Hollywood comes to the mainland

Carrie Lee

KADOMA, the equal joint venture formed by Mandarin Dragon Holdings and Win's Music and Video Enterprises, plans to spend $10 million to make 52 tele-movies within the next 12 months for worldwide distribution.

It expects to make about $300,000 from the overseas distribution of each tele-movie with additional income from the mainland market.

''Tele-movies are now very popular in China. People would watch a video up to five times,'' said Mandarin Dragon spokesman Tony Yeung.

Kadoma will spend another $5 million to build film studio in China, including five indoor sets and an outdoor street set, to lease to Hongkong and Taiwanese film-makers.

It plans to lease the studio, equipment and mainland martial art directors at a 30 per cent discount to their Hongkong counterparts.

''Now more and more people come to China to shoot pictures. This will prove a lucrative business,'' Mr Yeung said.

Kadoma is also negotiating with a state-owned investment company to set up 300 laser disc cinemas with video rental outlets in China within two years.

Total investment for the project is $100 million, of which Kadoma will contribute 45 per cent.

Kadoma will put up $5 million as initial investment while the balance of $40 million will be lent by the joint-venture partner.

The joint venture estimates that every laser disc cinema will mean an investment of $600,000, with return period expected to be nine months to a year.

Contracts have yet to be signed for this venture but the Hongkong company has agreed to supply films and know-how.

''It is our film supply that the mainland partner likes. Mainlanders don't have access to foreign films as readily as Hongkong people do,'' Mr Yeung said.

Another $10 million will be used as reserves and for operating costs.