×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

China’s Wanda Unveils Global Domination Plans

Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Kidman among those attending AMC Theaters owner's studio launch

HONG KONG — China’s Dalian Wanda Group has unveiled plans to become one of the world’s biggest film companies.

At a glitzy ceremony in the port city of Qingdao, attended by top stars from China and Hollywood as well as senior Hollywood executives, Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin broke ground on a new mega studio. He also revealed alliances with Hollywood studios and announced a new film festival.

His $4.9 billion (RMB 30 billion) Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis will include 20 sound stages, including a 10,000 square meter studio complex, 19 smaller, related facilities and a theme park. It is set to open in 2017.

The 200 hectare Film Industry Park will also include several outdoor lots (in European, Ming & Qing dynasty Chinese and Middle Eastern styles), seven hotels, an indoor theme park, an IMAX research laboratory, a massive film exhibition unit capable of hosting a film festival, a film museum and waxworks, as well as a year-round automobile show and a yacht trading center.

Paying tribute to the financial firepower and ambitions of Wanda were Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Kidman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, John Travolta, Kate Beckinsale, Ewan McGregor and Christoph Waltz. A-list Chinese stars included Zhang Ziyi, Jet LiTony Leung, Donnie Yen, Huang Xiaoming and Vicki Zhao. Senior U.S. execs included Weinstein Co. chairman Harvey Weinstein and Lionsgate motion picture bosses Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger.

Wang, recently named by Forbes magazine as China’s richest man with an estimated fortune of $16 billion, said that China will have the world’s largest film industry by 2018. Wanda last year paid $2.6 billion to acquire U.S. cinema chain AMC and last week gave a gift of $20 million to the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences.

The company said that it had struck some 30 agreements with producers and talent agencies including to bring 30 foreign films and 100 local Chinese films per year to the new studio.

Wang said that the Qingdao International Film Festival will be held in the Metropolis’ exhibition area every September from 2016. It will be organized in co-operation with the Academy’s Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who was also in attendance, and China Film Group.

China already has some of the world’s largest studio complexes at Hengdian, a few hours outside Shanghai, and one of the most modern at Huairou, outside Beijing. Other studio complexes have been mooted at Tianjin and Wuxi.

More Biz

  • Jussie Smollett Good Morning America

    Jussie Smollett Angrily Denies Complicity in Attack

    Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett issued a statement Saturday denying that he orchestrated his Jan. 29 assault, and saying he is “angered” and “devastated” by recent developments in the case. Chicago police want to interview Smollett, after learning new evidence from two Nigerian brothers who were released on Friday night. Local media outlets have [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • Colin Kaepernick Kneel

    Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid Reach Settlement With NFL

    Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, two football players who alleged the National Football League colluded to oust them from the game after they started kneeling in protest of racial inequality during the playing of the national anthem, have reached a settlement in the matter, according to a statement from the sports organization and lawyers representing [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Could Be in ‘Big Trouble’ Over Alleged New Sex Tape, Attorney Says

    Strong allegations of sexual misconduct have followed R. Kelly for 25 years, but the singer has always managed to slip free. Yet reports that a videotape of him sexually assaulting an underage girl, combined with the outcry surrounding the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” means that public sentiment, at the very least, is definitely not [...]

  • Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in

    New Media Residuals and Feature Films Contribute to Spike in Writers' Pay

    The outlook for members of the Writers Guild of America has brightened — even amid pervasive uncertainty in the entertainment industry. According to the most recent report to WGA West members, earnings surged 2.8% to $1.41 billion in 2017, thanks mostly to gains in feature films and new-media residuals. Total covered earnings for WGA West [...]

  • Joe Dante Gremlins

    Hollywood Execs Seek Licensing Deals at the New York Toy Fair

    On Feb. 16 more than 30,000 studio executives, buyers and toy company reps will gather in Manhattan for the annual Toy Fair New York, all vying for market share and trying to snag the latest hot trend in a fast-changing industry. Those working the film side of the business will focus much of their attention [...]

  • Lady Gaga Bradley Cooper A Star

    Universal Music Group Fuels 11.3% Rise in Vivendi's 2018 Revenues

    Vivendi’s revenues were up 11.3% to €13.93 billion ($15.7 billion) in 2018, powered by Universal Music Group, which delivered such hits as the “A Star Is Born” soundtrack and Drake’s new album. UMG’s revenues climbed by 10% to €6 billion ($6.8 billion) compared to 2017. On top of the “A Star Is Born” soundtrack, the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content