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Big-screen blockbuster: Chinese conglomerate gobbles up AMC chain

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Don’t look for these amenities in every market, however, says Steve Herz, an entertainment attorney and founder of IF Management, a talent agency in Manhattan.

“I think they will in specific markets,” he says via email, mentioning New York and Los Angeles. But only if the economics make sense, he adds, with sufficient “consumer demand and willingness to spend $25 on a movie ticket or more.”

Some experts cautiously suggest this deal could create more openness in a relationship historically marred by conflicts over Chinese censorship and piracy of US films.

Indeed, eyeing the potential of the vast Chinese marketplace, Hollywood is moving ahead full steam, points out Dergarabedian. This deal comes on the heels of several recent moves. According to the Los Angeles Times, Chinese film distributor Bona Film Group announced it had agreed to sell News Corp. a roughly 20 percent stake.

Walt Disney Co. of Burbank and DreamWorks Animation Studios in Glendale also have recently announced joint ventures in China. And IMAX is in the midst of a contract to build new screens in China.

“This deal could help all of that,” says Dergarabedian, by increasing the two-way flow between the markets.

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