The UK emerged in 2013 as an increasingly attractive location destination with new and expanded tax credits – but can it stand the bulge? Hollywood has cozied up to Britain, not only bringing its films there to shoot, but now its …
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UK-China Co-Production Treaty Inches Closer As Countries Sign Cultural Accord; David Cameron Pushes For Free Trade
British Prime Minister David Cameron is in China this week on a mission to strengthen ties with the booming nation across many sectors, the film industry among them. He’s traveling with a large delegation that includes Culture Secretary Maria Miller, head of the British Film Institute Amanda Nevill and Pinewood Shepperton CEO Ivan Dunleavy. Although details were still being hammered out as of yesterday, it’s been hoped that a long-in-the-works co-production treaty between the UK and China would be unveiled on the ground. In the meantime, the pair today did announce a “cultural agreement” that includes in its text an accord “in principle” to support the conclusion of the treaty, and a bid to facilitate TV productions in both countries.
A treaty could still be signed this week, but it’s not a guarantee of more British films making their way into China since true co-production status, which eliminates the quota barrier on foreign movies, remains elusive across the board. A treaty wouldn’t relax the censors either as all movies are susceptible to cuts. Last year’s Skyfall, which was shot at Pinewood and also partly in China, saw some scenes excised from the version that went to local theaters.
However, in a longterm move, Cameron is also pushing for a free trade agreement between China and the EU – curiously at a time when Britain continues to debate whether it wants to remain part of the Union at all. I’ve heard conflicting thoughts on whether free trade would permit UK films to bypass the quota system, and the proposal overall is likely to rankle other EU countries. In a letter he penned in the current edition of Chinese business weekly Caixin, Cameron remarked on the increasingly prosperous Chinese population and cited James Bond and Downton Abbey, among Britain’s “world-class goods and services they need.” He wrote that he would back “an ambitious and comprehensive EU-China Free Trade Agreement… that could be worth tens of billions of dollars every year.”
Canadian investment groups OMERS Private Equity and Alberta Investment Management Corporation will pay £935M ($1.45B) for pan-European multiplex operator Vue Entertainment. Vue’s current owner, private equity firm Doughty Hanson, acquired the group in 2010 for £450M and expanded …
The big Netflix news will come later today, when the company releases its third-quarter earnings. That’s expected to include data on just how many subscribers fled the company after its recent public relations disaster that included a surprise fee hike, splitting off its streaming service from its DVD-by-mail service and then putting them back together again. For the year, Netflix’s stock is down by a third. Meanwhile, this morning’s news officially continues the company’s international expansion. Here’s the release:
LOS GATOS, Calif., Oct. 24, 2011 — Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), the leading global Internet movie subscription service, today announced it will expand to the United Kingdom and Ireland in early 2012, offering unlimited TV shows and movies streaming instantly over the Internet to TVs and computers for one low monthly subscription price.