Cineplex Odeon Corp. said Thursday its shareholders approved the company's planned merger with Sony Corp.'s Loews Theatres Exhibition Group.

The new company, to be called Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corp., will have more than 2,700 movie screens in 450 locations and annual revenues of about $1 billion, Cineplex said.The two theater chains, which agreed in September to merge in a $1 billion deal, both have significant operations in New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

Cineplex shareholders also have approved the merger, but the deal requires U.S. regulatory approval.

During the next two years, the new entity plans to open an additional 30 theaters in North America. However, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission document, Loews Cineplex "expects to be able to close overlapping theater locations and underperforming theaters."

Cineplex said there will probably be layoffs, but didn't provide specifics, and added that the merged company is expected to grow in the next five years.