Could China really be the world leader in film production?
Nicole Kidman, one of the world's biggest actresses, attended a star-studded event in Qingdao on Sunday (September 22, 2013) where China's richest man announced plans to spend 50 billion yuan on the country's own version of Hollywood.
Iron Man 3 Was Partially Filmed in China
Wang Jianlin's red carpet event underlined China's ambitions to become the world's biggest box-office and capital of the entertainment industry. Kidman was joined by Ewan McGregor, Catherine Zeta-Jones, John Travolta and Leonardo Dicaprio who rubbed shoulders with Chinese stars Zhang Ziyi, Tony Leung and Jet Li, according to MSN's 9News.
It was tribute to Wang's powers of persuasion that he managed to land several A-list actors, given the Emmy awards was being held on the same day in Los Angeles.
The tycoon said his company, Dalian Wanda Group, will build a state of the art film studio complex to capitalize on China's rapidly growing movie market. It would include 20 studios, a permanent underwater studio and a 10,000 square-metre stage that Wang says would be the biggest in the world. The facility will also house an Imax research and development centre, cinemas and China's biggest wax museums.
Iron Man 3 Is The Second Biggest Grossing Movie of the Year In China
Set to be fully operational by June 2017, China's very own Hollywood will also boast a yacht marina, eight hotels and a theme park to attract tourists. It's all very well, but what does it all matter if the place isn't going to attract the big movies? Well...
The company says it has signed preliminary deals with "a number of global film and television giants and talent agencies" to shoot about 30 foreign films a year.
Echoing various industry commentators, Wang predicted China's film market would be the world's biggest within five years.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, China's box office sales totalled $1.79 billion in the first six months of 2013, a 36.2 per cent year on year increase. The top three films were Stephen Chow's adventure comedy Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons ($204 million), Marvel's Iron Man 3, which was partially shot in the country ($123 million) and the romantic comedy So Young ($117 million).