Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has entered Hollywood with a bang. The company has partnered with Paramount Pictures to invest in and promote the upcoming Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation in China. Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed film unit, Alibaba Pictures, will collaborate with Paramount Pictures in online ticketing, merchandising, and promotion of the next Tom Cruise-starrer in China.
Alibaba Pictures has a team in California to explore partnerships
Alibaba did not reveal the terms of the deal or how much it would cost. The movie is due out on July 31 in the U.S., but its release date in China is unclear. Hollywood movies are often delayed in China. Alibaba acquired a majority stake in ChinaVision last year for $805 million and renamed it Alibaba Pictures. The Chinese company’s film unit has a team in California to explore partnership and investment opportunities.
Alibaba’s online ticketing and seat selection app Taobao Movie will be a major ticketing platform for the next Mission: Impossible in China, reports the South China Morning Post. Taobao Movie directly interlinks with the company’s payment service Alipay and mobile shopping app Mobile Taobao. The first four installments of Mission: Impossible have collectively grossed over $3.2 billion worldwide.
Alibaba Pictures’ first step towards internationalization
Alibaba founder Jack Ma has made no secret of his ambitions to build a media empire. Earlier this year, Alibaba acquired 8.8% stake in Enlight Media, China’s leading film and TV company. Alibaba Pictures is also producing a number of movies by well-known Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-wai. Alibaba Pictures CEO Zhang Qiang told the Hollywood Reporter that the upcoming Mission: Impossible was the company’s first step towards internationalization. It is looking to strike more deals with international studios.
Paramount Pictures vice-chairman Rob Moore confirmed the report. The announcement comes less than ten days after Alibaba announced that it would launch a Netflix-like video and TV streaming service called TBO in two months. Analysys International analyst Huang Guofeng said the deal with Paramount will allow the Hangzhou-based company to cash in on China’s movie boom. Hollywood movies do better than domestic movies in China.