Qingdao is poised to become a Hollywood of the East of sorts with plans for the world’s largest film studio to built along the coast in the Huangdao Development Zone. The announcements come ahead of the official launch of the project which was celebrated with a party in Qingdao attended by Leonardo DiCaprio, John Travolta, and other film stars. The move is said to signal the movie making business’s pivot to the East as China’s theaters continue to realize huge box office numbers for Hollywood’s major studios.
According to the Wanda website, stars in attendance at the ceremony to open the Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis: Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Kidman, John Travolta, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Christoph Waltz, Kate Beckinsale, and Ewan McGregor; and famous Chinese movie stars Zhang Ziyi, Jet Li, Tony Leung, Donnie Yen, Zhao Wei and Huang Xiaoming.
The Beijing Film Academy built the Qingdao School of Creative Media in Xuejiadao, across Jiaozhou Bay from downtown Qingdao, in 2006. More details on Wanda boss Wang Jianlin’s plans for Qingdao and China’s film industry below.
China’s richest man is taking a $5 billion bet that the country’s box office will overtake that of the United States in the next five years and double it by 2023, as he builds the world’s biggest film studio and resort complex in the coastal city of Qingdao.
Wang Jianlin made the bullish prediction ahead of the official launch of the mega-property development on Sunday, which will be attended by major Hollywood studio heads and film stars including Nicole Kidman and Leonardo Di Caprio.
His company Wanda Group said it had signed agreements with a number of film studios and talent agencies to have about 30 foreign movies produced at the facility every year, on top of 100 local films.
Wanda also said the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has signed an agreement supporting an annual Qingdao International Film Festival every September starting from 2016. Mr Wang said in a statement that it would be one of the world’s top international film festivals within three to five years.
The support from the Academy comes after Wanda announced earlier this month it had donated $US20 million ($21.27 million) to the organisation’s film museum.
Wanda claims the 30 billion yuan ($5.2 billion) it is spending on Qingdao’s “Oriental Movie Metropolis” is the world’s biggest ever investment in a film studio complex. It will include a film and television industrial park, a wax museum, an indoor water park and seven hotel resorts.
China’s Richest Man Bets On Beating Hollywood