Wang Jianlin, chairman of real estate and entertainment conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co and China's richest man, says he expects to announce two billion-dollar film-related deals this year. David Pollard reports.
As China's richest man, his rise could make him the stuff of Hollywood. But it's owning cinema screens and movies that's motivating Wang Jianlin, not starring in them. The Dalian Wanda conglomerate's boss has reportedly already held talks about acquiring a stake in Paramount. Though he appears interested in any of Hollywood's so-called 'Big Six' studios. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) WANDA GROUP CHAIRMAN, WANG JIANLIN, SAYING: "Only the six are real global film companies, while the rest are not. So if we are to build a real movie empire, this is a necessary step .... My goal is to buy Hollywood companies and bring their technology and capability to China." Wang expects to seal two billion-dollar film-related deals in the United States this year. In January he splashed $3.5 billion to buy a controlling stake in Legendary Entertainment, behind hits such as "Jurassic World." But with blockbuster opportunities come blockbuster risks, he warns. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) WANDA GROUP CHAIRMAN, WANG JIANLIN, SAYING: "Most of the money invested in China and even the global film industry is silly money. Only a little is smart money. Because when investors see the industry getting 'hot', they all swarm around it." Wang says his AMC Entertainment group will control 15 per cent of global box office revenues after buying UK-based Odeon and UCI Group, and Carmike Cinemas in the US. A twenty per cent target is set for 2020 - though even that, he added, could be hit earlier.