DreamWorks Animation Announces $2.4 Billion Shanghai ‘DreamCenter’

The 40-acre site will house Imax theater and production facilities where “Kung Fu Panda 3” will be filmed

Shrek is heading to Shanghai.

DreamWorks Animation, the studio behind the gentle green ogre and the “Kung Fu Panda” movies, is partnering with the Chinese investment fund CMC Capital Partners to build a $2.4 billion entertainment complex in China’s business capital, the company said Thursday.

The “DreamCenter” will have a 500-seat IMAX cinema with international film festivals and red carpet events in mind, bars, restaurants and performance venues, the companies said. It will also showcase a “Dream Avenue” live-theater district.

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“This will become the world’s third great urban center of entertainment and arts alongside New York’s Broadway and London’s West End,” DreamWorks Animation chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said in announcing the project in Shanghai.

It’s the latest effort by a Hollywood studio to plant a flag in China, whose exploding film development has made it one of the most important foreign markets. Shanghai is also home to the upcoming theme park Shanghai Disneyland, which is set to open in 2015.

The 40-acre site will feature eight out door event plazas and house the film production facilities of Oriental DreamWorks. The Shanghai-based company, a joint venture between DreamWorks Animation and Chinese partners, is expected to produce “Kung Fu Panda 3″ and other projects for film, TV and online.