Los Angeles Business Journal

DreamWorks to Develop Russian Theme Parks

By Jonathan Polakoff Friday, February 15, 2013

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. announced Friday it has entered a partnership to develop three theme parks in Russia and plans for one of them to be the largest indoor theme park in Europe.

The studio will license characters from its movies such as “Shrek” and “Kung Fu Panda,” and work with Regions Group of Cos., a Moscow holding company and property development firm, to create the attractions.

DreamWorks has been increasingly focused recently on theme parks to exploit the popularity of its franchises. Last summer, DreamWorks announced it will develop a theme park in New Jersey as well as Shanghai.

The decision to move into Russia was based partly on the success of DreamWorks’ movies there. DreamWorks’ “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted 3,” is the second-highest grossing movie of all time at the Russian box office, the company said. The movie grossed about $49 million in Russian theaters last year, according to Boxofficemojo.com. Overall movie-going in the country generated more than $1 billion in box office sales last year.

The parks are designed to be part of larger entertainment developments that will include mixed-use movie and concert halls, 400-room hotels and retail centers. The projects are slated for Moscow, St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg, which is in the middle of the country.

DreamWorks Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said he’s hoping to beat other studios in capitalizing on theme parks there.

“Russia is one of the most important markets in the world for us,” Katzenberg said in a statement. “These parks are going to be groundbreaking cultural hubs that will give families the chance to truly enter the world of DreamWorks.”