With hopes of attracting film producers to China, the Dalian Wanda Group Corp has announced its intention to set up an annual fund to the value of 1 billion yuan for the production of television programs and films at its planned Oriental Movie Metropolis in Qingdao, Shangdong Province. The district government of Qingdao will also be offering subsidies to filmmakers using the studios. The announcement was made by chairman of the real estate and entertainment corporation, and one of China’s richest men, Wang Jianlin, at a meeting attended by a host of studio executives and film producers, including chief operating officer of Weinstein Co. David Glasser, and head of Alibaba Group Holding’s production division Zhang Qiang.
In September 2013 Wang Jianlin invited a number of film stars to the launch of the new project, situated midway between Beijing and Shanghai. Among the celebrities who attended the event were Nicole Kidman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Beckinsale, John Travolta, Ewan McGregor, Rob Friedman, Tony Leung, Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Huang Xiaoming, and Zhang Ziyi, to mention a few.
It is anticipated that the studio, which entails an investment of $4.9 billion, will be fully operational by June 2017, with the capacity to produce 130 local and foreign films each year. The studio will also feature a theme park, a wax museum, a film museum, movie theaters and an Imax research lab. Plans for an annual international film festival are also in the pipeline.
The film industry is becoming big business in China as crowds flock to movie theaters to be entertained. At the current rate of growth it is estimated that China's box-office revenue will surpass that of North America by the year 2018, doubling by 2023. Its central location, along with its strong infrastructure, makes the harbor city of Qingdao a good choice for this project. The city's temperate weather, parks, beaches, sculptures, museums and other attractions make it a popular tourist destination, and the Oriental Movie Metropolis will no doubt become one of the top attractions, contributing to Qingdao's economy.
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