DreamWorks Exiting $2.4 Billion Shanghai Dream Center (Report)

2017/5/3 9:51:00 (Beijing Time)   Source:Variety    By:Patrick Frater

DreamWorks Animation has reportedly pulled out of the Dream Center, a massive location-based entertainment venture being built in Shanghai.

The entertainment, dining and shopping complex has a construction cost of $2.4 billion. It is expected to be completed in 2018 under the control of its existing shareholders including China Media Capital, CDB, and Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong group.

The head of Lan Kwai Fong Allan Zeman revealed DreamWorks’ exit in an interview with Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post. DreamWorks Animation and LanKwai Fong have so far not responded to inquiries.

"The Dream in Dream Center doesn’t necessarily have to be with DreamWorks. You have the China Dream too. It just so happens that DreamWorks was there when we named it. It’s a good name, so we will keep it,” Zeman said. “DreamWorks weren’t really involved on a day-to-day basis, so this hasn’t really changed anything for the Shanghai Dream Center.”

The move follows the acquisition of DreamWorks Animation last year by Comcast, the conglomerate that already owns Universal. Since then, Jeffrey Katzenberg has stepped aside. He was both the founder of DWA and a pioneer of DWA’s twin ventures in China — the Dream Center and Oriental DreamWorks — both involving Li Ruigang and China Media Capital.

Variety has previously reported that Comcast has held talks to sell its 45% stake in the Oriental DreamWorks animation production joint venture to CMC.

Comcast’s takeover of DreamWorks Animation was investigated last year by Chinese competition authorities on possible monopoly grounds. Chinese authorities did not reveal whether the animation production operations of Oriental DreamWorks or Comcast’s location based entertainment facilities was the focus of the probe. Universal Parks & Resorts has begun construction of a theme park that is expected to open in 2020 near Beijing.

Walt Disney opened its Shanghai Disney Resort in June of last year. Amid a tourism and travel boom in China, the park quickly attracted criticism from Dalian Wanda, a powerful local competitor which is building its own parks and attractions across China.

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