Wanda Group and Warner Bros. International Cinemas to Build Some 30 Multiplexes in China

posted by CinemAFuchs on January 21, 2004 at 7:17 am

BEIJING, CHINA — Wanda Group and Warner Bros. International Cinemas (WBIC) have jointly created Warner Wanda Cinemas (working name) for the building and operating of some 30 “state-of-the-art, world-class multiplex cinemas” in all of Wanda Group’s shopping complexes, which are currently under construction or planned to be built.

Wanda Group will finance the cinemas. Warner Bros. International Cinemas, under the terms of management and licensing agreements, will provide overall technical support in the design and construction of the cinemas, full-time operational and management services on an on-going basis. The new cinemas' design will also feature the iconic Warner Bros. shield and incorporate the studio’s beloved Looney Tunes characters.

The project initially calls for the building of some 30 cinema complexes in the center cities of China in the coming few years. Fifteen cities already identified include Tianjin, Nanning, Wuhan, Harbin, Dalian, Shenyang, Beijing, Shanghai, Zhengzhou and other center cities. Warner Bros. International Cinemas, experts in the building and running of multiplexes, will oversee and manage all facets of the Warner Wanda Cinemas' operations.

“This venture with Warner Bros. Cinemas is an integral part of ensuring that the cinema experience in a Wanda Group shopping complex is consistent with the high standards of excellence we strive to maintain,” said Wang Jianlin, president of Wanda Group. “We are delighted to play a role in helping one of China’s most important commercial developers bring the ultimate cinema-going experience to new locations throughout China,” added Millard Ochs, WBIC’s president. “We have been very impressed by the world-class quality of past Wanda Group projects, and are proud to lend our experience, expertise and our name to help build Warner Wanda Cinemas into one of China’s preeminent cinema brands.”

Established in 1988, Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd. has two pillars in development of residential properties and commercial real estate. Currently, Wanda Real Estate Enterprises Management Co. has developed large-scale housing projects in Beijing, Dalian, Kunming and other cities, with over 2 million square meters in annual development. Wanda Group Commercial Development and Management Co. was the first in China to create the new model of “real estate projects built to order” which combines commerce and real estate development.

So far, Wanda Group has concluded joint development agreements with 12 multinational enterprises, including Wal-Mart, Parkson from Malaysia, OBI from Germany, and Yum! As of the end of 2003, Wanda has constructed commercial projects in 16 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Shenyang with a total investment of over RMB10 billion and a total construction area of 1.6 million square meters. As of 2006, Wanda Group Commercial Development and Management Co. is expected to have built more than 30 commercial complexes throughout China.

Warner Bros. International Cinemas, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company and a division of Time Warner Inc., has more than 70 multiplex cinemas with over 650 screens internationally, as well as 21 theaters with 123 screens in the U.S. WBIC operates in Italy, Japan, Spain, Taiwan and, most recently, Shanghai (as the minority partner with Shanghai Paradise Co., Ltd. in the Grand Gateway). WBIC is currently awaiting government approval for multiplex cinemas in Wuhan and Nanjing as the majority partner in a joint venture with Shanghai United Circuit, and has an agreement in principle with Guangzhou Performance Co. for a multiplex in Guangzhou.

(Source: Press Release)

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