China’s $323 Million Dollar Theater Complex!!!

China is critical to the success of a Hollywood movie but the country also has eyes to take on Broadway!!! WHAT!? Yes, it was announced today through The Hollywood Reporter that China has plans to construct a $323 million dollar theater production center in Langfang (which is 30 miles from Beijing) that includes theaters, studios, and classrooms to house a new push to explore the world of theater. China has been introduced to Broadway musicals slowly over the past few years, taking to classic hits like Les Miserables and The Lion King but oddly enough it was Mamma Mia! that convinced Li Xiaofei, the general manager of Ovation Cultural Development, that musicals could be a hot commodity. The ABBA musical was a MAJOR success over there, with over 300,000 tickets sold in the short time it played there. Xiaofei went on to explain that “the musical market in China is very promising. Unlike some other Western art forms, like opera and ballet, musicals are commercial and entertaining. They don’t require professional knowledge to appreciate.” We certainly agree but from a business standpoint, this seems a little risky. Does one show’s success really justify a $323 million dollar theater? That’s a MAJOR investment on something not guaranteed to work out. While the complex is not expected to be completed until 2017, a Chinese version of Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods is expected to premiere there by the end of the year. It’ll be then that producers can truly determine whether this idea is a hit or miss. 

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