At midnight tonight Paramount's "Indiana Jones" sequel opens, so it must have seemed like a good week to announce that Viacom is opening in 2011, a $1.4 billion dollar South Korean theme park featuring rides based on Paramount movies.
It's a joint venture between two unlikely partners: Paramount Licensing Consumer Products & Recreation Group and South Korea's Daewoo Motor Sales.
DreamWorks SKG , which has a distribution deal with Viacom's Paramount, and often co-produces films with the studio, has its own theme park in the works in Dubai. They won't be competing head to head with Paramount, but Warner Bros., will. The Time Warner movie studio is putting its name on a $4 billion dollar theme park in Korea, as well as a park in Dubai. And then of course there's Disneyland.
Hollywood moguls get the fact that to build an international presence, having a physical place branded with their name and most famous properties, is key.
And for the likes of DreamWorks and Paramount, which aren't putting the cost of building the parks on their balance sheets, instead working with investors, studios appreciate the hefty licensing fees they must be getting.
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