BEIJING, February 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Heyi Pictures, the movie business unit of Youku Tudou, unveiled its movie projects for 2015. The six projects are mostly genre films, reflecting Heyi’s underlying strategy to bring successful Intellectual Properties (IP) across the online and offline worlds to the silver screen. They include a film adaptation of Gardenia Blossom, a song performed by top TV show host/actor Jiong He that captured the hearts and minds of a generation of young Chinese students, and a feature length version of Surprise, a top web comedy show that has become a social phenomenon in China.
While (parent company) Youku Tudou has continued to expand its presence in entertainment content, its movie production unit Heyi Pictures has made remarkable inroads into the sector since the unit’s launch only six months ago:
- Heyi Pictures has co-produced 11 movies with total box office receipts of RMB3.3 billion, including The Continent, Fleet of Time, and The Taking of the Tiger Mountain 3D, which took 3 spots in China’s top 10 domestic movies in 2014.
- Youku Tudou has marketed 88 movies with total box office proceeds of RMB28 billion, representing 42% of China’s overall box office receipts in the past three years, making it the go-to company in Internet movie marketing in China.
"We are committed to building a multi-screen media and entertainment ecosystem. The launch of Heyi Pictures gives us crucial access to the movie industry, the crown jewel of entertainment business, and I’m confident that the team is well on track with the six movie projects planned for this year to date," said Victor Koo, Chairman and CEO of Youku Tudou and Chairman of Heyi Pictures.
Heyi Pictures attributes its initial success partly to the rise of genre films in China in 2014: the two genre films Fleet of Time and The Taking of the Tiger Mountain 3D pulled in more than RMB500 million and RMB800 million, respectively. Heyi Pictures believes that the domestic Chinese movie industry has evolved to a stage in which genre films will rise to represent a significant share of the market, as they do in many mature movie markets. The big success of the above two titles was based on the right combination of themes with local appeal with the proven genre formula, the former being a top selling Internet novel, the latter being a household legend in Peking Opera.
"I see 2015 as the year of genre films. We are capitalizing on this opportunity by bringing successful Intellectual Properties (IP) from the online and offline worlds to the silver screen, transforming them into genre films that suit their original stories," said Allen Zhu, CEO of Heyi Pictures. "It’s a fast and reliable way to create content for the silver screen. IPs are in essence unique stories with branded characters, and they have a word-of-mouth based reputation as well as an existing community of fans. Our experience in Internet video and incubating productions such as Old Boys and Little Apple can be leveraged toward incubating other IPs as well. We’re sharing these experiences and we aim to become China’s No.1 movie incubation platform."
Summary of Movie Projects
The 6 Intellectual Properties have accumulated total video views/impressions of 6 billion to date in China, averaging almost 4 impressions for every Chinese.
Surprise is China’s top web comedy with over 1.6 billion cumulative video views since its 2013 debut. Already a commercial success, it follows the day-to-day misadventures of Dachui Wang as he navigates though hilarious modern and classic situations. Surprise is full of laughs and its quotability has created new everyday lingo for Chinese netizens.
Let’s Get Married is a popular Chinese romance TV series from 2013 that achieved the highest viewership rating that year. With over 4 billion cumulative views on the Internet, the series depicts the meeting of two single thirty-somethings. One is afraid of repeating the past while the other seems destined to be left behind. Despite this, big sparks fly between the two, but will they be big enough to ignite their future or fizzle into nothing?
You’ve Got to Have a Dream, What if it Comes True? is a top selling comic book with a large Weibo following. Full of heart-warming stories that feed the soul of all captivated by its pages, followers have retweeted each cartoon more than 100,000 times. The title of the comic was even used by the CEO of Alibaba, Jack Ma, as the title for Alibaba’s IPO Speech, showing how all connect with its substance.
Gardenia Blossom, is a song that captured the hearts and minds of graduating Chinese students. Released in 2004, it topped the charts for weeks and became "the song" for the millennial generation. The lyrics trigger nostalgic memories of growing up and friends drifting apart. Popular today, the singer/TV personality has more than 56 million Weibo followers.
How Much Love Can Be Played, is a record setting small theater stage play which has scored more than 3,000 shows across China since its debut in 2006. It tells the story of a millennial and his personal evolution through three romantic relationships. Easily relatable, it begs the question whether everyone is destined for true love or will some have to accept their fate in life, whatever it may be.
A Teacher’s Diary, was hailed as the best romance movie for 2014 and a box office champion in Thailand. It was also recommended by the National Federation of Thai Film Association as its candidate for the best foreign-language film at the 2015 Oscars. The story follows how a shared dairy connects two young teachers assigned to a rural school a year apart. Although they have never met, the pages in the dairy take life and they bond through their shared emotions and experiences. Separated by time and the unknown, will the future bring these two together?
About Youku Tudou Inc.
Youku Tudou Inc. (NYSE: YOKU) is China’s leading Internet television company. Its Youku and Tudou Internet television platforms enable users to search, view and share high-quality video content quickly and easily across multiple devices. Its Youku brand and Tudou brand are the most recognized online video brands in China. Youku Tudou’s American depositary shares, each representing 18 of Youku Tudou’s Class A ordinary shares, are traded on the NYSE under the symbol "YOKU."
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