The pool that holds Hollywood’s current system is getting shallower and shallower by the day.
Legendary Entertainment, the production company behind many Christopher Nolan films, the “Monster-verse” that most recently included Godzilla vs Kong, and the upcoming Dune, has reportedly gained increased attention for a possible impending merger. And that’s not all, as there are rumors of an Imagine Entertainment acquisition also heating up. Let’s tackle this one at a time.
As per Deadline, Legendary has been the focal point for rumors lately. First it was Netflix that was allegedly eyeing the rival company, but this has since been categorized as “roundly denied.” Now, more unknown backers are apparently interested, though nothing is officially confirmed just yet. This would be the latest high-profile consolidation after AT&T turned to Discovery to take HBO Max (and other WarnerMedia assets) off its hands and Amazon swallowed up the iconic MGM.
It’s somewhat strange to see reports painting Legendary almost like carrion with opportunistic vultures circling overhead, as the company hasn’t exactly fallen on hard times lately. Godzilla vs Kong was a pandemic-era hit and the highly-anticipated Dune is right in the thick of a marketing blitz, hyping up the Denis Villeneuve epic as one of the biggest moviegoing events in recent memory.
Deadline somewhat hedges its bets in saying “…the rumored couplings of production companies/distributors going for billions seem contrived…” and that Legendary is not necessarily in a must-sell position. We’ll keep an eye on this one as more details come in.
This one comes from Variety, which has more details on the Ron Howard and Brian Grazer production company. Potential buyers run the gamut of a Middle East wealth fund, former Disney executives Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, and various international banks. Reported figures range from $800 million and $825 million, which would be in keeping with Deadline’s skepticism towards more expensive numbers.
Variety similarly eases off the pedal by including a note that things might fall through “…if [Imagine] can’t find the right deal partner.” Imagine Entertainment typically deals with documentaries, but has also had a sizable participation in well-known projects like Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Mulholland Drive, 24, and Arrested Development.
All of this news comes hot on the heels of yet another rumored acquisition, this time involving A24 entertaining bids for the indie studio. The dominoes first began falling when Disney swooped in and took over Lucasfilm in 2012 and then subsequently shook the industry with its merger with Fox, adding to its massive library like Thanos collecting Infinity Stones.
These days, most studios find themselves in a race to horde as much IP as possible for either potential blockbuster franchises of their own or to provide content through their own streaming services. While the potential consolidations mentioned here may or may not ultimately go through, the industry status quo is on unmistakably shaky ground. Job losses inevitably follow every merger and a lack of competition tends to lead to depressed choices for any consumer. In short, this isn’t great news from a creative standpoint. Expect more updates as they arrive.
The post Legendary and Imagine Entertainment May Be the Latest Hollywood Companies to Be Acquired appeared first on /Film.
/Film – ‘Slash Film: Legendary and Imagine Entertainment May Be the Latest Hollywood Companies to Be Acquired’
Author: Jeremy Mathai
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July 22, 2021