Sands China, the Macau arm of US casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, has entered into a licensing agreement with DreamWorks Animation SKG to host animated characters including Kung Fu Panda Po, Shrek and King Julien of Madagascar at its three Cotai Strip resorts.
It will be the first DreamWorks Experience outside North America, where there are already 10 locations, said the studio's chief executive, Jeffrey Katzenberg. The deal will come into effect on July 1.
"The reason we've come here is because Sands has developed a world-class family resort," said Katzenberg, who co-founded DreamWorks with film director Steven Spielberg and billionaire music executive David Geffen in 1994.
"Sixty per cent of the visitors here now are [with] family, and to be able to give them a quality experience with one of the best family brands in the world and its beloved characters is a very comfortable opportunity for us."
More than 28 million tourists visited Macau last year, two-thirds of them from the mainland, which is a huge market for DreamWorks' films. The Californian-based company will receive licensing fees, but Katzenberg declined to give financial details.
DreamWorks set up a venture called Oriental DreamWorks in Shanghai last year with local partner China Media Capital. Katzenberg said animation in China was a young industry, and DreamWorks was "bringing the best technology in the world, some of the greatest talents in the world, in order to be able to train a whole generation of artists in China".
"We've three original movies that are based on Chinese ideas and themes that are set in China," Katzenberg said. "They'll be the first three movies that we'll make at our studio in China after Kung Fu Panda 3.
"China is the fastest-growing, greatest place of opportunity on planet Earth. I am confident this is only the beginning of something much bigger."
Casino operators in Macau have been trying to diversify operations and generate more revenue from non-gaming segments, including shopping, dining and shows.
The House of Dancing Water show put on by Melco Crown Entertainment has been a hit since its launch in 2010. Galaxy Entertainment's "skytop wave pool" and luxury private lounge, China Rouge, have attracted many visitors as well.