IAG NOVEMBER 2015 - page 10

Cover Story
that’s interrupted by an attack from Batman’s arch enemy, The
Joker. According to the ride’s story line, the attack requires guests’
evacuation to the Batcave via the 72 seat 4D flight simulator that
swoops and dives through Gotham City as Batman fights super
villains attacking the flight and population below. The sevenminute
simulation segment features moving seats and special effects that
heighten the feel of flying.
TheHouseofMagic isset toviewithBatman forStudioCity’sstar
billing. Illusionist FranzHarary, whoseglobal credits includeworking
in mainland China since 1994, conceived the complex with four
performance venues offering three shows daily, four on weekends.
Beginning in a steam punk drawing room, different magicians
perform in distinct styles at each stop over 90minutes, culminating
withMrHarary’s residentMegaMagic show. That theater’smassive
video screen backdrop is as extraordinary as the tricks on stage. The
complex extends toShanghaiMagic, offering fine dining inVictorian
décor, highlighting that era’s fascinationwithmechanical curiosities
that seemedmagical at the time.
Warner Bros Fun Zone focuses on childrenwith rides and other
attractions based on the Warner Brothers stable that includes DC
Comics, Hanna-Barbera and Looney Tunes. Physical and interactive
activities are designed for toddlers to teens, with opportunities for
theentire family toparticipateandevencompete insomechallenges,
such as theHypercade, where riders aim their blasters at 3D targets
The stars came out for Studio City’s opening night
premiere of
The Audition
, Academy Award winning director Martin
Scorsese’s “dream state” short film. The 16minute movie features
twoofMr Scorsese’s frequent collaborators,OscarwinnerRobertDe
Niro andLeonardoDiCaprio, plusBradPitt, theonly oneof the stars
tomiss thehighlyanticipatedand relentlesslypromotedfilm’sdebut.
It’s the first time those threeHollywood leadingmen have appeared
in the same film.
Melco Crown Co-Chairmen Lawrence Ho and James Packer
executiveproducedTheAudition at a reported cost ofUS$70million
or $4.4million per minute. Mr Packer, who says his favorite movie
is Mr Scorsese’s
, starring Mr De Niro, credits Mr Ho with
suggesting “what better to introduce a movie-themed integrated
resort” than a movie. Mr Packer enlisted his RatPac Entertainment
partner, Hollywood veteranBret Ratner toproduce the film and calls
it, “the best 15minutes of short content evermade.”
opensat theentranceofMelcoCrown’sCityofDreams
Manila, and the film’s trailerwas released to coincidewith that resort’s
debut inFebruary.MrDeNiroandMrDiCaprioarriveand learn they’re
tovie for thesame role inMrScorsese’sfilmabout acasinomogul. The
action thenmoves to Studio CityMacauwhere the casino serves as a
backdrop, and the threemendine.Promotionof the resorts isdecidedly
subtle, and theproperties’ namesarenot in thescript.
Mr Pitt enters for what Mr Scorsese calls the film’s “big finish”
in Japan. The Tokyo outdoor dining street setting has a biomorphic
building lurking in the background. That could represent Melco
Crown’s design proposal for an integrated resort in Japan, where
casino legalization seemed imminent 18 months ago but has not
progressed. Viewers may not find that the only disappointment in
the film.
Perhaps inspired by
The Audition
, Mr Scorsese is currently
directing another Macau related film,
, about 17th century
Catholic missionaries from the then-Portuguese outpost being
martyred in Japan. But rather than shooting on location in the
UNESCO World Heritage area, the filmmakers opted to recreate
1640sMacau inTaiwan.
“Westeeredaway fromVIPgamingtables
a longtimeago.Sinceour IPO [ontheUS
NASDAQexchange in2006]webelievedmass
tableswouldbe leadingtheMacaumarket,”
MrHoexplains. “At250tables, itwasano-
brainer forus”to forgoVIPgaming.
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