The Hollywood company behind the hit “Kung Fu Panda” movies is to open a new Shanghai operation to make films specifically for China’s booming market.
DreamWorks Animation has hired Los Angeles-based RSR Partners to recruit a president for the planned venture, making it the latest in a line of Hollywood giants to attempt to break into the potentially lucrative market.
No one at the Los Angeles-based DreamWorks could immediately be reached for comment, but a letter from RSR to prospective hires seen by AFP said the company was looking to “establish a production and development presence in China”.
The “Kung Fu Panda” movies were made with a Chinese audience in mind and the second in the franchise became the highest-grossing feature ever screened in the country when it was released this year, taking 597 million yuan ($93 million).
Several Hollywood companies are trying to get a foothold in China, where box office sales rose 64 percent to $1.5 billion in 2010, making it the world’s fastest-growing movie market.
China limits to 20 a year the number of imported films it allows to share box office takings, but foreign companies can skirt the import cap by co-producing films with Chinese partners.
The move comes weeks after two other Hollywood production companies, Relativity and Legendary, launched ventures with Chinese partners.