LEAWOOD , Kan., March 4 (UPI) -- AMC Entertainment Holdings' acquisition of Carmike Cinemas makes America's largest movie theater chain Chinese-owned.
AMC, currently the second-largest movie chain in the United States behind Regal Entertainment Group agreed to buy Carmike, the United States' fourth-largest, for $30 per share, or about $1.1 billion. AMC -- and now Carmine -- is owned by the Chinese real estate and entertainment conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group.
Adding Carmike's 276 locations to AMC's 387 will give the company more theaters than Regal's 572. It is also a blending of AMC's largely urban presence and Carmike's strong presence in smaller towns.
Dalian Wanda acquired AMC in 2012 for $2.6 billion, creating the world's largest movie company, and bought Legendary Entertainment, famous for its Jurassic World franchise, for $3.5 billion in January.
A number of Chinese companies have examined U.S. film studios, seeking to build global film companies on the order of Sony or Universal. Buying U.S. companies for their product and knowhow has become the way to break into the worldwide business.
While Dailan Wanda bought Australia's Hoyts Group movie chain, AMC remains its most significant acquisition.
China is also the world's second-largest box office with $6.78 billion in ticket sales, a 49 percent increase over 2014. Its movie boom is prompting the construction of thousands of theaters across the country.