Perfect World, the online game which spent eight years publicly-listed on Nasdaq, and then privatized and re-listed in Shenzhen, is now betting on movie theaters to fuel its growth.

The company has purchased China-based Antaeus Cinema Line for an undisclosed amount, according to regulatory filings in Shenzhen. Antaeus Cinema Line is one of the earliest operators to focus on China's third and fourth tier cities. It currently runs 226 movie theaters with 1,200 screens, and it recorded box office revenues of RMB780 million year-to-date. It is ranked as the 13th largest theater chain in China.

Despite rapid growth in the Chinese movie-going market, Antaeus Cinema under-performed peers in occupancy rates, ticket prices and other metrics, leading to its parent company's decision to exit the business after years of effort.

The deal to acquire Antaeus Cinema Line is another milestone for Perfect World to expand the scope of its movie business. The company reached a strategic partnership with Universal Studios in February 2016 to participate in 50 movies produced by the Hollywood studio with total expected investment of US$250 million.

Last year, Chinese property firm Shimao Property Holdings also decided to sell its movie theater division to Wanda Cinema Line as part of a strategic restructuring.


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