The third installment of DreamWorks Animation’s Panda series, “Kung Fu Panda 3″ will be made in China as a co-production with DWA, a new Chinese joint venture announced Monday.
This is the first time that any major Hollywood animated feature film has been co-produced with a Chinese firm.
Kung Fu Panda 3, set for global release in 2017, will be the first animated feature to be produced by Shanghai-based Oriental DreamWorks. The entertainment firm was launched in February to develop and produce Chinese animated and live-action material for distribution in China and worldwide.
“Without question, China has what is needed to make great animation film.… this is a perfect fit for us at DreamWorks,” DWA CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg told a news conference.
Oriental DreamWorks is a joint venture between Glendale, California-based DWA and China’s three largest media companies, China Media Capital, Shanghai Media Group and Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd.
Major Hollywood co-productions with China include the live-action The Expendables 2 and the upcoming Iron Man 3 from Disney/Marvel Studios.
Oriental DreamWorks announced the co-production during a ceremony marking the opening of its Shanghai headquarters.
The joint venture added that it will invest $3.14 billion (20 billion yuan) to open “Dream Center,” a shopping, dining and entertainment hub, in the Xuhui district of Shanghai. It’s scheduled to launch by 2016. China Media Capital chairman Li Ruigang said he hoped that it would become the Chinese equivalent of New York’s Broadway or London’s West End.
Last year, the Walt Disney Company broke ground on its planned Shanghai Disneyland. The Shanghai theme park is estimated to cost 24.5 billion yuan, with hotels and other facilities costing an additional 4.5 billion yuan.