In a move that reflects China’s growing appetite for digital video, Lionsgate has signed a long-term content deal with Chinese internet and mobile video service provider, iQIYI.
The agreement covers both SVOD and transactional on-demand rights for feature films streaming on the Chinese company’s various platforms, which, collectively, have more than 500 million users.
For their part iQIYI will have an exclusive SVOD and TVOD window for Lionsgate theatrical titles covered under the deal. The company will enable broadcasting of the titles and promote them across platforms.
The package includes Lionsgate franchises and star-driven event films including the next chapter of the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise (pictured), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2; the next film in the Divergent franchise, Divergent Series: Allegiant; and the action thriller Deepwater Horizon, from filmmaker Pete Berg (Lone Survivor) directing a cast of Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson, John Malkovich and Gina Rodriguez.
It also includes other soon-to-release Lionsgate titles, such as Sicario (Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin and Emily Blunt), The Shack, starring Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer; and the musical LaLa Land, director by Damien Chazelle and starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.
Yang Xianghua, a SVP with iQIYI, said in a statement viewers in China are increasingly paying to watch movies online. With that in mind, the company has been actively purchasing movie content and building partnerships with industry players in a strategic effort to build its online content library.