Chinese Company Dalian Wanda Buys Legendary Entertainment

Jan 12, 2016
Originally published on January 12, 2016 7:55 pm
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

One of the richest men in China has made a big splash in Hollywood. Wang Jianlin's conglomerate, Wanda, announced today it will buy Legendary Entertainment. That's the American company behind movies like "Jurassic World" and "Straight Outta Compton." NPR's Elizabeth Blair has our report.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: Wanda is a massive corporation in China. Its business includes huge shopping centers, theaters, theme parks and luxury hotels. A few years ago, it bought AMC, the second largest theater chain in the U.S. Now it owns some Hollywood blockbusters...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE DARK KNIGHT")

HEATH LEDGER: (As Joker) Look at you go.

BLAIR: The "Dark Knight" trilogy, "The Hangover" movies. Legendary's remake of "Godzilla" did very well in China.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "GODZILLA")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) We call him Godzilla.

BLAIR: There've been a number of deals between Chinese investors and Hollywood companies. U.S. producer Janet Yang, whose credits include "The Joy Luck Club" and "The People Vs. Larry Flynt" says China and Hollywood have been dating for a while.

JANET YANG: They do make great bedfellows in the sense that China has what Hollywood wants and Hollywood has what China wants.

BLAIR: Meaning China has the money and the biggest market in the world and Hollywood knows how to make movies.

YANG: One of the things they want is really more developed skills. I mean, Hollywood is really the most experienced player in terms of content creation. And so China has a really deep hunger to be a player on the global cultural stage.

BLAIR: But like any marriage, it could face some bumps. Among them, movies Wanda produces through Legendary will likely have to go through Chinese censors. Wanda's owner, Wang Jianlin, is reportedly well-connected with the Chinese government. Elizabeth Blair, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.