One of China’s leading film companies DMG, which has co-financed the likes of Iron Man 3, has inked a deal with Hasbro to launch the world’s first live-action Transformers attraction in China. The attraction, with a capacity of 4,500 and set to feature real-life robots as well as spectacular special effects, will likely launch 2017 in an undisclosed Chinese city. It is the first major event to come through DMG Live, a subsid of DMG Entertainment headed up by Dan Mintz, and will be produced by Michael Cohl’s S2BN Entertainment, the live entertainment company behind Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, The Marvel Experience and Rock of Ages.
“Transformers Live will be a cross between an action-adventure spectacle, a theme park attraction and a theatrical show,” said S2BN Entertainment chairman Michael Cohl. “Fans will experience intense action, beautiful visual moments, an emotionally engaging story, lots of humor and rousing music.”
Transformers is hugely popular in China. For a period of time, Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction was China’s top-grossing film ever, earning some $318 million at the Middle Kingdom box office. The studios are hungrily eyeing China for other live action opportunities. Disney is launching the Shanghai Disney Resort in June. Dreamworks Animation has its own $2.4 billion destination opening in Shanghai in 2018 while Universal is aiming to launch its own Beijing-based theme park in 2019. That project is set to cost $3.3 billion.
“Asia and China, in particular, are seeing the highest growth rates and offer the best opportunities for expansion into the LBE business for companies looking to further monetize and leverage premium content,” said DMG in a statement.