Lore has it that, if a sucker is born every minute, all eventually land in Hollywood. After exhausting the German dentist money, then the American tycoon scion money, then the Greenwich hedge fund money, now Tinseltown is exploiting the Abu Dhabi real estate money. Warner Bros announced today a “long-term, multi-faceted strategic alliance” calling for a theme park, hotel, multiplex cinemas and joint fund to finance films, develop video games, and build out the infrastructure for Abu Dhabi’s new media. UPDATE: I’m told this is a multibillion dollar deal, with the film and video game funds alone worth $500 million each. The Warner pact is with Abu Dhabi’s leading real estate developer ALDAR and the newly established Abu Dhabi Media Company. According to the studio’s PR, the deal was unveiled today by Barry Meyer and Alan Horn with Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Chairman and Ronald Barrott, CEO, ALDAR; Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Chairman and Riyad Al Mubarak, CEO, Abu Dhabi Media Co.; and Hunt Lowry, who brought the two parties together and will serve as the CEO of the yet-to-be-named film company formed by this venture. For the hotel and theme park project, Warner Bros. Entertainment will draw on select properties from its live-action and animated libraries to provide themes for the overall project as well as individual attractions. The film production fund, a 50-50 venture, calls for the development and production of broad-appeal films, with Warner Bros. retaining worldwide distribution options/rights. Separate from this arrangement, Warner Bros. Pictures International will work with Abu Dhabi Media Company to develop and produce a slate of Arabic-language films for local and pan-Arabic distribution.
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