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Oriental DreamWorks Sets Shanghai Base

Oriental DreamWorks, the joint venture set up by DreamWorks Animation and a state-backed Chinese consortium, will be the flagship company at a new media center under development in Shanghai's West Bank Media Port.

SHANGHAI, CHINA -- Oriental DreamWorks, the joint venture set up by DreamWorks Animation and a state-backed Chinese consortium, will be the flagship company at a new media center under development in Shanghai's West Bank Media Port.

According to a report from Variety, the announcement was made last week at a Shanghai press conference by the district’s culture bureau chief Chen Chengquan. The local government aims to transform the 47-acre site, located in Xuhui district on the west bank of the Huangpu River, into a landmark cultural center for film and TV production and entertainment venue that will include cinemas, restaurants, bars and theaters. Discussions with Sony Pictures and Hong Kong-based TV company TVB are also apparently in the works.

Oriental DreamWorks, formed by DreamWorks Animation and a trio of state-backed companies, China Media Capital, Shanghai Media Group and Shanghai Alliance Investment, will make animated and live-action content for distribution in China and globally.

With a preliminary investment of $330 million in cash and intellectual property, according to an announcement made in February, the Chinese companies hold a majority stake of 55 percent, while DreamWorks Animation owns 45 percent.

The goal is to release one animated film a year starting in 2016, and two annually after 2018, building on DreamWorks' strength in the region, where Kung Fu Panda 2 brought in roughly $100 million, making it the highest-grossing animated film in the region.

Shanghai Media Group is the second largest media conglomerate in China, operating TV and radio channels, newspapers, magazines, new-media businesses and home shopping networks. Shanghai Alliance Investment, an arm of the Shanghai municipal government, focuses on high-tech and financial sectors.

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