Jack Ma and Hollywood: How this ‘missing’ billionaire emerged as a big backer of Hollywood films
Chinese tech billionaire and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma, who is suspected to be missing, has been a huge source of financial backing for Hollywood films over the past half a decade.
Alibaba Pictures, which was set up by Ma's e-commerce giant Alibaba, has given a marketing push to Chinese films as well as invested money in films of that country. Importantly, Ma also ventured into Hollywood beginning in 2015. Here’s how he proved to be successful in Hollywood:
· One of the most successful films Alibaba Pictures has backed lately is the 2019 release "1917", the Sam Mendes triple-Oscar winner that also has Reliance Entertainment and Steven Spielberg's Dreamworks Pictures as producers.
· Among the biggest films in which Alibaba Pictures invested is also the 2015 Tom Cruise-starrer "Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation". The film had cost around $170 million and earned a worldwide gross of almost $682.7 million.
· The superhero film "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows" was produced on a budget of $135 million, reports screenrant.com. According to collider.com, the Megan Fox-starrer underperformed at the box office as it grossed only $245 million.
· The sci-fi adventure "Star Trek Beyond", was made on a budget of $185 million and minted $340 million worldwide, reports forbes.com.
· In 2018, Alibaba Pictures backed Tom Cruise's "Mission: Impossible -- Fallout". The film went on to gross $791 million worldwide and it turned out to be one of the biggest hits of the franchise, reports businessinsider.com.
· Oscar-winning filmmaker Ang Lee's 2019 action film "Gemini Man" is in the list too. It was distributed by Paramount Pictures in North America. It was produced by Skydance, in association with China's Fosun Pictures. Fosun Pictures and Alibaba Pictures were the co-financiers of the Will Smith-starrer, according to Xinhua.
· In 2019, Alibaba-backed "1917" made $368 million on a $95 million budget, reports Forbes.com.
· According to an article in The Hollywood Reporter published in 2019, Alibaba Pictures Group had extended a $103 million loan to the Chinese film studio Huayi Brothers Media.
(With inputs from IANS)