The Commerce Department has given its approval to the acquisition of Legendary Entertainment by Chinese investment company Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd., it was announced Tuesday.
Still pending are approvals by Chinese regulators of Wanda’s purchase of the Burbank film, television and digital content producer for $3.5 billion.
“It is quite a feat for an acquisition to be approved by the U.S. Department of Commerce in such a short time,” the company said in a prepared statement. “This reflects the positive attitude that the U.S. government has towards Sino-U.S. cultural exchange.”
The acquisition announced last month will make Wanda’s film division the highest revenue-generating film company in the world.
Legendary founder and Chief Executive Thomas Tull will remain in charge of day-to-day operations. The studio has been behind such box office hits as “The Dark Knight” and “The Hangover” franchises, and last summer’s “Jurassic World.” Its feature films are distributed by Universal Pictures.
With an ownership in Legendary, Wanda, controlled by China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, can extend its foothold in the entertainment industry. The Chinese company already owns AMC Entertainment Holdings, the second-largest movie theater chain in North America.