• Shanghai Dream Center

Shanghai Dream Center (Photo : New China TV/YouTube)

There are reports that Dreamworks Animation has pulled out of the $2.4 billion Shanghai Dream Center being built in the Chinese city. The complex, to be made up of an entertainment, dining and shopping centers, is scheduled for completion in 2018.

Existing shareholders of the venture include China Media Capital, CBD and the Lan Kwai Fong group from Hong Kong. Variety reported that Dr. Allan Zeman, head of Lan Kwai Fong, told a local newspaper that DreamWorks, owned by Comcast, is pulling out of the venture.

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Backseat Role

The entertainment website reported that Comcast is actually taking mainly a backseat role at the Dream Center. Following the alleged pullout by Dreamworks Animation, the company has ceased being involved in the day-to-day management of the complex being constructed at the banks of the Hangpu River, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The statement by Zeman that the “Dream” in the upcoming Dream Center does not necessarily have to do with Dreamworks Animation seems to confirm the pullout of the NBCUniversal company from the complex. He said that when the project was named, the company was still connected with the venture. Since it is a good name, the investors opted to keep the name Shanghai Dream Center.

Second Broadway

He said the group’s vision for the complex is it would be like a second Broadway. CMC’s involvement in the project is to bring show and content. Lan Kwai Fong’s involvement is in the planning and construction aspects, while Dreamwork Animation’s involvement, even from the beginning of the project, was not much, Zeman said.

But he clarified that Dreamwork Animation/Comcast remains an original shareholder in the venture. However, its involvement excludes characters from Dreamwork Animation or its other intellectual property. The center was not intended to be a theme park. Rather, it is being constructed as a new cultural district with a theater that would feature Broadway shows.