With Entertainment Opportunities in Focus, Saudi Pitches to 250 Hollywood Elite

Saudi officials on Wednesday pitched ambitious entertainment industry plans to about 250 representatives from major Hollywood financiers and players in Los Angeles.

The event, organized by the Saudi General Entertainment Authority at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, featured Saudi investment and private-sector leaders who “promised a cadre of services to facilitate U.S. investment and partnerships in the country,” according to Variety. Arianna Huffington served as a moderator during the three summit panels.

Several deals have already been struck between Saudi Arabia and entertainment powerhouses. This week, AMC announced that it would build the first cinema in Saudi Arabia and it would be ready on April 18.

The theater is set to screen Black Panther as its first film in Saudi Arabia shown in a cinema in decades. Black Panther is the fourth highest domestic grosser of all time at the North American Box Office with $652.5 million income, and has passed Frozen, which is also from Disney studios, to make the 10th spot on the worldwide box office list with $1.28 billion.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Disney CEO Bob Iger in Los Angeles this week.

The Kingdom also signed this week a long awaited deal with Six Flags entertainment to build a theme park in Saudi Arabia.

Six Flags will develop and design the park in Qiddiya, the country’s first entertainment, sports and cultural destination set to open in 2022.

According to Variety, Cirque du Soleil will put on its first-ever show for Saudi National Day later this year, said Jonathan Tetrault, chief operating officer for the entertainment company. National Geographic Explorer will also build 10 new locations for its “Ocean Odyssey,” an immersive walkthrough adventure, starting with a location in Riyadh to open in 2019.