Chinese entertainment giant Dalian Wanda struck a deal to buy US movie theater operator AMC Entertainment, making Wanda the world’s biggest cinema owner, the South China Morning Post reported. Wanda, which currently operates 86 movie theaters and 730 screens in China, will take on AMC’s 346 cinemas and 5,034 screens, most of which are located in North America. The firms said that AMC’s headquarters will remain in Kansas City and daily operations will remain unchanged; however, the company will invest up to US$500 million to help AMC reduce its debt and upgrade its movie theaters. “This acquisition will help make Wanda a truly global cinema owner, with theaters and technology that enhance the movie-going experience for audiences in the world’s two largest movie markets,” said Wanda’s chairman, Wang Jianlin. Box office sales in China rose 29% last year, while ticket receipts in the US and Canadian markets have been falling.
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