Beijing firm rowed with Hollywood studio over featuring office building in 'Transformers'

Two sides resolved dispute over sponsorship placement in the blockbuster

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 June, 2014, 1:00pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 June, 2014, 6:06pm

Hollywood movie giant Paramount Pictures and a Chinese company have resolved a dispute over a sponsorship deal that had threatened to disrupt the release of the blockbuster Transformers: Age of Extinction.

Beijing Pangushi Investment last week demanded changes to the film because it said Paramount did not meet its obligations to feature its property in the movie and reneged on terms of a sponsorship deal.

At issue was whether the movie would prominently feature Pangushi's dragon-shaped high-rise office tower in one of the scenes.

The Beijing firm said it was revoking permission to show its buildings in Age of Extinction, which is expected to become one of the highest-grossing movies of the year.

A Paramount spokeswoman yesterday said the issues had been resolved without any edits to the film and the movie would debut in worldwide cinemas as scheduled on Friday. Paramount is a unit of Viacom.

The movie had its glittering, red-carpet premiere in Hong Kong on June 19, with stars such as Mark Wahlberg and Li Bingbing in attendance.

The Beijing company, in a statement on its website yesterday, said it had been in touch with Paramount and both sides “expressed willingness to suitably resolve the issue of screening the film in China”.

The parties reached an understanding after friendly consultations, Beijing Pangushi said.

On June 18, the Beijing firm said it terminated its contract with Paramount and that any images featuring the company’s building should be deleted from the film or its marketing materials.

A Paramount spokesman had responded, saying Pangu Plaza, owned by the Beijing investment firm, had a “prominent placement in Transformers 4 and it looks beautiful on screen”.

“We regret that Pangu is not currently satisfied with certain aspects of our collaboration and are working to resolve its concerns,” the spokesman said.

Partly shot in Hong Kong and mainland China, Age of Extinction is the fourth instalment in the blockbuster Transformers series.

Filming had its fair share of upsets in China, with director Michael Bay getting attacked by a man wielding an air conditioner while the crew were filming in Hong Kong.

The attacker was infuriated by a failed attempt to extort HK$100,000 from Bay for locations fees. The man was jailed and Bay shrugged off the incident, saying he had a great experience in Hong Kong, which he described as a "visual city".


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