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China's Wanda to invest in Paramount's 'Ninja Turtles' sequel

China's Wanda to invest in Paramount's 'Ninja Turtles' sequel
Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo in "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows" (Paramount)

Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin is teaming up with Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello and Raphael.

The businessman's conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group says it will invest in Paramount Pictures' upcoming sequel to "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" in the latest example of China's richest man flexing his financial muscles in Hollywood.

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Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Wanda plans to make the investment through subsidiaries Movie Media and Wanda Cinema Line. 

Wanda is trying to extend its reach in the U.S. movie business.

In January, it announced a deal to buy production company Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion. Wanda owns AMC Entertainment, which is poised to become the world's largest cinema operator through its proposed purchase of Carmike Cinemas.

The company in a statement promised to invest in more Hollywood films to help "cement Wanda Cinema Line's position as a top player in the global film industry."

In turn, Paramount hopes the new film co-financing deal will provide it not only with money, but also a powerful marketing partner in the world's most populous country and fast-growing film market.

Paramount and Wanda's film marketing arm have previously worked together on movies including the previous "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," "Transformers: Age of Extinction" and "Terminator Genisys."

"The team at Movie Media ... have showcased their tremendous marketing abilities on the launch of the first 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' film and we are very pleased to be again collaborating with them on this next installment of the franchise," said Paramount Pictures Vice Chairman Rob Moore, in a statement.

Last month, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group declared it would also invest in the Michael Bay-produced movie, which Paramount will release in the U.S. on June 3. Alibaba, led by billionaire Jack Ma, said it would additionally invest in "Star Trek: Beyond."

Earlier this year, Paramount parent Viacom Inc. said it was looking to sell a stake in the century-old Los Angeles studio. Many analysts speculate that a Chinese player such as Wanda would be a logical candidate.

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder

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