The Chinese conglomerate that controls theater operator AMC could change what movies you watch and how you watch them. Fred Katayama reports.
This mogul could change what you watch and how you watch it. China's richest man, Wang Jianlin, controls U.S. cinema operator, AMC Entertainment, and AMC is gobbling up Europe's largest theater operator, Odeon & UCI Cinemas while awaiting shareholder approval to buy Carmike Cinemas. AMC plans to improve the movie-going experience in Europe by refitting theaters with recliners and improving food offerings. NYU Stern Business School professor Sam Craig: SOUNDBITE: C. SAMUEL CRAIG, PROFESSOR OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND ARTS AND MEDIA MANAGEMENT, NYU STERN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "You can still make money in exhibition. And the way to do it is enhance the experience: more luxurious seating, and food and alcohol all enhance the experience and also attract a different audience." Sources say Wang's company, Dalian Wanda, has held talks about buying a minority stake in the studio, Paramount Pictures. This, just half a year after buying the production company that made "Jurassic World," Legendary Entertainment. Wanda could bring a different look to the silver screen, says China Film Insider editor Jonathan Landreth: SOUNDBITE: JONATHAN LANDRETH, EDITOR, CHINA FILM INSIDER, (ENGLISH), SAYING: "We will indeed begin to see more Chinese actors and actresses come to Hollywood as they improve their English, and we will also see an increased flow of Hollywood actors appear in Chinese films. Again, most of them films that are being shot primarily in English." 11:13:45 Landreth doesn't think Wanda will pump out propaganda in the West lest it lose its overseas audience, but rather, produce two versions of the same film: one to pass the censors in China, and the other for the Western markets. Expect sequels soon. Wanda says it's on the prowl for more acquisitions.