Rumour: DreamWorks wants to open studio in China

15 September 2011 22 h 26 min 11 comments

Some reports in China and States indicate DreamWorks wants to open an animation studio in Shanghai to make films and shows for the Chinese market. It seems that the animation giant is looking into building an animation studio in Shanghai that would make films and TV shows for the Chinese market and has started to hire staff.

Glendale-based DreamWorks, whose “Kung Fu Panda” movies have been big hits in China, has hired RSR Recruiting to find staff for the production studio, “which wants to “establish a production and develop presence in China”, reported the Los Angeles Times. DreamWorks officials haven’t commented to media on the news, which was first reported in Agence France-Presse news service and industry publication Variety.

“As it is an important market for us and one in which the DreamWorks Animation brand and products have tremendous value, we continue to explore opportunities in China. But Any further speculation is premature” a DreamWorks spokeswoman told the L.A. Times.

The “Kung Fu Panda” movies were made with a Chinese audience in mind and the second in the franchise became the highest-grossing animated feature ever screened in mainland China when it was released this year, taking 597 million yuan ($93 million).

At the end of August, DreamWorks struck a deal with Chinese Internet-video company Inc. to distribute its “Kung Fu Panda” movies, the first time the studio’s films would be available online in China. (See ARTICLE on CSN²)

DreamWorks chairman Lewis Coleman met with the state-run China Film Group in Beijing two weeks ago, a source who asked not to be named told AFP. Foreign media companies setting up shop in China must work with local majority partners and are subject to strict regulations about the sort of content they are allowed to produce for distribution inside the country.

Following other US studios

DreamWorks is not the first US Studio to explore the exploding Chinese film market. Some US studios recently announced new Chinese initiatives

. In August, independent studio Relativity Media   formed a partnership with China’s Huaxia Film Distribution Co. and SkyLand Film-Television Culture Development to produce and distribute films in both China and the United States.
 (See ARTICLE on CSN²)

. In June, Legendary Pictures formed a Hong Kong-based venture with Chinese studio Huayi Brothers Media Corp. to make movies in China. (See ARTICLE on CSN²)

SOURCES: LA Times, AFP, Biz Journals,


. “DreamWorks Animation plans to open studio in China” (LA Times, September 14, 2011)

. “DreamWorks in China” (WSJ, 14/09/2011)

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