Wanda Cinema Line to Invest in Paramount's `Ninja Turtles'

  • The deal expands Wang Jianlin's relationship with the studio
  • Alibaba Pictures agreed to invest in the film last month

Wanda Cinema Line Co. agreed to invest in Paramount Pictures’ “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” extending Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin’s foray into Hollywood.

The investment will be made through Wanda subsidiary Movie Media Group, according to a statement Wednesday. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. The film will be released in the U.S. on June 3.

The deal is the latest example of Chinese funds flowing into Hollywood and builds on Wanda’s relationship with the studio. Wanda’s Movie Media Group/CMM Films previously invested in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Terminator Genisys,” and “Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation.” Last month, Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd. also pledged an investment in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.” Paramount’s parent, Viacom Inc., said earlier this year it’s looking to sell a stake in the studio.

Wanda Cinema Line, which owns and operates a chain of cinemas in China, has
been halted from trading since late February. Credit Suisse Group AG said in a note to clients in March that it may be pending an announcement of an acquisition, likely of affiliate Wanda Pictures. Wanda has declined to comment on that report.

Wang, one of China’s richest men according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, predicted in January that he would pursue five “substantial” acquisitions -- three of them overseas -- in 2016. He said he would focus on companies in the entertainment and sports industries to revive growth as he braces for a slump in his main property business.

In January, Wang bought “Godzilla” producer Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion, becoming the first Chinese person to control a major Hollywood film company. His AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. is planning to take over Carmike Cinemas Inc. for $1.1 billion to form the largest U.S. theater-chain operator, though some of the target company’s investors are balking at the offer, saying it’s too low.

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