• 2016 BET Experience - FAN FEST Roaming - Day 1

2016 BET Experience - FAN FEST Roaming - Day 1 (Photo : Getty Images/Paras Griffin)

Viacom CEO Bob Bakish said on Thursday that the $1 billion investment by the Shanghai Film Group and Hua Media on the movies that Paramount would produce over the next three years is on track. One movie in the pipeline is a “SpongeBob” film, Cyma Zarghami, chief of Nickelodeon, said.

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Hiking Expense Cover

Bakish said the $1 billion investment of the two Chinese entertainment companies could be raised to increase cover of expenses to 30 percent instead of the original 25 percent, Deadline Hollywood reported. There is also an option to extend the agreement by adding one more year after the third year ends.

If the Chinese companies would hike the commitment to 30 percent of expenses, it would be an upside for the company’s finances in 2017, Wade Davis, CFO of Viacom, said. “There may or not be impact in the forward years,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bakish said that Nickelodeon is a good example of the company’s new strategy it began to pursue when he took over as CEO. The strategy involves focusing on flagship brands, developing the brands into international players, pursuing an aggressive programming strategy, developing with Paramount branded films, and building out opportunities for licensing, merchandising and retail.

New “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” Animated Series

The Nickelodeon approach would be Viacom’s blueprint for its other businesses. Besides the production of another “SpongeBob” movie, Zarghami said that Nickelodeon would lay the groundwork for the launch in 2018 of an all-new animated series for “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Other films being developed as Nickelodeon series are “Henry Danger” and “The Loud House.” She added Nickelodeon is also developing more merchandising products and in-person experiences such as a theme park. It also created an entertainment lab which is a technology incubator that experiments with virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence.