Mariah Carey, her billionaire boyfriend and K-pop stars launch $4.5 billion casino in Macau

Mariah Carey and James Packer at the red carpet event prior to the opening ceremony of Studio City casino resort in Macau, China, on Oct 27, 2015.
Mariah Carey and James Packer at the red carpet event prior to the opening ceremony of Studio City casino resort in Macau, China, on Oct 27, 2015. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
Korean girl band Sistar at the opening of Studio City in Macau on Oct 27, 2015.
Korean girl band Sistar at the opening of Studio City in Macau on Oct 27, 2015. PHOTO: APPLE DAILY

MACAU (Reuters, Bloomberg, Agence France-Presse) - Singer Mariah Carey headlined a star-studded opening ceremony for casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment's new US$3.2 billion (S$4.5 billion) Hollywood-themed resort in Macau on Tuesday (Oct 27), in the midst of a Beijing corruption crackdown and a sharp downturn for the Asian gambling playground.

The ceremony featured the premiere of The Audition, a US$70-million, 16-minute film for Melco, directed by Oscar-winner Martin Scorsese and starring his collaborators Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. The three play themselves in the movie, in which DiCaprio and De Niro vie for the same role. Even actor Brad Pitt makes an appearance. DiCaprio, De Niro and Pitt are widely reported to have been paid US$13 million each for the film.

Scorsese, DiCaprio and De Niro attended the ceremony along with actor Aaron Kwok, actress Carina Lau and South Korean girl band Sistar.

The new project, where a Batman ride is a key attraction, is controlled by billionaires Lawrence Ho, son of casino kingpin Stanley Ho, and James Packer, Carey's boyfriend. The singer and Packer celebrated the launch of the resort together, less than a month after making their red carpet debut as a couple at the premiere of The Intern, a comedy starring De Niro, said People magazine.