by Patrick Frater @ VARIETY
Base FX, the Beijing-based company that provided a fifth of the visual effects for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” has sold a minority share stake to China Media Capital.
The companies announced the deal this week, only days after “Star Wars” finally reached theaters in China. Deal terms were not disclosed.
The investment and strategic co-operation agreement between the two is expected to help Base FX ramp up its own film and TV production slate.
“This opens a new chapter in the growth of our company,” said Base FX CEO, Christopher Bremble. Base FX, which also has a major investment and strategic arrangement with Industrial Light & Magic, currently has operations in Beijing, Wuxi, and Xiamen in China. It is in the process of building a new outpost in Malaysia.
The effects studio and animation studio which opened in 2006 has worked on properties including “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” “Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier,” the third season of “Boardwalk Empire,” “Pacific Rim,” “Black Sails,” “Mission: Impossible 4,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” “Looper” and Chinese record breaker “Monster Hunt.”
CMC, founded by Li Ruigang, is the majority partner in Flagship Entertainment, the joint venture Chinese film production company formed in September last year with Warner Bros.
CMC is a pioneering private equity fund that was started with backing from state companies, and has since attracted international finance from top entertainment and media conglomerates including Warner Bros., WPP and Ratpac Entertainment. Other investments include a clutch of TV channels bought from News Corp., the Fortune Star film library, and Oriental Dreamworks.
After five days since its Jan. 9 release in China, “The Force Awakens” has grossed $71.5 million in China.