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Paramount explores S. Korean park

Studio makes licensing pact with Daewoo

Paramount Licensing Inc. and Daewoo Motor Sales Corp. are exploring the idea of building an $800 million theme part in South Korea featuring characters and attractions from the studio’s library.

Move, however, doesn’t mean that Paramount is getting back into theme park biz entirely.

Pact with Korean-based Daewoo is a licensing deal only, meaning that Par wouldn’t be an investor in the proposed project or provide any money for the development and construction of the park, which is to be located in Incheon, about an hour’s drive from Seoul.

The theme park biz in the U.S. has been rocky in recent years, prompting studios to look overseas — particularly to Asia — for new opportunity.

“We are thrilled to be involved in the development of South Korea’s first international movie studio theme park, Par Licensing exec VP Michael Bartok said. “We have long been interested in this exciting market and look forward to working with our partners on this amazing project.”

Paramount has licensing deals with five theme parks in North America that used to make up the Paramount Parks chain.

Owned and operated by Viacom, Paramount Parks went to CBS when the two companies split. Last year, CBS sold off the theme parks — located in California, Ohio, Toronto, Virginia and on the border of the Carolinas — to Cedar Fair Entertainment.

A feasibility study done by Economics Research Associates calls for the South Korean theme park to entertain more than 5 million guests annually.

In addition to the theme park, the master plan includes a 120-acre resort complex complete with a five-star hotel. Future plans would likely include the construction of a water park.

Under the terms of arrangement between Daewoo and Par, Daewoo will be responsible for raising the financing for the theme park.

In the event that Paramount enters into a licensing agreement, studio will give Daewoo access to its intellectual property library.

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