HONG KONG – MGM has become the second major Hollywood studio to license its films to the state-owned Chinese streaming movie website m1905.com.
In an announcement from Beijing on Monday, MGM Television and Jiaflix Enterprises are said to have inked a multi-year licensing agreement which will see the studio’s new theatrical releases made available on m1905.com for streaming for transactional video-on-demand, and more than 200 library titles available for subscription video-on-demand.
Jiaflix and m1905, an online portal owned by the China Movie Channel, teamed up last June with a minimum 15-year agreement designed to launch the streaming of international feature films, with Paramount Pictures being the first studio to sign up for the project.
According to the statement released on Monday, new releases such as Jose Padilha’s remake of Robocop and Brett Ratner’s Hercules: The Thracian Wars will be available on the Jiaflix/m1905.com service in 2014 on a transactional video-on-demand basis, while the service’s Chinese subscribers will be able to watch MGM classics such as Midnight Cowboy, Dressed to Kill and The Thomas Crown Affair online.
Chris Ottinger, MGM Television’s president of international distribution and acquisitions, said he was “thrilled” by the opportunity to “broaden the content” offered to Jiaflix/m1905’s subscribers, while Jiaflix principal Sid Ganis said the linkup with MGM is “a major step” in his company’s plans to “provide the best selection of Chinese and international films to its subscribers in China.”
Founded by the state-backed China Movie Channel in 2004, m1905.com – which streams movies as well as provides film-related news – reports more than three million registered members and an of four million daily visitors.
The entity has lately branched out to international co-productions as well through a collaboration with Jiaflix and Paramount on the next installment of the Transformers franchise, which will be partly shot in China with Chinese actors. The production has just signed a sponsorship deal with Beijing Pangu Investment Company during the Shanghai International Film Festival last week, with the film pledging to show the company’s flagship hotel in the film.