Alibaba Pictures invests in Paramount’s new ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Ninja Turtles’ films

After dipping its toe in Hollywood waters by putting money into “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” last year, China’s Alibaba Pictures said Monday it is investing in two more Paramount Pictures films: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” and “Star Trek Beyond.”

The companies did not reveal how much Alibaba would invest in the productions.

“Ninja Turtles” is set for a June 3 release stateside, while the new “Star Trek” will arrive on U.S. screens in July. Alibaba indicated both films have received government approval to be imported into China under the country’s quota system and would be released on the mainland in the second half of the year.


“Star Trek Into Darkness” grossed $57 million in China in 2013, about 12% of its worldwide haul of $467 million. The Ninja Turtles cartoons have long been popular in China, and Paramount’s 2014 Ninja Turtle film grossed $63 million in China, also about 12% of its $493-million worldwide earnings.

Alibaba said the new “Star Trek” and “Ninja Turtles” films would receive distribution support from its Taobao Movie online platform.

Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore said in a statement: “We are very glad to be working with Alibaba Pictures again. We look forward to even more successful launches of these films in the global movie market.”

Zhang Wei, president of Alibaba Pictures, said: “We had a great experience working with Paramount on ‘Mission: Impossible’ and are very excited to join forces again for these two pictures, both of which have terrific fan bases in China that we hope to cooperate with Paramount to grow even larger.”

In addition to the Paramount films, Alibaba Pictures has invested in a Korean film called “REAL” starring Kim Soo Hyun, which is expected to be released next year.

The company is also bankrolling its own productions, several of which are expected to be released in 2016, including “Ferryman,” which counts Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar Wai as a producer and is directed by Zhang Jiajia, author of the short story on which it’s based.

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