20th Century Fox and Village Roadshow have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with South Gyeongsang Province to build a theme park.
In South Korea, 20th Century Fox and Village Roadshow have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with South Gyeongsang Province (a.k.a. Gyeongsangnam-do Province) to build a theme park and resort in the Busan-Jinhae Free Economic Zone.
The province’s governor Hong Joon-pyo, 20th Century Fox Consumer Products president Jeffrey Godsick and Village Roadshow Theme Parks CEO Tim Fisher signed the MOU in Seoul earlier today (July 16).
“Korea provides a unique opportunity for an international theme park destination that will be incredibly attractive to both a thriving domestic consumer as well as a quickly growing tourist market from China, Japan and across Asia,” said Godsick, adding that their efforts “illustrate our commitment to growing our global entertainment destination brand and a monumental step to further engage and connect with our audiences in key markets.”
Plans for 20th Century Fox World Korea include a theme park of more than 75 acres and will be part of a more than 700-acre leisure resort and development with a “fully immersive entertainment experience” featuring Fox film and TV brands. The park will be located in the Ungdong Area of the Busan-Jinhae Free Economic Zone, Changwon City, Jinhae-gu, South Gyeongsang Province.
Village Roadshow as operating partner will be a design and development consultant and the manager of the theme park.
“With properties like Alien, Ice Age and Planet Of The Apes, we believe this studio theme park will offer consumers in Korea and Asia the best theme park experience in the history of the industry,” said Fisher.
Fox’s Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, the release date change of which recently caused a brouhaha in South Korean distribution, is currently sitting atop the local box office. Having opened July 10 instead of July 16 as initially announced, the sci-fi film has since clocked up more than 1.8 million admissions and $13.95m (KW14.38bn). (It is currently followed by Showbox/Mediaplex’s local crime thriller The Divine Move, which opened July 3 and has taken 2.54 million admissions, and United Pictures’ local thriller Confession which opened the same day as Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and has taken 280,197 although it is moving up in the ranks.)
Previous theme park announcements such as MGM Studio City in Busan and Hallyuwood (banking on the Korean Wave, a.k.a. “Hallyu”) in Gyeong-gi Province – both made in 2006, have failed to come to fruition.
Governor Hong said, “We will make every effort to successfully develop this global theme park through close cooperation with Fox and Village Roadshow. Once the theme park is completed, we expect more than 10 million foreign and local tourists will visit and the local economy will be boosted by creating 30,000 jobs, which is equivalent to attracting 100 manufacturing businesses.”
Fox Consumer Products also recently announced Fox’s first theme park, 20th Century Fox World is set to open in Malaysia in 2016.