James Cameron launches venture in China

Updated: 2012-08-09 13:22

By Liu Wei (China Daily)

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James Cameron launches venture in China

Film director James Cameron poses during a presentation to promote his film "Titanic 3D" in Moscow in this March 29, 2012 file photo.[Photo/Agencies]

Avatar director James Cameron, has launched a new venture in China, along with local partners.

Cameron Pace Group has set up a division in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin and launched its first film project, a 3D documentary on the historical city of Beijing.

It is the first overseas division of CPG, an industry leader in 3D technologies and production services co-founded by Cameron and long-time business partner Vince Pace.

The company will work with Chinese partners, such as Tianjin High-Tech Holding Group and Tianjin North Film Group, to create the documentary.

Cameron Pace Group China will have at its disposal the full range of CPG's patented technology and award-winning expertise, for use not only in feature films, but also in television shows and live event broadcasts. CPG China also offers complete local support provided by trained specialists.

"I am making a big investment and forming partnerships here in China," Cameron told a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday. "We are very excited to be part of the historic transformation of media and entertainment from 2D to 3D. We believe the future of entertainment is in 3D, and the future of 3D is in China."

He did not give details of the amount of the investment or the venture's equity split with two State-owned Tianjin entities.

CPG China will offer Chinese filmmakers 3D technology and service, but would not be involved in movie production immediately, he added.

"We are not here to make movies, we will help make better Chinese movies," he said. "The documentary on Beijing would be a good example of what kind of service we will offer to confident and creative local filmmakers." Cameron's Titanic and its 3D version both swept China's box office.

When the original version was screened in 1998, it grossed 360 million yuan ($57 million) and was the highest-grossing film in China for 11 years until Transformers 2 broke the record in 2009.

Titanic 3D raked in an amazing 900 million yuan.

In 2010 his 3D epic Avatar brought in 1.2 billion yuan and was the best-performing film at China's box office so far.

"What attracts Cameron to China is not only what he says about the fertile soil for 3D technology, but also the huge market with numerous customers," said Lu Wei, vice- mayor of Beijing.

With the box office soaring 30 percent every year since 2003, China has become the new land of temptation for Hollywood studios.

On Tuesday, DreamWorks Animation Ltd and local partners announced plans to make the next Kung Fu Panda movie in China.

Walt Disney Co is working with Beijing-based DMG Entertainment to produce the third installment of its Iron Man franchise.

China has been making moves to further open its market. A deal hammered out in February has increased the annual quota for foreign films in theaters to 34 from the original 20, and raised the foreign share of ticket sales from 13 to 25 percent.