BEIJING, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Chinese entertainment company Dalian Wanda Group Co. announced Tuesday it had purchased U.S. film production company Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion.
The cash deal, announced in Beijing, furthers Wanda Group's investment in the global film industry, and gives Legendary Entertainment an entry into the lucrative Chinese film market. Wanda Group owns, among other properties, the AMC Theaters chain, and in 2013 began construction of a $8.2 billion film studio in China.
Relatives and business associates of members of the Chinese government's Politburo, including two relatives of Chinese President Xi Jinping, are identified as investors in other companies run by Wanda Group chairman Wang Jianlin; the influence could help in getting more Hollywood films into China, where quotas limit importation of foreign films and the government has blocked certain films.
Legendary Entertainment's films include The Dark Knight Trilogy, The Hangover (2009), Pacific Rim (2013), Godzilla (2014), Jurassic World (2015) and Straight Outta Compton (2015) and have grossed over $12 billion worldwide.
The deal is among the largest purchases of a U.S. company by a Chinese company.