China's Richest Man, Wang Jianlin, Head of Dalian Wanda Group, Announces $US 8.2 Billion Motion Picture Investment
On September 21st, 2013, The Hollywood Reporter covered the (star-studded) announcement of an $8.2 billion film investment plan backed by China's richest man, Wang Jianlin. (His Dalian Wanda group owns AMC Theaters in the US and 6,000 cinema screens across China.)
The goal of investing all this money into motion picture production? To "transform the country's movie industry into the world's biggest within five years."
The announcement was held in Qingdao, Shandong Province where Mr. Wang's Dalian Wanda Group has now broken ground for the Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis complex. Scheduled to open in 2016 or 17, the Qingdao facility "will include a 10,000 square-meter film studio and 19 smaller facilities [a total of 20 production stages?], along with a theme park similar to the Universal Studios franchise."
""The future of the world’s film industry is in China because we have 1.3 billion people, and we will have the biggest film business in the world by 2018," Wang told the assembled glitterati, which also included the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, [Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Kidman], John Travolta, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ewan McGregor, Kate Beckinsale and Christoph Waltz... Also in attendance were a host of Chinese stars such as Zhang Ziyi, Jet Li, Tony Leung, Donnie Yen, Huang Xiaoming and Vicki Zhao."
""My target is for Wanda to be one of the world's biggest companies in the culture industry; this is why I haven't retired yet," said the 59-year-old [Wang]."