DMG invests $230 million in China theaters with Korean Volton

2011/10/8 11:37:00 (Beijing Time)   Source:CSN2    By:
According to Variety, L.A. and Beijing-based DMG Entertainment has unveiled a $230 million theater chain investment with Korean hedge fund Volton for the booming China market that will dovetail with its new $300 million fund to bring co-production tentpoles to China.

“The ultimate issue, whatever you call the box you package it in, is that studio films are making a lot of money here in China and are not able to collect. Access and relevancy are the two key issues,” DMG topper Dan Mintz told Variety. The film fund is $300,000, and the theater investment is $230 million … they are not small numbers,” he said. The theater investment was slightly different, but ultimately is a little bit of a different investment because it’s bricks and mortar.”

Variety explains that the Korean market is saturated, and investors have been looking at China for a long time.  Under the terms of the deal, DMG will refit cinemas in shopping malls, all multiplexes of eight screens or more.

China keeps building more and more theaters, and cinema chain operators reckon that in five years, China will have 60,000 screens. … Last year China added 313 movie theaters and 1,533 new screens for a total of just over 6,200 screens. The building of cinemas has combined with the boom in shopping mall construction in China to result in the construction of around three new 450-seat theaters every day — a whopping figure when you consider that around three-quarters of Chinese cities still don’t have decent theaters.

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