'Dark Knight' producer to make big-budget films with Chinese company

Published May 31, 2013
In this undated file image released by Warner Bros., Christian Bale is shown as Batman in a scene from "The Dark Knight," made by Hollywood studio Legendary Entertainment. Legendary said its Chinese venture, Legendary East, signed an agreement with the Chinese company's unit, China Film Co., on Thursday, May 30, 2013 in Beijing. The deal calls for the companies to fund development and production of multiple films over three years. Legendary is teaming with state-owned China Film Group to make more global blockbust
In this undated file image released by Warner Bros., Christian Bale is shown as Batman in a scene from "The Dark Knight," made by Hollywood studio Legendary Entertainment. Legendary said its Chinese venture, Legendary East, signed an agreement with the Chinese company's unit, China Film Co., on Thursday, May 30, 2013 in Beijing. The deal calls for the companies to fund development and production of multiple films over three years. Legendary is teaming with state-owned China Film Group to make more global blockbust

"The Dark Knight Rises" producer Thomas Tull will join with China's largest film production and distribution company to make big-budget films for release throughout the world, Tull's Legendary East studio said on Thursday.

The Chinese company, China Film Co, is majority-owned by state-owned China Film Group, Legendary East said.

With 2012 ticket sales of $2.7 billion, China is the second-largest film market in the world, after the United States, according to the trade group Motion Picture Association of America.

Legendary East and China Film did not identify planned film projects or the amounts each side would contribute to the joint venture, other than to say they plan to fund "multiple pictures over an initial three-year term."

The films will be distributed outside China by another Tull company, Los Angeles-based Legendary Entertainment.

Legendary Entertainment, which produces big-budget films such as the "Dark Knight" Batman series and this summer's "Man of Steel," is negotiating with Hollywood studios for a new deal to replace its long-standing distribution agreement with Time Warner Inc's Warner Brothers studio.

A Warner Brothers spokesman had no comment.

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