AMC Theatres, which has two cinema multiplexes in Gwinnett, has been sold to a Chinese firm for $2.6 billion, according to the Los Angeles Times.
For Dalian Wanda, acquiring AMC gives it a pipeline into two of the world's largest theater markets — and more clout in negotiating with major Hollywood studios eager to expand into the rapidly growing Chinese market, the Times reported.
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AMC operates the Colonial 18 and Discover Mills 18 multiplexes in Lawrenceville. It has a total of 346 multiplexes nationwide.
Last year, China saw a 30 percent increase in box-office sales, to $2.1 billion. This year it passed Japan as the biggest foreign market for Hollywood films.
The AMC acquisition fits China's strategy of forming alliances with American companies to expand its entertainment industry and extend its global influence, or "soft power," the Times reported.
For JPMorgan, Apollo and the other AMC owners, the sale enables them to unload a property they acquired in 2004.
It also adds to the changing scene for Gwinnett movie entertainment. In April, the Movie Tavern, which features casual-dining meals served during performances, opened to rave reviews in Suwanee near I-85.