Arthouse cinema chain Landmark Theatres has been sold by Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner to Cohen Media Group for an undisclosed sum, the company announced on Tuesday.
The purchase ends a long bidding battle for Landmark after the two businessmen put the chain on the block back in April. Cuban and Wagner first purchased Landmark back in 2003, placing it under their 2929 Entertainment banner alongside Magnolia Pictures, HDNet, and AXS TV. A sale of Landmark had previously been attempted in 2013, but no deal was made.
Among those that reportedly considered buying Landmark this year were streaming giants Amazon Studios and Netflix. Netflix backed off preliminary plans to offer a bid and is currently screening their awards contender, “Roma,” at Landmark locations. In August, reports also surfaced that Amazon made a bid. But since the hire of Jen Salke as its new studio head, Amazon has signaled that it is expanding beyond arthouse fare with a division focused on blockbusters led by recently promoted film division co-head Julie Rapaport.
Cohen Media Group, an indie distributor and production unit that released last year’s Best Foreign Language Oscar winner “The Salesman,” will keep all of Landmark’s senior management, including CEO Ted Mundorff.
“Anyone who knows Charles, knows he is an avid lover of art and cinema, and this deal to purchase Landmark serves so many of his true passions and interests,” Mundorff said in a statement.
“By acquiring our chain, he has supercharged and scaled his distribution footprint in the arthouse sector, where he has been a savvy distributor and producer for many, many years. He has also acquired the crown jewel in the arthouse exhibition arena with prime A-list locations and an established loyal base of customers who love our theaters, brand and diverse range of extraordinary, high-quality programming choices throughout the year.”
“I have been in the arthouse business for a long time as both a distributor and a producer, and I know better than most, that these films need a special home and require the utmost care. Landmark is that home. I have long admired and respected the way Landmark has built and grown its business from the ground up and I love this area of the business,” CMG chairman Charles S. Cohen said.
Stephens Inc. served as exclusive financial advisor to Landmark in the transaction.