Oriental DreamWorks, the new joint venture production studio based in the Xuhui district of Shanghai, opened its doors Monday in an unveiling ceremony where future business plans were discussed for the first time.
The studio is a joint venture between DreamWorks Animation, China Media Capital, the Shanghai Media Group and Shanghai Alliance Investment. The Chinese companies will hold a majority 55 percent stake in the studio with DreamWorks Animation controlling the remaining 45 percent.
"Together with China Media Capital and our other joint venture partners, I am very pleased to establish Oriental DreamWorks in Xuhui in order to bring a high-quality, multi-media cultural and entertainment center to the area,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive officer, DreamWorks Animation. “Today's signing ceremony is a historic milestone that represents tremendous and ever-growing opportunities for Oriental DreamWorks."
Oriental DreamWorks’ logo–a panda fishing from a red moon for dreams–was unveiled at the ceremony.
The new entertainment hub will focus primarily on film and television content production and expects to bring in more than 2,000 Chinese professionals over the next few years to create animated content featuring Chinese cultural elements.
One of Oriental DreamWorks’ first projects will be Kung Fu Panda 3, a co-production with DreamWorks Animation that will be based in China. The film, expected for 2016, will be the first Hollywood animated feature to be co-produced with a Chinese firm. Oriental’s first solo feature is expected to follow shortly thereafter, in 2017.
"The Chinese film industry has been growing at a rate of more than 30 percent per year, which makes China a vital region of international film consumption," says Pimin Zhang, deputy director-general of China’s State Administration of Radio Film and Television. "Oriental DreamWorks is a creative exploration of Chinese and foreign cultural exchanges. Our shared dream is to make full use of precious cultural resources, develop a world-class production team, create world-class animated films and thus contribute to the exchange of Chinese culture throughout the world."
Eventually Oriental DreamWorks hopes to release one to three films each year and plans explore the full range of business extensions available for those films from consumer products to live entertainment.
Oriental DreamWorks also announced plans for a cultural and entertainment destination called the Dream Center, planned to open in Xuhui in 2016. The dream-themed entertainment center hopes to be an "Oriental paradise for all dream seekers." It will include Dream Walk, the world's largest IMAX screen, a central theater area, an interactive animation exhibition, as well as hotels, restaurants, shopping and galleries.