Friday, June 20, 2014

Chinese Partner Sues to Kill Transformers 4 Partnership

Apparently Beijing Pangu Investment Company was not satisfied with what they saw at the premiere of Transformers: Age of Extinction as they are suing to end their partnership over the movie with Paramount and attempting to have uses of their Pangu Plaza Hotel removed from advertising and the movie itself.
“This has caused huge financial loss and damage to the reputation of our company,” Beijing Pangu Investment said in a statement.

“When marketing and distributing ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction,’ (the studio) is not allowed to use our company’s image, logo, our building’s inside and outside views and its recognizable elements,” the statement continues. “If already used in the film, they shall all be deleted.”

The contract was ended on June 15, and the company said it has filed court charges related to financial losses and damages to its reputation. It did not elaborate on how the partners had violated the terms of the contract.

“Pangu Plaza has a prominent placement in ‘Transformers 4′ and it looks beautiful onscreen,” a spokesman for Paramount said in a statement. “We regret that Pangu is not currently satisfied with certain aspects of our collaboration and are working to resolve its concerns.”

Obviously with the movie only one week away from release, demanding a set piece be removed from the film isn't going to happen and the companies lawyers know it. Chances are they are hoping to get a large settlement that will essentially refund their money while keeping their hotel in the movie resulting in the equivalent of a lifetime of free advertisement in the movie. Not too shabby a deal if they can pull it off and could open the door for the other companies Paramount has been doing business with for the movie to do that same.
I suspect that the Pangu Investment was not satisfied that the hotel was not sufficiently highlighted in the movie, perhaps with a long scene in front of the company's logo as Transformers and human characters discuss how great being at the hotel is. Based on what little Chinese television I have seen they have a 1960s TV/current sports approach to advertising where it has to be in your face and blunt as possible. The American approach is touch more subtle such has having characters drinking a soft drink, eating at a certain place, or using a clearly labeled brand item for a scene. Its an ad but you would not necessarily recognize it as such. An example is a scene of walking through a hotel lobby where may or may not see hotel branding would be enough for most American companies but maybe not for a Chinese one. Another example is the Chinese cut of Iron Man 3 which was accused of essentially being 5 minutes of commercials being added to the movie. Now we might have a taste of why Marvel Studios felt it was necessary to do it that way. It will be interesting to see if this is the beginning of more lawsuits that could lead to Hollywood deciding to pass on future "cooperative agreements" in China.

9 comments:

  1. Wow, that hotel sounds selfish. Reacting like this is not going to be good for their image.

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  2. Its the chinese, they are trying to force the US, and anyone involved in the US to do what THEY want, so if they are suing this late in the game, its either to force paramount to pay them a ton of money, OR its a publicity stunt to get their name out there. I hope that logic and cool heads prevail over this. Just another way china is attempting to force the world to do things the way they want them done.

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    1. ^^ Anon 4:25 AM Hmmm...you could replace the word "China" ...with "USA" in your post ...and it would be just as true...in fact...it would be MORE truthful... >>> "just another way the USA is attempting to force the world to do things the way they want them done." jus sayin'

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    2. Or..we change it to people because everyone wants things their way

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  3. of course the hotel people are being sneaky... but... maybe they were genuinely flabbergasted as to how shit the film is. haha

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  4. You are the shit man not the TF4 movie get out of here !

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    1. oh man... why are you so loyal to this film and Michael Bay? I love The Transformers universe but Michael Bay's Transformer films are perversely bad and are the polar opposite of what they should and could be like. Worst man for the job. You lap it up Mr No-Taste

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    2. If this is how you feel then my question to you is why are you here? Were coming up on the 4th movie under the same director. Fan of the Tf Universe or not it seems rather silly to subject yourself to a movie you have already decided you don't like. So my guess would be either you are not being truthful or your hoping the movie will be up to your standards. We are well past the cartoons.

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  5. I think the Pangu Investment Company leadership needs to shut up and be happy that Paramount even agreed to use their hotel in the movie at all. It's an ugly building, from the outside anyways, that lacks any appreciable architectural character. If I were the director I would not have looked at that building and thought, wow, I really need to include that in my movie.

    Besides, the only reason it was probably identified for inclusion in the first place was its proximity to the Olympic venues (the bird's nest, the aquatic center, etc…), which provide some pretty cool backdrops. In my opinion, the hotel is an ugly distraction from these really interesting buildings. The only thing it has going for it is that it's really lit up brightly at night (which can in-and-of-itself be interesting), but in this case even that acts as a distraction from the cooler buildings in the area.

    Such a brash move by the investment company on essentially the eve of the debut of the movie is nothing but extortion driven by greed. Hollywood should really think twice before engaging in partnerships like this in the future, or at least ensure that provisions are included in future contracts to prevent this kind of thing from happening in the future.

    The investment company should really think twice about this because it doesn’t do anyone any good. It will bring bad publicity to the hotel, cast uncertainty on these types of partnerships in the future, and, perhaps the most important, piss off the fans who really just want to see and enjoy this movie. I can guarantee that because of this if I ever visit Beijing I will definitely not visit that hotel.

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