Box Office Boom: China is Still on Course to Dethrone the U.S.

PALM BEACH, Florida, March 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- China is still on course to dethrone the U.S. as the top film market. In fact, according to Fortune, China has already overtaken the U.S. in terms of numbers of theaters following a build boom "that helped box-office sales climb six-fold since 2010." Better, film ticket sales were up 4.1% in 2019 to 58.9 billion yuan ($8.5 billion) from 9.7 billion yuan in 2010. Analysts at PwC believe revenues could rocket to $15.5 billion over the next three years alone. Meanwhile, analysts at Deloitte say that China's box office revenue could soon surpass that of North America. They also note that an influx of foreign investors and film producers have shown willingness to cooperate with China, and that investment in the Chinese film market is steadily increasing. As the industry gains traction, some of the leading companies benefiting include AB International Group Corp. (OTCQB: ABQQ), Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS), Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) and Tencent Holdings Ltd. (OTCPK: TCEHY).

AB International Group Corp. (OTCQB: ABQQBREAKING NEWS: AB International Group Corp. an intellectual property (IP) and movie investment and licensing firm, announced it acquired full interest in the Chinese film "Ai Bian Quan Qiu". The film is currently under post-production. ABQQ is planning to cooperate with distributors aiming to be screened on cinemas nationwide in October 2020.

Other related developments from around the markets include:

Walt Disney Co.'s (NYSE: DIS) Board of Directors announced that Bob Chapek has been named Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company, effective immediately. Mr. Chapek most recently served as Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. Robert A. Iger assumes the role of Executive Chairman and will direct the Company's creative endeavors, while leading the Board and providing the full benefit of his experience, leadership and guidance to ensure a smooth and successful transition through the end of his contract on Dec. 31, 2021. "With the successful launch of Disney's direct-to-consumer businesses and the integration of Twenty-First Century Fox well underway, I believe this is the optimal time to transition to a new CEO," Mr. Iger said. "I have the utmost confidence in Bob and look forward to working closely with him over the next 22 months as he assumes this new role and delves deeper into Disney's multifaceted global businesses and operations, while I continue to focus on the Company's creative endeavors."

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) announced that it has partnered with six Japanese creators to develop original anime shows for fans around the world, as part of the company's continued effort to build on its best-in-class anime originals with deep creative roots in Japan. The six creators CLAMP (Cardcaptor Sakura), Shin Kibayashi (The Kindaichi Case Files), Yasuo Ohtagaki (Mobile Suit Gundam: Thunderbolt), Otsuichi (Goth), Tow Ubukata (Mardock Scramble) and Mari Yamazaki (Thermae Romae) are a mix of manga artists, novelists, screenwriters and filmmakers who have each played an integral part in the exploding popularity of anime around the world today. These partnerships are part of Netflix's growing commitment to anime and the local industry. Last year, Netflix entered into partnerships with five Japanese animation productions: Production I.G, bones, anima, David Production and Sublimation, and with today's announcement Netflix will continue to expand the creative and production process of some of the most ambitious, and highest quality anime. In addition to the new originals that will be developed, together with the creators, Netflix will also explore ways for members to engage with these new shows off-screen through publishing and consumer products. 

Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) announced the launch of the new G Lens series FE 20mm F1.8 G (model name SEL20F18G), perfect for a variety of creative needs including portraits, astrophotography, landscape and street photography, as well as capturing impressive video. Ensuring exceptional G Lens resolution and bokeh, the FE 20mm F1.8 G is a compact, lightweight, ultra-wide prime lens – the widest full-frame prime lens in Sony's E-mount lineup – giving users a new resource for stretching the boundaries of their artistic imaginations. The impressive lens design features two advanced aspherical (AA) elements and three extra-low dispersion (ED) glass elements to suppress chromatic aberration and delivers high corner-to-corner image quality with minimal distortion, even at the maximum F1.8 aperture. It has excellent close-up performance, with a minimum focus distance of 7.5 inches (max. magnification: 0.2 times), and delivers beautifully de-focused backgrounds, or bokeh. For challenging subjects like night scenes or starry skies, the FE 20mm F1.8 G delivers crisp and clear images thanks to its advanced optical design that accurately reproduces point light sources with high contrast and minimum sagittal flare. 

Tencent Holdings Ltd. (OTC: TCEHY) announced that a Tencent-led consortium and Vivendi S.A. signed a share purchase agreement for the Consortium to acquire a 10% equity stake in Universal Music Group from Vivendi, at an enterprise value of EUR30 billion. The Tencent-led Consortium is joined by Tencent Music Entertainment Group and certain global financial investors. Until January 15, 2021, the Consortium has the option to acquire up to an additional 10% equity stake in UMG at the same enterprise value as in the Transaction. Prior to the closing of the Consortium-UMG Transaction, TME and UMG also intend to enter into a second agreement that grants TME an option to acquire a minority equity stake in UMG's Greater China business. This transaction will be subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, and is expected to close by the end of the first half of 2020.

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