PROFITS WARNING FOLLOWS BOX OFFICE SLIDE
Maoyan, the Chinese film ticketing agency and film distribution company, has issued a warning that profits for 2022 are set to take a steep dive. Revenue for last year is expected to come in at RMB2.27 billion and RMB2.37 billion, representing a decrease of up to 31% compared with 2021. Profit attributable to the owners of the company will range between approximately RMB70 million and RMB120 million, representing a decrease of approximately 67% to 81% compared with attributable profit in 2021, which had been RMB369 million. The company’s fortunes are closely allied to the trend of the mainland Chinese box office. Nationwide theatrical grosses took a huge tumble in the second half of the year as the government stepped up its battle against the COVID outbreak, causing the full year box office to fall by 36%.
The company is now trying to diversify away from cinema ticketing with moves into distribution and production. It was co-producer on “Full River Red,” the Zhang Yimou-directed film that was the top grossing film over the Chinese New Year holidays and was co-producer on two others “The Wandering Earth 2” and “Boonie Bears: Guardian Code.”
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Further to the strategy, Maoyan also reports that it has struck partnership deals with Tencent, China’s largest games and social media firm, and online shopping giant Meituan.
SYDNEY FESTIVAL PRIZES
The Sydney Film Festival has unveiled a record A$150,000 ($113,000) prize pool for its upcoming 70th anniversary edition. The festival will run June 7-18 at venues across the New South Wales capital. “SFF is thrilled to continue the momentum of seven decades of presenting the very best in global filmmaking, introducing new and pertinent voices to Australian viewers, and welcoming audiences from near and far to its milestone celebration in June,” said festival director Nashen Moodley.
The Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) has appointed Mathieu Ravier as director partnerships & development. This is the AFTRS unit responsible for industry partnerships and training, alumni engagement, business development, marketing and communications, as well as the School’s student recruitment and admissions. Ravier takes up the position after four and a half years as chief engagement officer of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. After numerous jobs in the U.S., U.K., Japan, Canada and Hong Kong, he settled in Australia in 2005 to take up a role with audience development company The Festivalists. The appointment was announced by AFTRS CEO, Dr. Nell Greenwood.
“The Mandalorian” score sound designer Omar El-Deeb is set to compose an original score for upcoming indie feature “Bet Your Bottom Dollar.” The film, which stars Paterson Joseph (“Vigil”) and Cameron Ashplant (“The Last Bus”) is written and directed by Brandon Ashplant and produced by Golden Goat Films.
PARAMOUNT REVAMPS ANZ SALES
Paramount Australia and New Zealand has expanded its sales leadership team and created two new divisions under chief sales officer Rod Prosser that will provide integrated and enhanced expertise to help embed brands into cultural conversations and deliver better outcomes for clients. The new divisions include the Paramount ANZ Sales Group led by Nick Bower, and the Paramount ANZ Brand Studio overseen by Michael Stanford. Prosser’s team includes Grant Madigan, head of commerce and sales operations; Ian Smith, sales director independent agencies and direct sales, Diane Ho, national digital sales director; and Shani Kugenthiran, digital advertising strategy and product director. Stanford will oversee a national team with three pillars led by Namita Sopal, head of advertising strategy, Tamar Hovagimian, head of integration and partnerships and Rachael Brand, executive producer.
ITV and StudioCanal have inked a deal for streamer ITVX to carry the StudioCanal Presents service as part if its premium paid subscription tier. The service, which is expected to launch this spring, will include over 400 films including “Paddington 2,” “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and “The Imitation Game.”
ITV’s director of content partnerships for streaming, Laura Franses, said: “We are thrilled to announce our partnership with StudioCanal Presents. This fantastic collection of films and television series is the perfect addition to ITVX Premium, where subscribers can browse quality content ad-free to their hearts’ content.”
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