Beijing-based Polybona Film Distribution, Hong Kong film-maker Peter Ho-Sun Chan and Chinese producer/director Huang Jianxin have jointly established Beijing-based film production company Cinema Popular, as part of Beijing-based Bona International Film Group.

The company has set up a film fund of $73.1m (RMB500m) and plans to produce 15 films in the next three years. According to Chan, the 15 films will belarger-budget films(over RMB100m or $14.62m) as well as mid-sized films from new film-makers.

Meanwhile, Chan and Huang, who collaborated as producers for Chan's epic The Warlords, established Beijing-based production company We Pictures under Cinema Popular. We Pictures will be the production arm of Cinema Popular.

Polybona president Yu Dong estimates the 15 films will generate box office revenue of $292.4m (RMB2bn) in mainland China.

'The establishment of Cinema Popular represents a significant market change: in the past mainland distributors invest 30% to 50% of the budget in a China-Hong Kong co-production film. Now that the mainland has become the biggest market for Chinese-language films, it is time for a mainland company to be the major investor of Chinese-language films,' Yu said at the company'slaunch.

'Hong Kong filmmakers no longer just sell films to mainland China, but they have come to the mainland and produce films for the mainland market. We are very honored to work with directors Chan and Huang. Our aim is to build up Cinema Popular into the DreamWorks in China,' Yu added.

The first film in Cinema Popular's slate is Teddy Chan's Dark October, an action film about an unsuccessful assassination of Dr. Sun Yet-sen during his revolution against the imperial Ching Dynasty in the 1910s. Co-investors of the $14m film include Shanghai Media Group (SMG) and China Film Group.

Cinema Popular has also signed an agreement with China Film Group as strategic partner. China Film Group will co-invest and co-distribute films produced by Cinema Popular.

Established in 1999, Polybona expanded into Bona International Film Group in 2008, owning Polybona Film Distribution for mainland film distribution, Distribution Workshop for international distribution, Bona Yinglong Artist Management and a cinema investment and management company. With Cinema Popular, Bona International Film Group has become a full-fledged studio in mainland China.