With The Avengers debuting in theaters in just a few weeks, Marvel is looking ahead to its future projects, including the upcoming Iron Man 3. This week, some interesting news came out about the film, as it was announced that Disney will be producing the film in conjunction with Beijing film studio DMG Entertainment.
DMG Entertainment will be investing at least 1 billion yuan ($158 million) into the production of the film and its distribution in China. While the partnership is not the only deal between the U.S. and China, with films such as 2010’s The Karate Kid produced with Chinese involvement, the Iron Man 3 deal will mark “the first multibillion dollar franchise to be produced between Hollywood and China,” says DMG chief executive officer Dan Mintz. Chinese elements will be added to the film to accomodate the partnership, and Disney has said that portions of the film produced in China will involve both DMG and Marvel Studios’ production and creative teams.
This new partnership comes as Western operators are looking to have a further presence in China to take advantage of its rapidly growing markets. While the Chinese government limits the number of foreign films allowed into the country, films produced in conjunction with Chinese partners can work around these limits. Disney has been trying to further develop its Chinese market recently, as Chinese ticket sales rose 35% last year to make China the largest market after the United States and Japan. To better appeal to the local Chinese audience, managing director of Disney in Greater China Stanley Cheung says that the company will be adding more China-related elements to its future projects.
Iron Man 3 will debut in theaters on May 3, 2013.