Shanghai: Warner Brothers International Cinemas, a subsidiary of the giant American media company Time Warner, has sold its two cinemas in China, a state press report said on 11 April.
The sale of theatres in Shanghai and neighbouring Nanjing were the second of its kind this year after it sold three other cinemas in the southern cities of Chongqing, Changsha and Nanchang, the Shanghai Daily said.
Warner Brothers partner Shanghai Film will take over the US group’s 49% stake in the two cinemas, according to a company statement.
“We believe that as a leading player in China film industry, Shanghai Film Group’s experience in cinema operation will help to achieve a smooth hand-over,” said Millard Ochs, president of Warner’s cinema division.
Warner announced in November last year that it was pulling out of cinema management in China after sudden regulatory changes issued in 2005 prevented the group from taking a majority stake in its partnerships.
In early 2004, Warner signed a deal with Chinese partners to run 30 Cineplex’s in 15 cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Nanning, Wuhan, Harbin, Dalian, Shenyang and Zhengzhou.
The Shanghai cinema opened in 2002 and topped all the country’s cinemas in box office sales. The takeover agreement was signed in February, but still requires final government approval.