Imagine crossing Harvey Weinstein (the mid-’90s version) with superagent Ari Emanuel of Endeavor and you start to grasp the power Huayi Brothers wields in China’s nascent but rapidly expanding entertainment industry. Founded in 1994 by siblings Wang Zhongjun and Wang Zhonglei, the combination film-and-TV production company–which also manages China’s top talent–is the country’s largest studio. After nearly tripling its earnings from $3.5 million in 2006 to $10 million in 2008, Huayi Brothers was on track to do even better in 2009, and raised $91 million in an October IPO on the ChiNext board of the Shenzhen stock exchange. (The brothers Wang each own 34% of the stock; Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba, holds 10%.) China’s 2009 box-office receipts of less than $1 billion pale against Hollywood’s, but the industry there is young, growing, and, if anything, the IPO is a sign the government is encouraging expansion. No wonder Huayi Brothers announced plans last year to build 15 megaplexes over the next five years.
“Look for a Star”
“The Forbidden Kingdom (2008 – Featuring Jet Li and Jackie Chan)”
“”Sophie’s Revenge (2009 – Featuring Ziyi Zhang) “