BEIJING, Dec. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Tencent Pictures announced today its collaboration with Paramount Pictures on upcoming films including Bumblebee, and the much-anticipated sequel to Top Gun. As the first spin-off movie of the Transformers film series, the science-fiction action film Bumblebee will show audiences a new side of the Transformers cinematic universe. The film is scheduled to be released on December 21 in North America, and on January 4, 2019 in mainland China. China Film Group Film Import and Export Corporation is responsible for the import of the movie, while China Film Group Corporation and HuaXia Film Distribution Co. Ltd. are responsible for the distribution. As an investor and co-marketing partner, Tencent Pictures will assist with the film's marketing and promotions in mainland China. Hasbro, the creator and owner of the wildly popular Transformers toys on which the film franchise is based, is also a co-financier on Bumblebee.
Since its establishment, Tencent Pictures has prioritized exploring international markets, and Bumblebee is a key step for Tencent's overseas business. With a total box office of 4.3 billion USD worldwide, the Transformers film series is among the world's most popular and influential intellectual properties. The Autobot movie features Bumblebee, one of the most popular characters from the franchise, who has excited the hardcore fan base around the world.
Starring Hailee Steinfeld (Pitch Perfect 3, The Edge of Seventeen) John Cena (Blockers, Trainwreck) and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Love, Simon, Spiderman: Homecoming), Bumblebee is directed by Travis Knight, the director of Oscar-nominated animated feature Kubo and the Two Strings, with Lorenzo di Bonaventura Tom DeSanto & Don Murphy, Michael Bay and Mark Vahradian producing and Steven Spielberg, Brian Goldner and Chris Brigham executive producing.
On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug. This origin story will give fans a glimpse of the initial conflict between the Autobots and Decepticons that would mark the beginning of a long-standing war between the two factions.
One of Hollywood's major and most storied movie studios, Paramount Pictures has produced not only the Transformers film series, but also countless other commercially-successful and critically-acclaimed movies including The Godfather, Forrest Gump, Indiana Jones, Top Gun and Titanic. This year, Paramount has enjoyed record-breaking success with the release of A Quiet Place, which marked the biggest box office opening ever for an original horror movie and garnered over $340 million in worldwide box office; and the debut of the sixth installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise, Mission: Impossible—Fallout, the highest-earning of the franchise with over $791 million in worldwide box office to-date, and the highest rated of all the M:I films with a 97% Rotten Tomatoes score. Tencent looks forward to collaborating on many future projects, and will be joining forces with Paramount again as an investor and co-marketer of Paramount's much anticipated upcoming Top Gun sequel, hitting theaters in the summer of 2020.
"We are thrilled to partner with Tencent Pictures to bring the Bumblebee origin story to China, where the Transformers franchise has been tremendously popular. Tencent's involvement in many high-profile international projects has demonstrated its strong capacity in marketing campaigns in China, making Tencent an ideal partner to share this film with a global audience. We really look forward to presenting this heart-warming movie with Tencent, and to partnering with them on the next Top Gun film, particularly given the enthusiasm for the original film in China," said Jim Gianopulos, Chairman and CEO, Paramount Pictures
During the past three years, Tencent Pictures has collaborated on a number of high-profile U.S. films including Warcraft, Kong: Skull Island, Wonder Woman, La La Land, Ready Player One and Venom, which is the fifth highest-grossing film of 2018 globally.
As the first Transformers spin-off movie, Bumblebee represents Tencent's first international project after Venom and its first collaboration with world-renowned Hollywood film studio Paramount. CHENG Wu (Edward Cheng), Vice President of Tencent and CEO of Tencent Pictures, shared his excitement and pleasure in partnering with Paramount to bring new life into the world's beloved Transformers prequel. "Global Exploration is one the six major cultural series of Tencent Pictures. With a focused, vertical market strategy, we hope to connect with top-notch partners all over the world and tell good stories through films. It is for the same reason that we choose Bumblebee. Apart from investment, Tencent Pictures will also serve as a joint marketing partner to boost its marketing campaign and promotional activities. We will leverage the strengths of our different divisions, mobilize resources across our integrated platforms, and join forces with Paramount to help Bumblebee win over a global audience."
About Tencent Pictures
Tencent Pictures, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Limited, plays an important role in building Tencent's "Neo-Culture Creativity" cultural ecosystem together with Tencent Games, Tencent Comics, China Literature and Tencent E-Sports. Tencent Pictures has been a key strategic partner on a number of internationally renowned films such as Warcraft, Kong: Skull Island, Wonder Woman, Animal World, Shadow and Venom. It has also produced many local television series, including Fighter of the Destiny, Journey to the West, Ever Night, Beauty Hao Lan, etc.
About Paramount Pictures Corporation
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Television, Paramount Players, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.
SOURCE Tencent Pictures