Saudi PIF and AMC Entertainment ink movie theatres deal

Remigio Civitarese
Dicembre 13, 2017

Shortly after Saudi Arabia lifted restrictions on cinemas, the Kingdom's sovereign wealth fund has signed a non-binding agreement with US -based AMC Entertainment Holdings, one of the largest cinema operators in the world.

AMC shares were up more than three per cent Tuesday afternoon.

In a separate deal, Costco announced that it partnered with movie-theatre subscription service MoviePass and streaming service Fandor to offer a one-year subscription to both services for a flat rate.

"[The] PIF sees huge potential in the Kingdom's entertainment sector".

"This announcement is an historic moment for the theatrical exhibition industry and a tremendous opportunity to connect AMC's movie products with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's more than 30 million citizens, many of whom we know are movie fans based on their regular visits to cinemas in neighbouring countries", said AMC CEO and President Adam Aron.

Recently, the Board of the General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM) passed a resolution to allow the ministry to grant licenses to cinemas. Dubai-based mall operator Majid Al Futtaim, which owns VOX Cinemas, said it wanted to open the first movie theater in the Kingdom.

He said the first cinema was expected to open in March 2018.

With assets of over $220 billion, the PIF is being used by the government to spearhead its drive to diversify the Saudi economy beyond oil.

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