Korean major Cinema Servicehas tied up a multi-picture deal with Thomas Leong's Hong Kong productionoutfit Lotus Entertainment.
While details of theagreement have yet to be finalised, the deal is understood to involve CinemaService financing a slate of Chinese pictures that Lotus will source, developand produce.
"We want to make genuinelyChinese films that are primarily aimed at the Chinese market," said Josh Lee,head of international sales at Cinema Service. "We have seen how difficult itcan be for Korean films to break into the Chinese market through legitimatechannels, but as a testament to their popularity we know they are widelypirated. As a Korean company we have to come up with a different way of gettinginvolved in China."
The deal kicks off withthree yet to be determined titles - though the slate is likely to containChinese remakes of Korean films, Chinese remakes of Western films and originalmaterial. Budgets are likely to be in keeping with average Chinese productioncosts and kept below $1m apiece.
The deal was negotiated byLeong, a talent agent and producer, and Michael Kim, Cinema Service's CEO.Leong is a long-standing associate of Cinema Service founder and president KangWoo-suk. His Korean business partner, Jonathan Kim of Hanmac Films was recentlyinvolved in the Kang-directed mega hit Silmido, which has already soldover ten million tickets.