On October 4, Chinese property and entertainment conglomerate Dalian Wanda announced the purchase of Dick Clark Productions in a deal worth $1bn. The acquisition marks Dalian Wanda’s first foray into the world of US television production, as the company continues to ramp up its operations in Hollywood.
In a statement confirming the acquisition, the Chinese conglomerate lauded the deal as “a big step forward in expanding Wanda’s map in the entertainment industry”. The company further emphasised the significance of the purchase, saying: “obtaining top television productions rights brings about complementary and coordinated development for Wanda’s current focuses on the film, tourism and sports industries.”
US television studio Dick Clark Productions boasts an impressive portfolio of shows – including the broadcast rights to the Golden Globe Awards, the Miss America beauty pageant and the Billboard Music Awards. While Dalian Wanda has previously focused its Hollywood ambitions on the film industry, the acquisition of television giant Dick Clark Productions indicates a sustained effort to target the wider US entertainment market.
The acquisition of television giant Dick Clark Productions indicates a sustained effort to target the wider US entertainment market
The Chinese entertainment giant first began its expansion into the US film market in 2012 – purchasing the nation’s second biggest cinema chain, AMC Theatres. In January, the conglomerate purchased a controlling stake in Legendary Entertainment for $3.5bn. Next year, Legendary Pictures is set to release Great Wall – the first Hollywood film to be set, filmed and produced exclusively in China. A recent partnership with Sony – aiming to co-invest and distribute the studio’s films across its network of cinemas in China – has also helped bolster Dalian Wanda’s presence in the US.
Through partnership with Dalian Wanda, US film companies are beginning to tap into the rapid growth of the Chinese cinema market. Projections suggest the Chinese box office will overtake the US as the world’s largest film market in the next few years – with revenues up by 50 percent in the first quarter of 2016 alone.
However, Dalian Wanda are not the only Chinese company investing in the US entertainment industry, with Jack Ma’s Alibaba Pictures also setting its sights on Hollywood. In October, the Chinese film company announced that it would be collaborating with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners to finance and co-produce films for both Chinese and US audiences. With Chinese investors increasingly looking to Hollywood, China’s grip on the US and global film market looks set to strengthen in the coming years.