Secret Weapon for New ‘Mission: Impossible’ in China: Alibaba

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Secret Weapon for New ‘Mission: Impossible’ in China: Alibaba

Alibaba Pictures has teamed up once again with Paramount Pictures as an investor and official promotional partner for the most-recent Tom Cruise’s action thriller series, “Mission: Impossible,” which debuts in China Aug. 31.

The sixth installment in the spy franchise, “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” is already off to a strong start, amassing $153 million worldwide in its first weekend, including a franchise-best $61.5 million at the North American box office and $94.6 million from 36 international markets, Variety reported. As of Tuesday, July 31st the international box office on this film has surpassed $100 million, representing only 40% of the international footprint.

As an official marketing partner for the summer blockbuster, Alibaba Pictures, the film financing and production arm of Alibaba Group, is a key component of both digital and in-theater promotional campaigns. Alibaba Pictures is also supporting ticket sales through its online movie-ticketing platform Taopiaopiao. Alibaba’s vast ecosystem offers Paramount exposure to more than 500 million consumers on its platforms, such as the online marketplace Taobao, video-streaming hub Youku and digital wallet Alipay.

Movie poster for “Mission: Impossible – Fallout.”

Alibaba Pictures will promote “Fallout” through mobile ads and splash screens across that ecosystem, such as it did in 2015, when it led online marketing for “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.” The movie went on to gross $682 million at the worldwide box office.

The management of these kinds of wide-scale marketing plans for numerous platforms used by the industry is expected to be made easier with the help of Beacon, Alibaba Picture’s new data-driven solution unveiled in April, the company said.

Li Jie, senior vice president of Alibaba Pictures and CEO of Taopiaopiao, described Beacon as a one-stop shop of services to help film producers maximize efficiencies in advertising, performance monitoring and analyzing consumer metrics, such as using heat-mapping technology to better understand foot traffic in movie theaters.

“The Mission: Impossible franchise has a proven track record with international audiences—including China—with whom the universal themes and heart-stopping action resonates,” said Wei Zhang, president of Alibaba Pictures. “We are excited to continue to work with and support Paramount on this next installment.”

“This is a franchise that has always been close to our hearts at Alibaba Pictures, because those themes it represents—undertaking challenges and moving boldly into the future in spite of the odds—resonate not only with our audiences but also with our own company values,” Zhang added.

China’s box-office sales are among the fastest-growing in the world. The country is expected to surpass North America in 2020 as the world’s biggest film market in box-office revenue and audience numbers, according to consulting firm Deloitte.

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