Digital Domain Media Group, the Academy Award-winning company behind visual effects for films including "Titanic," has been sold to a Chinese film and TV production firm, the company announced Sunday.
Digital Domain said the winning bid — made in partnership with Reliance Mediaworks — to acquire its visual effects unit, Mothership Media and certain other businesses and assets for $30.2 million was made at an auction Friday in New York. The deal comes in the wake of Digital Domain filing for bankruptcy earlier this month.
“Digital Domain is a legend in the industry, known for its world-class quality of work and creative talent," said Ivy Zhong, vice chairman and managing director of Galloping Horse said in a statement. "We are thrilled to have found a partner in Reliance MediaWorks that is as committed as we are to ensuring Digital Domain’s continued excellence and success.”
Venkatesh Roddam, chief executive officer, film & media services, for Reliance MediaWorks, said, “We have had a wonderful working relationship with Digital Domain over the years and we could not be happier to take it further through the joint Galloping Horse-Reliance acquisition. We are looking forward to working with Digital Domain employees and customers to make the operation better and stronger.”
A Twitter notice posted Saturday by former Digital Domain chief executive officer Scott Ross initially tipped the deal. it said that Beijing-based Galloping Horse had acquired 75 percent of the company and Reliance took the remaining 25 percent.
Digital Domain was founded in 1993 by James Cameron along with Stan Winston and Ross. In addition to “Titanic,” the studio has done the effects on scores of films, including “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” and the “Transformers” franchise.
Both Reliance and Galloping Horse have had existing partnerships with Digital Domain since last year. In July 2011, Reliance partnered with Digital Domain to create a digital production pipeline. The deal allowed Reliance to own studios in Mumbai and London while Digital Domain managed the facilities.
Galloping Horse last year partnered with Digital Domain to produce "The Legend of Tembo," the first feature from Tradition Studios, Digital Domain's nascent animation operation.