Saturday, June 15, 2024

China Syndrome: Hollywood’s Plan for Asian Bailout Falling Apart as Paramount, Dick Clark Group Deals Have Trouble


Hollywood’s quick fix is not working out. The plan was to lure Chinese money in for new investments, but it turns out the Chinese have other ideas.

Seems like the $1 billion deal between the Wanda Group and Dick Clark Productions is coming to an end. Wanda was supposed to pony up the amazing amount of money so they could own the Golden Globes and the American Music Awards.

Dick Clark’s parent, Eldridge, really needs the money as they try to sell the Hollywood Reporter and Billboard, as well. But Deadline is reporting that DCP was priced too high, and maybe the Chinese are figuring out that second-tier awards shows aren’t worth all that much.

Eldridge has a similar problem with those magazines. I’m told their natural buyer, Penske Media, which owns Variety and Deadline, thinks the price there is too high, too. Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter loses $20 million or more a year.

At the same time, Kim Masters reports in THR that the Paramount deal with Shanghai Film Group and Huahua Media– also for a billion dollars– is coming apart. So far the Chinese are worried that no one is in charge of the movie studio and they want a meeting with parent Viacom. Former Fox chief Jim Gianopolous and “Fifty Shades” producer Mike DeLuca may be coming in to run the studio. But the Chinese want to know what the plan is besides making a new “Mission: Impossible” movie. They’re probably not fans of “Florence Foster Jenkins.”

So there is trouble on the horizon and getting closer all the time–especially if the Trump Administration continues to antagonize China over imports, exports, and everything else (except human rights violations, which the TA is ok with presumably). Donald Trump would like nothing better than to see Hollywood suffer financially because of him, despite his new Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin being tied in closely to Tinsel Town success.

Stay tuned…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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