* Aims to open theme park by 2016
* DreamWorks, JV partners to produce "Kung Fu Panda 3"
* Hollywood firms increasingly look to China for growth
SHANGHAI, Aug 7 DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc
and its Chinese joint venture partners will open a theme
park in Shanghai by 2016, with a total investment amount of 20
billion yuan ($3.14 billion), the companies said on Tuesday.
The creator of "Shrek," together with its joint venture
partners -- China Media Capital, Shanghai Media Group and
Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd -- will also cooperate to
produce "Kung Fu Panda 3" in 2016, the joint venture said in a
"Without question, China has what is needed to make great
animation film ... this is a perfect fit for us at DreamWorks,"
Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks, told a news conference.
A sharp rise in China's box office revenues, backed by a
moneyed middle-class willing to pay top prices for a trip to the
cinema, is luring Hollywood to one of its largest untapped
Walt Disney Co broke ground on its planned Shanghai
Disneyland last year. Its Shanghai theme park is estimated to
cost 24.5 billion yuan, with hotels and additional facilities
costing another 4.5 billion yuan.
In May, News Corp agreed to buy a stake in Chinese
movie distributor Bona Film Group Ltd.
DreamWorks' theme park, Dream Centre, will be located in the
Xuhui district of Shanghai, said Li Ruigang, Chairman of China
Media Capital said, adding he hoped it would become China's
Broadway or West End.
DreamWorks announced in February it will create a China JV
called Oriental Dreamworks that will develop and produce Chinese
animated and live-action content for distribution within China
and around the globe.