Dreamworks Animation SKG Inc., creator of the well-loved giant panda and its martial arts friends in "Kung Fu Panda," together with its Chinese joint venture Oriental Dreamworks, is poised to invest some $3.1 billion to create a theme park in Shanghai which it expects to launch in 2016.
Kung Fu Panda premiered in the United States on June 6, 2008, and has since received very favorable reviews from critics and most of the movie-going public, including Chinese audiences who were impressed with the film's faithfulness to their culture. (Wikipedia)
At the same time, the firms announced on Tuesday it will likewise cooperate in producing "Kung Fu Panda 3," expected to be released worldwide in 2017.
The theme park, called The Dream Center, is esteemed to rival New York's Broadway and London's East End. It will have theaters, shops, restaurants and hotels.
"We have formed what we think is a very valuable strategic partnership to make world-class feature animation," Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks, told a news conference in Shanghai on Tuesday. "We're very confident that the creative talent exists here in China. We're very enthusiastic about building a studio."
"Without question, China has what is needed to make great animation film ... this is a perfect fit for us at DreamWorks."
The Dream Center will be located in the Xuhui district of Shanghai.
Oriental Dreamworks is composed of China Media Capital, Shanghai Media Group and Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd. DreamWorks Animation controls 45 per cent of Oriental Dreamworks.
"Kung Fu Panda 3' will be a sequel to the 2011 and 2008 films, which combined generated more than $600 million each in worldwide ticket sales, according to Bloomberg News, citing data from industry tracker Box Office Mojo.
The Dream Center was a culmination of a pronouncement in February of which the creator of "Shrek" and "Kung Fu Panda" said it wants to build a production studio in Shanghai with some of China's biggest media companies.
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