S. and China. The multi-year agreement, which covers U.S. and Canada, includes distribution of Chinese blockbuster, Aftershock, which grossed over $100 million in China domestically, making it the biggest local film in Chinese box office history.

The agreement is being announced following China Lion’s newly formed partnership with AMC Entertainment, through which up to 15 Chinese films per year will be theatrically released exclusively by AMC on at least 23 screens in key North American markets with large Chinese demographics– most of them day-and-date with the theatrical release in China. Other upcoming cross-platform releases include If You Are the One 2 (Fei Cheng Wu Rao II), which achieved the #8 Per Screen Average in the U.S. over opening weekend, and What Women Want, a remake of the Mel Gibson-Helen Hunt film starring Andy Lau and Gong Li, which was released day-and-date in U.S. and China in February.
“Joining forces with China Lion is an exciting endeavor for us as we delve into a new film market and leverage New Video’s physical and digital platforms to reach new audiences,” said Mark Kashden, Vice President, Acquisitions, New Video. “They are clearly experts and the leading force in distributing Chinese cinema. We look forward to a successful partnership and to launching this new brand.”

“It is readily apparent to us that New Video can deliver the focus and experience needed to ensure that China Lion will become a preeminent label for the best of Chinese cinema,” said Milt Barlow, CEO, China Lion. “We are delighted to entrust and partner all of our ancillary business with New Video for DVD and Blu-ray, as well as digital and TV delivery to all platforms. In essence, the best of Chinese cinema will now be available to North American audiences – not only through day-and-date theatrical with our partners AMC, but also through new platforms including iTunes, Xbox, Netflix and cable VOD.”

This article is related to: Aftershock