Pic to be produced in China in 2016

SHANGHAI — DreamWorks Animation will team up with Chinese partners to co-produce the next installment in the “Kung Fu Panda” franchise, the latest in a swelling number of tie-ups between China and Hollywood.

Kung Fu Panda 3″ will be produced in China in 2016, DreamWorks Animation and its local partners — state-owned China Media Capital, Shanghai Media Group and Shanghai Alliance Investment — told a news conference in Shanghai.

Pic will be produced by the group’s joint venture, Shanghai Oriental DreamWorks Film & Television Technology. DWA will own 45% of the company and the Chinese partners will hold 55%.

The partners are also planning to develop an entertainment district in Shanghai’s Xuhui district, modeled on Broadway or London’s West End.

Backed by an investment of $3.2 billion, the district will include cinemas, theaters, restaurants and tourist attractions, and is due to open in 2016.

Under the link-up, Oriental DreamWorks plans to release one to three films per year and employ up to 2,000 production professionals. They said it aims to become the largest animation production base in China and also will explore opportunities in online games, musicals and consumer products.

The Chinese partners are some of the country’s biggest media operators.

Shanghai Media Group is the second largest media conglom in China, operating TV and radio channels, newspapers, magazines, new-media businesses and home shopping networks.

Shanghai Alliance Investment, an arm of the Shanghai municipal government, focuses on high-tech and financial sectors.

China Media Capital, whose owners include state-run China Development Bank, has a controlling stake in News Corp.’s China TV channels and other assets.

Disney has also announced co-production deals in China. It said in April the third installment in its “Iron Man” franchise would be co-produced with Beijing-based DMG Entertainment. Disney is also building a theme park in Shanghai.

China’s B.O. rose by one-third last year to $2 billion while revenue in North America, though still far larger at $10.2 billion, has fallen for two straight years.

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