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'World War Z' VFX Studio Will Open China Office

Prime Focus will open a new office in Beijing later this year, the visual-effects company said Wednesday. 

In addition to effects work, Prime Focus said it will also offer 3D conversion and animation work. The company, which has worked on recent big-budget films such as "The Great Gatsby" and "World Wars Z," expects to open its doors in the third quarter of 2013. 

The move is only the latest in a series of Hollywood investments in China, which surpassed Japan last year to become the second largest market for films. Lured by its burgeoning population of moviegoers and its financial resources, companies like DreamWorks Animation and Legendary Entertainment are establishing Chinese footholds.

Prime Focus will team up on the venture with Hong Kong-based private equity firm AID Partners Capital and its Chinese partner Zhejiang Jingqi Wenhua Chuanbo Company. In March, Prime Focus announced that AID Partners had made a $10 million equity investment in return for a stake in the visual-effects company.

"We are enthusiastic about the shared opportunities our expansion into China brings," Namit Malhotra, founder of Prime Focus, said in a statement. "We have always recognized the advantages that globalization coupled with intense localization brings and have evolved our business strategy accordingly. After India, Europe and North America, China was the growth story waiting to happen."

Prime Focus also maintains offices in Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York, London and Mumbai.