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With Transformers: Age Of Extinction opening on Friday, it would seem nothing can stop Optimus Prime and company from dominating worldwide box offices once again. Well, that is unless a property developer out of Beijing has anything to say about it.
Yahoo reports on one of the strangest lawsuits this site has seen. Beijing Pangu Investment Co. Ltd is suing its business partners and demanding Paramount Pictures edit Transformers: Age Of Extinction before it plays in China. This company owns a dragon-shaped hotel called Pangu Plaza, and their complaint alleges that some of their properties and logos are on display in the latest Transformers movie. That was all well and good as long as Transformers: Age Of Extinction held its premiere at their dragon-shaped flagship and featured the hotel in their advertising. As neither has occurred (the film's world premiere kicked off in Hong Kong last Thursday), Beijing Pangu Investment Co. Ltd is imploring the Chinese government to stall the theatrical release of Transformers: Age Of Extinction until it's revised to cut out all logos and properties belonging to this allegedly wronged developer.
As I have neither seen Transformers: Age Of Extinction yet nor have a great deal of insight into the holdings of Beijing Pangu Investment Co. Ltd, I can't begin to estimate how heavily the film would need to be revised to appease this Chinese company. But as Pangu Plaza is said to extrend the length of six football fields and has a distinctive look, I suspect American audiences will easily be able to pick out the contested scenes when it hits theaters this weekend.
Here's an image of Pangu Plaza, which is a hotel, office and mall complex. Saying it's shaped like a dragon seems like an overstatement to me.
The lawsuit essentially boils down to how Beijing Pangu Investment Co. Ltd expected to profit off of Transformers: Age Of Extinction, which is--they expected lots of international promotion through the film's marketing. For this--and presumably their properties' inclusion in the movie--they paid $1.6 million in funding. In a statement regarding the lawsuit that is aimed at the company's Chinese partners, Beijing Pangu Investment Co. Ltd explains: "The loss of rights and interests not only caused the Pangu company’s original business plan to fail, incurring huge losses, more seriously, it has affected Pangu Plaza’s image and reputation."
Of course, I don't see how cutting their brand and buildings out of Transformers: Age Of Extinction in the Chinese version helps their cause of getting the brand of Pangu Plaza out there. Unless they are scrambling to get extra headlines any way possible. Hey, you probably wouldn't have heard about Pangu Plaza any other way today, right?
Transformers: Age Of Extinction opens in the U.S.--and for now in China--on June 27th.
Photo Credit: Pangu Hotel