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China’s Weiying Weighs in on ‘Ghost in the Shell’

Variety logo Variety 3/20/2017 Patrick Frater
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Weiying Technology, one of China’s leading film ticketing agencies, has taken a minority financial stake in Paramount’s “Ghost in the Shell.”

The ticketing company will have an “in association” credit in the end titles, not a producer credit, the company told Variety. It is understood that in return it will enjoy 10% of global receipts.

“Ghost” releases in China on April 7, a week after its North American outing on March 31. It had its world premiere last week (March 16) in Tokyo, followed by another gala in Seoul, Korea, the next day.

Weiying has expanded from its initial core of online and mobile ticketing, into movie marketing and latterly film production and investment. Both moves make use of its access to data and insight into audience tastes.

Last summer Weiying announced a slate of movie productions under the Nextainment label. In December it set up a Hong Kong-based subsidiary Weiying Galaxy Entertainment for investment in overseas movies.

Prior to that, in May, it took a stake in YG Entertainment, the Korean artist management and production group that represents “Gangnam Style” musician Psy.

It is increasingly common for Hollywood movie releases in China to work with multiple local partners, in different capacities. Weiying was a marketing partner on “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage,” which has grossed $163 million to date.

Nextainment’s slate includes the directorial debut of China’s leading male actor Ge You (“Dream Factory”) and animation title “Snowkid,” being produced by Shanghai Animation Studio and Tencent Pictures.

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