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China’s Dalian Wanda Group Corp. is planning to establish a $163 million (1 billion yuan) annual fund to attract movie producers for its yet-to-be-completed mega studio project Oriental Movie Metropolis the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
The Oriental Movie Metropolis has been dubbed the ‘Chinese Hollywood’ for its ambitious scope and the plans for it to be a center for TV and film production in China. Located in coastal city of Qingdao, Oriental Movie Metropolis was announced with much fanfare last year as Hollywood A-listers Leonardo Di Caprio, Catherine Zeta Jones and Nicole Kidman attend the ground-breaking ceremony. Movie execs such as Sony serior vp Ralph Alexander and then international division president of Universal Pictures David Kosse were also in attendance at the ceremony.
Wanda’s billionaire chairman, Wang Jianlin, who has made aggressive commercial and property moves in the entertainment industry as well as flirting with the idea of acquiring a Hollywood production house, said the planned fund would work with the private sector to recreate Hollywood in China. Wang added that the Qingdao district government would provide subsidies of up to 10% of any production studio’s annual revenue.
Wang has said in the past that Oriental Movie Metropolis will be the largest studio in the world, and he intimated that he is fully prepared to back the project to success. “The Oriental Movie Metropolis will certainly succeed,” he said.
The Journal reported that a number of Hollywood players were in the room at the announcement of the planned fund including Weinstein Co. COO David Glasser, deal maker John Sloss and the Zhang Qiang, the new head of the Alibaba Pictures Group.
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