Wanda gives $20M to Academy Museum: reading between the lines

On 17th Sept Variety reported the Wanda Group – owner of AMC Theaters – gave $20 million to the Academy and Motion Pictures Museum in Los Angeles. In return the Chinese group will get its name on the museum’s film history gallery: the Wanda Gallery.

I don’t know what to make of that piece of news.

I think it’s great that a Chinese company investing in the US does it responsibly and invests in the arts and community. Maybe this shows the management of AMC Theaters have influence on the new owners.

But surely there must be some other reason. I can think of many other ways Wanda could spend $20 million with a better return. This move is definitely strategic.

– Wanda is on ‘soft power’ mission to change the image of China overseas. With AMC Theater they have their foot in the North American door but they now need to push for the Wanda (and the China) brand, which the Wanda Gallery does in the Hollywood world.

– Wanda has ambitious plans with its Cultural Tourism Cities back home and I am sure they would want to have their own movie museum in one (or several) of them. This deal gives them access to museum expertise and possibly a collection.

Do you agree? What do you say?

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