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Iconic film producer, Nansun Shi has resigned from the board of Bona Film Group, the integrated film company that she helped float on the NASDAQ exchange two years ago. She will be replaced on the board by News Corp China boss Dr Jack Gao.
The company also reported a swing towards profitability in its normally quiet second quarter.
Shi, who produced Bona's hits Flying Swords of Dragon Gate and Detective Dee, is expected to move into an advisory role at the firm and will remain on its investment committee. A former juror on the Cannes and Berlin festivals and at the APSA awards, Shi, previously produced breakout Hong Kong film series Infernal Affairs.
A former executive at Microsoft and software developer Autodesk, Gao was also head of emerging markets at investment firm Walden International.
News Corp took a 20% minority stake in Bona earlier this year when it bought shares from company founder, CEO and chairman Yu Dong.
For the three months April-June 2012 Bona reported net profits of $500,000, compared to a net loss of $900,000 in the equivalent quarter last year. Net revenues were up 24% to $20.7 million. The company said the improvement reflected the opening of its new theatres, which allow it to benefit from film releases other than its own. In the quarter it released three small films Snowfall In Taipei, Malaysian animation Seefood and US import The Three Musketeers.
At the end of the half it had 14 cinemas in operation and said it was on course to open 12 by the end of 2012.
The rest of the year will also see releases of Naked Weapon (17 July), The Lion Roars 2 (17 Aug), The Cold Light of Day (now shifted from the third quarter to the fourth), The Last Tycoon (which wrapped production in early July and will release in December), The Storm in 11 Days as well as Wong Kar-wai's The Grandmasters in December.
Flying Swords gets a North American release at the end of this month (31 Aug) through IMAX and Indomina Releasing. Given a platform release on 15 IMAX screens, its outing will then expand to simultaneously include 3-D screens in conventional cinemas and US video-on demand outlets. VoD is expected to be the main revenue earner.
Source: Film Business Asia
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