DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., looking to boost its presence in a fast-growing market, signed deals with Chinese partners to build a $350 million movie studio in Shanghai and help design an entertainment complex meant to capitalize on the success in China of its "Kung Fu Panda" film franchise.
Under Tuesday's deal, the Oriental DreamWorks studio will be 45% owned by the Glendale, Calif.-based animation company, with the remainder held by media-related companies controlled by the Shanghai government. The entertainment zone—featuring attractions like the world's largest IMAX theater and music venues—could lift the total investment to $3.14 billion, to be largely funded in China.
The foundation of the arrangement is an animation studio to produce films for global distribution, DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said in an interview. "The talent must exist here in China if only they had the knowledge, training and opportunity," he said.