Michael Bay may be regretting filming Transformers: Age of Extinction so extensively in China. First, he was attacked by men wielding an air conditioning during an extortion attempt in Hong Kong, and now he's being asked to change this movie ahead of its release on Friday.
Chinese real estate developer, Beijing Pangi Investment Company are apparently unsatisfied with how their logo and building was treated in [Transformers: Age of Extinction](movie:206531). The group's flagship Beijing Pangu Plaza Hotel is featured in the film as part of a product placement deal worth about $1 million to Paramount and a collection of Chinese companies. Pangu are claiming Paramount did not perform the terms of the deal, and terminated their contract on June 15 - insisting that their building must be deleted from the film. They go further to claim the issue has led to "financial and reputation loss."
According to Deadline, the building does indeed feature in Transformers 4 although this dispute should not affect the release. They stated:
Could this issue affect the film’s release? I’m told no. A source says, “This is all about product placement, they didn’t feel like they got full promotion and exposure.” But, it has “nothing to do with distribution.”
It would seem the all-powerful state backed entity which controls distribution in China - China Cinema Group - is not involved in the dispute, which is probably good news for Michael Bay and Paramount. The China Cinema Group is the body which regulates and limits how many foreign movies can be shown in China in a year, with that number currently resting at 34. Even then, a movie studio can only hope to draw 25% of revenue from ticket sales in China, unless it is a co-production with a Chinese studio. However, even then the movie must feature Chinese culture positively, include a storyline in China and not fall foul of the state's strict censors.
Transformers: Age of Extinction pursued this co-production from the very start of its production - becoming one of the largest examples of this new marriage between Beijing and Hollywood.
Experts did predict this route could be a tricky one, with Chinese and American executive and financial heads coming from different cultural, political and business backgrounds. Concerning the dispute, Paramount released the following statement:
Pangu Plaza has a prominent placement in Transformers 4 and it looks beautiful onscreen. We regret that Pangu is not currently satisfied with certain aspects of our collaboration and are working to resolve its concerns.
Currently, Transformers 4: Age of Extinction is due to open in the US and China on Friday.
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