DreamWorks Animation and its Chinese joint venture partners plan to open a theme park in Shanghai by 2016, with a total investment amount of 20 billion yuan ($3.14 billion), the companies announced Tuesday in the Chinese city, Reuters reported. DreamWorks and partners China Media Capital, Shanghai Media Group and Shanghai Alliance Investment will also cooperate on the production of Kung Fu Panda 3 in 2016, the companies said. Oriental DreamWorks said it plans to distribute King Fu Panda 3 worldwide in 2017. DreamWorks announced in February that it would create an Oriental DreamWorks joint venture to produce animated and live-action content. “Without question, China has what is needed to make great animation film … this is a perfect fit for us at DreamWorks,” DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said. “We’re very enthusiastic about building a studio” which he said would be the foundation for the entire development. Oriental DreamWorks’ goal is to release one to three movies a year, according to Bloomberg.
The Dream Center theme park will be located in the Xuhui district of Shanghai, said Li Ruigang, Chairman of China Media Capital. The Dream Center is to include theaters, shops, restaurants and hotels. The investment gives Dreamworks Animation a footprint in the fast-growing China market, where ticket sales rose 35% last year to $2 billion, according to the Motion Picture Association of America. DreamWorks Animation owns about 45% of Oriental DreamWorks, with the rest held by the joint venture partners. China Media Capital, whose owners include state-run China Development Bank, owns a controlling stake in News Corp.’s China television channels and other assets. Shanghai Media Group operates television and radio broadcasters. Shanghai Alliance Investment is an arm of the Shanghai government. They are also seeking partners in financing for the Dream Center entertainment complex, which the companies’ joint announcement said would include the world’s largest IMAX screen. Katzenberg said its project will be “complementary” to the Disney park.