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Chinese Company Demands Edits to Paramount’s ‘Transformers’

Source: Paramount Pictures via AP Photo

Characters Grimlock and Optimus Prime in "Transformers: Age of Extinction." Close

Characters Grimlock and Optimus Prime in "Transformers: Age of Extinction."

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Source: Paramount Pictures via AP Photo

Characters Grimlock and Optimus Prime in "Transformers: Age of Extinction."

A Chinese company is demanding Paramount Pictures remove depictions of its name and properties from “Transformers 4: Age of Extinction,” a week before the blockbuster film’s worldwide opening.

The owner of Pangu Plaza in Beijing has written to China’s film regulator to request a delay or termination of the film’s release, according to an e-mailed statement from the company today. Two calls by Bloomberg News to the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television outside business hours weren’t answered.

Pangu accused Paramount of failing to live up to a sponsorship accord, and said in an earlier statement it’s seeking relief in Chinese courts. The studio, owned by Viacom Inc. (VIAB), doesn’t expect the release to be held up, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be named because of efforts to settle the dispute.

“Pangu Plaza has a prominent placement in ‘Transformers 4’ and it looks beautiful onscreen,” Los Angeles-based Paramount said in a statement. “We regret that Pangu is not currently satisfied with certain aspects of our collaboration and are working to resolve its concerns.”

Pangu has received an English-language copy of a contract with Paramount which is “vastly different” from a Chinese-language contract it had signed, the company said in an e-mail to Bloomberg News today. Pangu said it regards the English contract to be invalid.

The film, featuring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Michael Bay, is predicted to rank among the biggest-grossing pictures of the year, with BoxOffice.com projecting U.S. ticket revenue of $265 million.

Viacom, controlled by billionaire Sumner Redstone, fell 1.4 percent to $85.76 at the close in New York. The Class B stock has declined 1.8 percent this year.

The dispute was reported earlier by Deadline.com.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Anousha Sakoui in London at asakoui@bloomberg.net; William Bi in Beijing at wbi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net Thomas Mulier, Stephen Kirkland

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