Tycoon plans $8.2B Chinese ‘Hollywood’ complex

China’s richest man plans to spend $8.2 billion (50 billion yuan) to build the country’s version of Hollywood in the northeastern city of Qingdao.

In a glitzy, star-studded red carpet event Sunday, Wang Jianlin said his company, Dalian Wanda Group, will build a state-of-the-art film studio complex in a bid to dominate China’s rapidly growing movie market.

The Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis’s 20 studios will include a permanent underwater studio and a 108,000-square foot stage that Wang said would be the world’s biggest. The facility will also include an Imax research and development center, cinemas and China’s biggest film and celebrity wax museums. The first phase is planned to open in June 2016 and it will be fully operational by June 2017…


Disney to End First-Look Deal With Jerry Bruckheimer

The Walt Disney Company is ending its long-standing first-look deal with mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the studio announced on Thursday.

The deal expires next year. The decision follows years of the successful “Pirates of the Caribbean” and other projects, but comes right on the heels of an expensive flop this summer produced by Bruckheimer, “Lone Ranger.”…


Summer movies 2013: Fantastic or fatiguing?

“I’m glad it’s almost over,” the longtime reviewer and “Movie Guide” author tells CNN in a phone interview. “The movies get bigger and dumber every year, and we’re subjected to more remakes and sequels. None of which means that they can’t be good — and occasionally they are — but this has not been a very fortuitous season.”

He wasn’t alone in this belief. Audiences felt the same way: Many of this summer’s big-budget franchise flicks — the so-called “tentpoles” — fell like redwood trees toppling in a forest, earning generally poor reviews and equally mediocre box office despite their blockbuster costs and wall-to-wall marketing efforts.

You know the list: “After Earth,” “Pacific Rim,” “White House Down,” “Elysium,” “R.I.P.D.” and, particularly, “The Lone Ranger,” which grossed $88 million domestically (through August 25) on its $200 million-plus budget and could cost Disney a $190 million writedown…