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China to get world's first fixed underwater studio

Wang JianlinProperty developer Wang Jianlin, founder of Dalian Wanda Group, has announced plans for a “motion-picture city” in China, including the world’s first fixed underwater studio, at a total cost of around 50bn Yuan ($8.17bn).

The Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis will house a total of 20 sound stages (including a studio lot of around 10,000sqm), a large exhibition complex and leisure facilities including hotels, a yacht club and a shopping mall.

It has been agreed that the new complex will house around 100 local films a year as well as 30 foreign productions.  

The launch was held in the fashionable coastal city of Qingdao, around an hour’s drive from the site, which is currently planned as an eight phase, 376 hectare development. A-listers from around the world including Leonardo DiCaprio, Harvey Weinstein, John Travolta, Ewan McGregor, Kate Beckinsale, Zhang Ziyi, Jet Li, Tony Leung Christoph Waltz, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Nicole Kidman were all present.

Wang described the Metropolis as a major step in China's strategy to become a global cultural powerhouse.  He said: “Based on my conservative estimate, China's film box office revenue will surpass North America's by 2018 and will double it by 2023. It can be said that the future of the development of the world film market is right here in China.”

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