Dalian Wanda woos Hollywood filmmakers to China

Dalian Wanda woos Hollywood filmmakers to China

Dalian Wanda cinemaImage copyright
AFP

China’s Dalian Wanda has said it will give foreign movie and TV firms huge discounts to film at their new studio.

The firm has set up a five-year, $750m (£613m) fund with the Qingdao government to give rebates of up to 40%.

Wanda, owned by China’s richest person Wang Jianlin, aims to woo Hollywood directors to China.

It’s another step to boost its Hollywood footprint after investing in cinema chains and a production studio.

At the announcement in Los Angeles, Wanda also called for more co-operation between US and Chinese filmmakers.

‘Chinese tastes’

Wanda’s Qingdao Movie Metropolis site opened its first studios earlier this month and is scheduled for completion in 2018.

“This is an opportunity for Hollywood, not a competition for Hollywood,” Wang Jianlin said in Los Angeles.

He predicted that by 2018, China’s box office will match the biggest – the United States and Canada – and grow by around 15% each year for the next decade.

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AFP

Image caption

Wang Jianlin has called for more collaboration between China and Hollywood

This trend would mean that directors need to have “Chinese elements” to their movies, Wang explained.

“You cannot try to just make money in the Chinese market and disregard Chinese tastes.”

Global ambitions

Dalian Wanda has been on the forefront of Chinese companies investing in the international movie business and in particular in Hollywood.

Wanda is the world’s biggest movie theatre operator, owning AMC Entertainment and Carmike in the US and Odeon and UCI cinemas in the UK.

Earlier this year, the company bought Legendary Entertainment, the US studio behind blockbusters such as Jurassic World, the Batman Dark Knight trilogy and Godzilla.

Legendary will film the sequels to “Pacific Rim” and “Godzilla” at the new studio, Wanda said, adding that Lions Gate Entertainment and others have also agreed to shoot there.

Wanda has also recently announced a major investment in Sony Pictures.

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Getty Images

Image caption

Legendary can count The Dark Knight Rises as one of its biggest cinema successes


Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda

Wang Jianlin was born in 1954 and spent 16 years in the People’s Liberation Army before moving into property.

He founded Wanda in 1988 and built it up to become China’s biggest commercial real estate firm.

Wanda’s expanding entertainment and tourism sector spans movie cinemas, theme parks and film production.

In China, Wanda is competing with Disney’s Shanghai and Hong Kong resorts, building its own chain of huge family theme parks.

As well as scooping up entertainment and movie companies, the Chinese giant has picked up a slew of other foreign companies with a focus on investing in hotels and big foreign brands – including luxury British yacht maker, Sunseeker.


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