Interpret Weekly: Asia Entertainment 10/11/2021

Bona Film Group China Film Co. Enlight Pictures

Even as the National Day holiday season wound to an end, Changjin scored $109 million over the weekend. That gave it a cumulative total of $633 million, making it the fourth highest-grossing film in 2021, earned since Sept. 30. The only 2021 titles outscoring Changjin in the global rankings are Chinese local drama Hi, Mom with $822 million, F9 with $717 million, and Detective Chinatown 3 with $686 million. The second-place film over the weekend, My Country, My Parents earned $19.6 million. Its cumulative was extended to $182 million.

No Time to Die kept its place at the top of the South Korean box office for the second weekend, though with no significant new releases competing against it. The James Bond film earned $1.83 million in Korea on its second weekend of release. That gave it an $8.01 million total after 12 days in theaters.

The Korean Film Council has picked Escape from Mogadishu, an action drama from director Ryoo Seung-wan, to represent South Korea at the 2022 Academy Awards in the Best International Feature category. The drama, which has been a box office hit in Korea, is based on the true story of South and North Korean diplomats based in Somalia who put aside their political differences and joined forces to try and escape the country when civil war broke out there in the early 1990s.

The game was a trending topic on Chinese social media on October 8, when it was released a day after the “Golden Week” holiday celebrating National Day ended. It was also the most downloaded game on Apple’s App Store. Wild Rift’s launch in China has taken longer than anticipated after receiving a license for release back in February. Tencent delayed the game’s launch last month after Beijing again targeted the industry by demanding companies take more stringent measures to enforce anti-addiction features.

Tencent acquired 22% of equity in Polish game developer Bloober Team at a price of $19.5 million. With this deal, Tencent replaces Polish investment firm Rockbridge TFI to become the gaming company’s largest shareholder. Bloober Team was established in 2008 and is currently working on a number of new projects, including a new Layers of Fear game.

FunPlus Phoenix (FPX) and Marvel Entertainment announced a partnership that will span co-branded apparel, merchandise, supplies, esports-focused gaming peripherals, and other initiatives related to FPX and Marvel’s lineup of superheroes. Seven of FPX’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL) players were highlighted in an announcement video.

The Baidu-JOYY deal would be the latest multi-billion-dollar transaction to stumble amid China’s broad crackdown on private companies, notably those in the internet sector, as Beijing seeks to control big data and break down monopolistic practices. A failure of the Baidu deal could cast a shadow over a separate planned transaction to take Nasdaq-listed JOYY private that would have valued it at up to $8 billion. The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) – China’s antitrust regulator said in a report in early September that it is conducting anti-monopoly reviews of 11 transactions, including Baidu’s acquisition of YY Live, following its block on Tencent’s $5.3 billion plan to merge the country’s top two videogame streaming sites Huya and DouYu.

South Korea’s video streaming service Tving is set to easily draw new funding to boost its corporate valuation to around $1.5 billion amid increased attention on Squid Game through Netflix backing and stream servicing. Tving has picked Nomura Securities to lead-manage sales of 300 billion won ($252.2 million) in new shares and is in talks with multiple private equity funds at home and abroad, according to sources from the investment banking industry on Wednesday. Some tech companies are also reported of showing interest.

Universal Studios Japan has teamed up with the Pokémon Company to develop “groundbreaking” entertainment starting in 2022. The theme park is effectively doubling down on its Nintendo-related attractions in the park, following the opening of Super Nintendo World and the announcement of a new Donkey Kong expansion.

Japanese network Tokyo Broadcasting System has announced a partnership with Netflix for streaming TBS content, including new shows, with nearly simultaneous international release. The partners are starting off with Japan Sinks: People of Hope, a TBS drama series that starts airing on Oct. 10. Netflix will stream episodes to its subscribers three hours after broadcast on TBS.