China’s Wanda Group Acquires Majority Stake in Legendary Entertainment (Report)

SoftBank and Waddell & Reed also agree to sell their shares in “Jurassic World” production company, report says

Last Updated: January 4, 2016 @ 7:21 PM

Chinese media conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has purchased a majority stake in Thomas Tull‘s Legendary Entertainment, a wire service report said Monday.

Representatives for Legendary declined to comment. A spokesperson for Wanda did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment.

The production company behind big-screen hits like “Jurassic World,” “Godzilla” and “Straight Outta Compton” also saw the exit of investors SoftBank and Waddell & Reed, which sold their stakes in the company, Reuters reported.

Legendary will reportedly now be valued around $3 billion to $4 billion.

The deal could draw antitrust scrutiny from U.S. government regulators, since Dalian Wanda acquired the U.S.-based AMC Theatres in 2012 for $2.6 billion — and alliances between exhibitors and film companies are typically looked upon unfavorably.

An exception would be the production company Open Road Film, which was launched by AMC and Regal Entertainment Group in 2011, and won approval by the government.

Legendary had an up-and-down year the box office. The Michael Mann movie “Blackhat” and “Seventh Son” were both misses, but “Jurassic World” was the year’s top-grossing release and “Straight Outta Compton” was a breakout hit at the box office.

Legendary also had a stake in “Steve Jobs” and “Crimson Peak,” two commercial underachievers this fall, and the low-budget horror film “Krampus,” a surprise hit.

Legendary was founded by Thomas Tull in 2000 and in 2005 the company concluded an agreement to co-produce and co-finance films with Warner Bros. In 2014, Legendary began a similar arrangement with Universal Studios.


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