The world’s biggest exhibition companies — including U.S.-based giants AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment Group — are linking arms to raise the industry’s profile with regulatory agencies, and smooth differences between countries.

Their interests will be represented by a new worldwide organization, the Global Cinema Federation, they said this morning.

Founding trade associations include the U.S.’ National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and Europe’s The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC).

Backers say that they represent companies in more than 90 territories.

“We decided to establish the Global Cinema Federation to give our industry a much stronger global voice in this new landscape and will in the coming months actively reach out to leading operators and their trade bodies around the world to establish an inclusive organization that is able to speak on behalf of a large share of the global cinema exhibition community,” says Cinépolis CEO Alejandro Ramirez Magaña.

The head of the Mexico-based chain chaired the team that developed plans for the Federation.

Organizers say that exhibition generates $38.6 billion a year in box office sales. The Federation will “inform, educate and advocate” for policies to protect the business.

The group is still working on formal policy positions, and specific strategies the Federation will take to address them. They plan an initial meeting at this week’s CineEurope, and will hold similar meetings at trade events including CineAsia and CinemaCon.

Common concerns include practices and laws involving film theft, theatrical exclusivity, music rights payments, accessibility regulations, studio relations, technology and standards, international trade, and foreign investment.

The Federation is coming together as exhibition giants grow across borders. China’s Wanda Group owns AMC, which became the world’s largest chain following recent deals to buy Carmike Cinemas and the UK’s Odeon & UCI Cinemas.

In addition, Hollywood studios are weighing changes including premium video on demand that might weaken theater owners’ ties to moviegoers.

Federation members will have to own at least 250 screens, although smaller operators can enlist to keep up with its activities and provide support.

The Federation says that it doesn’t anticipate that members will have to pay subscription fees. But founding organizations agreed to contribute “the time of senior executive management.”

In addition to AMC and Regal, founding operators include Cinemark, Cineplex, Cinépolis, Cineworld, CJ-CGV, Event Cinemas, Les Cinemas Gaumont Pathé, Vue International and Wanda Cinemas.