"Harry Potter" and "Transformers" could soon invade the Chinese mainland at a new Universal theme park in Beijing.
The Chinese government approved a $3.27 billion plan by Universal Parks and Resorts to build a 296-acre park in Beijing's eastern district of Tongzhou. Universal and its partner Beijing Shouhaun, a consortium of four government-owned companies, have the option to expand the park to a massive 1,000 acres, according to Deadline.
China approved the deal after 13 years of negotiations with Universal. The Beijing park has no definite opening date, but state-run media predicts 2019.
"Universal Beijing will create a higher level of economic growth, understanding and cultural exchange between our two countries," Universal Parks CEO Tom Williams said in a release. "Together, we will create a unique experience that spotlights hugely popular Western entertainment concepts as well as China's rich cultural legacy. This will be an opportunity to build relationships with the Chinese people on a direct and personal level."
Universal didn't specify what attractions the park will feature, but popular franchises such as "Harry Potter," "Despicable Me" and "Transformers" are good bets. "Transformers: Age of Extinction" broke box-office records in China this summer.
"Universal Beijing will showcase blockbuster movie themes and present entertaining family shows that will highlight the very best of popular culture," Beijing Tourism Group Chairman Duan Qiang said.
The Beijing park will include a Universal CityWalk entertainment complex with nightlife, restaurants and shopping. It will also feature the first-ever Universal-themed resort hotel.
"It will be a tourism crown jewel, not only for Beijing but for all of China, bringing extraordinary entertainment experiences to the Chinese people and to our guests from around the world. In bringing Universal to China, we will also share the best of China with the world," Qiang said.
Universal has parks in Japan, Singapore, Los Angles and Orlando, Florida. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts already has a Disneyland Resort in Hong Kong and will open another Disneyland park in Shanghai next year.