BBC Hitches Wagon To Hitchcock Craze, Again
With Alfred Hitchcock hot right now, the BBC is doubling up on the action. It’s already co-producing The Girl with HBO, a look at the director’s obsessive relationship with The Birds star Tippi Hedren. Now, it’s producing a new take on The Lady Vanishes with a British cast that includes Upstairs Downstairs star Keeley Hawes, Spooks’ Gemma Jones and The Hour’s Julian Rhind-Tutt. The 90-minute psychological thriller is penned by Fiona Seres and is set to air at Christmas. Seres adapted the source novel The Wheel Spins, which Hitchcock filmed as The Lady Vanishes in 1938. Set in 1931, the story centers on Iris, a young socialite on vacation who leaves her friends to travel alone. But after fainting at the train station, she awakens in a dreamlike state where a woman who comforts her then vanishes. Tuppence Middleton (Spies Of Warsaw, Love Punch) and Tom Hughes (Cemetery Junction, Page Eight) lead the cast. The film is produced by BBC Drama Productions and Ann Tricklebank. Diarmuid Lawrence (Little Dorrit) is directing. Hitchcock’s Vertigo recently dislodged Citizen Kane as BFI Sight & Sound’s greatest movie of all time. In addition to The Girl with Sienna Miller and Toby Jones, another project based on the director’s life is Fox Searchlight’s Hitchcock, starring Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and Scarlett Johansson.
Entertainment One Lines Up South Korea Partner
United Entertainment Korea has made a deal to handle all eOne’s international home entertainment titles in South Korea. eOne Television International will continue to handle TV content in Korea and eOne Films International will continue to handle film sales. First titles to be released in theaters under the new partnership are Dragon Age and Mass Effect. eOne filmed entertainmenbt president Patrice Theroux said “it’s essential that we build strong partnerships with local industry leaders like UEK” as eOne expands globally. UEK handles home entertainment products for Sony Pictures, NBC Universal and 20th Century Fox. Read More »
A new directive from China’s broadcast and web regulators will have internet video providers prescreening programs including drama series and mini-movies, before they are posted, The Associated Press reports. The move further increases state censorship in a nation that already limits what the public can see on any type of screen. SARFT issued a statement this week targeting online programming that contains offensive content including pornography and excessive violence. No specific standards or penalties were outlined, but the watchdog said content providers will be held responsible for what they post. The directive was issued based on requests from the public who believe such content has had a negative impact on the mental health of young people and the development of online content providers, according to Xinhuanet.com. Following the decree, shares of online video companies Youku and Tudou fell on Wednesday, Reuters said. But a Youku worker told The AP that the new rules wouldn’t have much impact on its practices since the company already prescreens all content before uploading. “Nothing with vulgar or violent materials will pass,” the person said.
The two companies will together boast over a third of the market share in the booming country where online video sites unofficially compete for eyeballs with traditional television. The all-stock deal has been valued at just over $1 billion according to media reports. The combined venture, to be known as Youku Tudou Inc., will be the Chinese leader but will still face competition from other important players including Baidu Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. Youku went public in 2010 while Tudou did so last year. They are both traded in the U.S.
BEIJING and SHANGHAI, March 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Youku Inc. (NYSE: YOKU) (“Youku”) and Tudou Holdings Limited (NASDAQ: TUDO) (“Tudou”) announced today that they have signed a definitive agreement for Tudou to combine with Youku in a 100% stock-for-stock transaction. Under the terms of the agreement, each Class A ordinary share and Class B ordinary share of Tudou issued and outstanding immediately prior to the effective time of the merger will be cancelled in exchange for the right to receive 7.177 Class A ordinary shares of Youku, and each American depositary share of Tudou (“Tudou ADSs”), each of which represents four Tudou Class B ordinary shares, will be cancelled in exchange for the right to receive 1.595 American depositary shares of Youku (“Youku ADSs”), each of which represents 18 Youku Class A ordinary shares resulting in Youku and Tudou shareholders and ADS holders owning approximately 71.5% and 28.5% of the combined entity, respectively, immediately upon completion of the transaction. Upon completion, the combined entity will be named Youku Tudou Inc. Youku’s ADSs will continue to be listed on the NYSE under the symbol “YOKU”.
“We intend to lead the next phase of online video development in China. Youku Tudou Inc. will represent a differentiated leader in the online video market in China with the largest user base, most comprehensive content library, most advanced bandwidth infrastructure and strongest monetization capability within the sector,” said Victor Koo, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Youku. “Youku Tudou Inc. will have the reach and scale to bring our users high quality content at high speeds. The combined company will have the two leading online video brands in China: Youku and Tudou.”
Read More »
The deal follows Lionsgate’s move into the Chinese VOD market last month via a pact with YOU On Demand. This new agreement gives leading Chinese internet TV platform Youku access to 200 Lionsgate titles for its Youku Movies Channel on an ad-supported basis. The deal was arranged through Celestial Tiger Entertainment, the Asian media company formed last December by Celestial Pictures, Saban Capital and Lionsgate. Youku also has deals in place to license content from Disney, Paramount, DreamWorks, Warner Bros and 20th Century Fox. Studios are increasingly moving into the Chinese VOD arena with Warner Bros and Disney also in business there with YOU On Demand.
BEIJING, Mar. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Youku Inc. (NYSE: YOKU), China’s leading internet television company, recently signed a licensing agreement with Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading diversified global entertainment company. The deal was arranged through Celestial Tiger Entertainment, the exclusive sales agent for Lionsgate in Greater China and Southeast Asia. The agreement grants Youku the right to make 200 Lionsgate titles, including Hotel Rwanda, Monster’s Ball, and Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, available to users on an ad-supported basis via Youku’s Movies Channel.
Youku’s Movies Channel (http://movie.youku.com) is a curated front-end to Youku’s free and premium film content, and offers content owners a range of options for making their work available to viewers. In addition to choosing to set a price for their content, content owners can opt to allow their content to become freely available after a set period. Eleven of the 18 films with Chinese box office revenues of more than RMB 100 million in 2011 are currently available on Youku’s Movies Channel.
Read More »