Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby lhb412 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:47 pm

The fact that Tull's Dune seems to be happening gives credence to him still sticking around in some capacity. If any of his projects would be scuttled I thought that would be first on the chopping block.

As for the exec's comment on getting away from spectacle? I'll believe it when I see it: the box office common denominator between the US and China is spectacle.
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby Henry88 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:48 pm

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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby lhb412 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:54 pm

^Seems they're really putting a lot of steam behind PacRim as a franchise, and at the end there a mention of how the Godzilla sequel that will "build into a bigger universe" and is "a fun property to work on since it's very different from a lot of the superhero movies that are out there right now." Seems that King of the Monsters and vs. Kong are pretty safe, and that they fit into Legendary's strategy of licensing beyond just making films. I will say that that has been something Legendary was pretty poor with. Skull Island already has more tie-ins than Godzilla '14 and PacRim.

... and naturally, despite what that exec said about expanding beyond special-effects heavy blockbusters this article was all: "Pacific Rim virtual reality! Lost in Space on Netflix in 2018! Godzilla and Pokémon in 2019! We're making a Dune movie and everyone loves Dune!!!"
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby Henry88 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:38 pm

Seesawing Fate of Legendary Reflects the Film Industry’s Volatility
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/25/busi ... ility.html
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby lhb412 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:18 am

^Despite the headline, the last third of the article seems pretty positive, with the success of Kong being a kind of pivot.
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby Benjamin Haines » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:11 am

Henry88 wrote:Seesawing Fate of Legendary Reflects the Film Industry’s Volatility
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/25/busi ... ility.html


Some quotes from that article:

Brooks Barnes wrote:Legendary’s next release, “Pacific Rim: Uprising,” which will arrive in February, cost about $150 million to make, for instance. Its 2013 franchise predecessor cost an estimated $190 million.


If the final production budget for Pacific Rim: Uprising really does end up being $150 million when February gets here, that will be a huge advantage for the film's box office prospects. Pacific Rim made $411m worldwide, which was just 2.16x its $190m production budget. It didn't turn a profit in theaters and it's only because Wanda bought Legendary that the sequel was even greenlit at all. If the sequel can make $400m worldwide, that would be 2.66x a hypothetical $150m budget. If it can experience any growth in domestic or international grosses from the first film (which is no guarantee), then it would probably turn a profit in theaters at that budget.


Brooks Barnes wrote:The studio’s last release, “Kong: Skull Island,” was a hit, collecting $566 million worldwide in March against a production budget of $185 million. DVD sales were also strong. As a result, Legendary expects to turn a profit for 2017 of roughly $30 million.


Home media sales for Kong: Skull Island are definitely strong. I was at Walmart earlier today and every single DVD and BRD/DVD copy of the film was gone from the new release rack. The only BRD/DVD copies left were in a two-pack with Legendary's Godzilla BRD/DVD. (They also still had several 4k UltraHD copies.)

The success of Skull Island this year is really important and it bodes well for the future of the Monsterverse. Legendary's filmography has included a number of sizable hits over the years but most of them haven't been projects or franchises that Legendary controls. They can't point to The Dark Knight or Man of Steel as examples of what the studio can do in the future because Legendary is no longer involved with WB's films based on DC Comics characters. Likewise, Universal owns the Jurassic franchise and Legendary is merely an investing partner on those latest films. Legendary also doesn't have any production deal in place with Christopher Nolan and wasn't involved in Dunkirk, so it's not like Legendary's market value today or potential to produce hits in the future can be judged based on Inception or Interstellar. Plus, The Hangover trilogy peaked in popularity with Part II, the last entry was released four years ago and all of the series participants (and audiences) have moved on.

Looking at Legendary's output and focusing on the projects that the studio spearheaded itself, the biggest standout hits from the last few years are Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla. They've had some very profitable successes with low/mid-budget endeavors (Straight Outta Compton, Krampus, 42) but the Monsterverse is absolutely Legendary's tentpole franchise right now. If Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs. Kong are at least as successful as their predecessors, Legendary will have every reason to want to keep the Monsterverse going further.
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby mr.negativity » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:08 am

THR 08/28/2017:
Legendary Entertainment Courting Lawyer Josh Grode as New CEO (Exclusive)
Tatiana Siegel wrote:Legendary Entertainment is looking to one of its closest advisors to possibly fill its vacant CEO post.

The studio behind Pacific Rim and The Great Wall is aggressively pursuing attorney Josh Grode to take on the CEO role, multiple sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. Grode, a partner in the Los Angeles office of the Irell & Manella law firm and co-chair of the firm's Transactions practice, has represented Legendary for years and played a key role in the company's sale to China's Dalian Wanda Group in early 2016.

"Josh has been and continues to be a legal advisor to Wanda and Legendary and will continue render services to them and other clients," a spokesperson for Legendary says of Grode. A rep for the attorney declined to comment, and a source close to the situation stressed that an arrangement had not been finalized and could still fall apart. Until then, Grode continues in his legal practice.

Hiring Grode would come some seven months after Thomas Tull stepped down from the top spot at the company that he founded in 2005 and eventually sold to Wanda for a reported $3.5 billion. Since then, Jack Gao, Wanda's CEO and senior vp international investments and operations, has been serving as Legendary's interim chief exec. The company at one point was in talks with former Fox film chief Jim Gianopulos to take on the CEO job, but Gianopulos chose to join Paramount instead. Legendary is currently in postproduction on Pacific Rim: Uprising and has several other projects in development under film studio chief Mary Parent.

Wanda's purchase of Legendary, the largest move by a Chinese company in Hollywood, helped transform Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin into a major power player given that the Chinese real estate giant also owns the AMC Entertainment cinema chain. But Wanda has been reeling in recent months in the wake of reports that multi-billionaire Wang was on the outs with Chinese authorities and forbidden to leave the country. Shares of the Hong Kong-listed subsidiary plummeted some 10 percent on Monday amid rumors Wang had been detained.

Wanda has denied the rumors about Wang, but the leadership situation at Wanda could complicate the effort to close a deal with Grode to take over Legendary, according to one source close to the situation.

Though Grode would be an outside-the-box choice to head up Legendary, he is no stranger to Hollywood's mega-deal landscape, having represented Colony Capital in its $660 million purchase of Miramax Films from Disney and subsequently Miramax when it was sold to beIN Media Group. Grode also played a key role in the creation of Twilight studio Summit Entertainment and its sale to Lionsgate, which is fueling chatter that current Summit/Lionsgate film executive Patrick Wachsberger could join Grode at Legendary and run its international division. Wachsberger has a contract at Lionsgate that sources say extends into 2018, but he is said to be restless at the studio and looking to make a move. Wachsberger, a major player on the international film scene, would give Legendary a strong footing in the foreign sales sphere.

Legendary began as Tull's financing entity, investing in such big-budget films as Warner. Bros.' The Dark Knight as well as the lower-budget Hangover films. But in 2013, it became an independent studio based at Universal and suffered a string of flops, including Blackhat and The Great Wall. The company development slate includes a Pokemon movie, a new Dune and a China-set Dwayne Johnson action movie.

Wanda has struggled to become a truly global cinema business that houses Legendary and its other entertainment properties under a singular umbrella. A plan for a combined entertainment group was poised to go public on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in a deal at an estimated $5.6 billion, but it was postponed.
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby mr.negativity » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:28 pm

THR 10/16/2017:
Jack Gao Exits China's Wanda, Legendary Entertainment (Exclusive)
Patrick Brzeski wrote:Jack Gao, senior vice president of billionaire Wang Jianlin's Dalian Wanda Group and interim CEO of Legendary Entertainment, has exited the Chinese conglomerate, sources familiar with the situation tell The Hollywood Reporter.

Zeng Maojun, president of Wanda Film Holding Co., will take the reigns as Legendary's interim leader, according to sources. The studio has been without a CEO since founder Thomas Tull departed in January.

Mary Parent, Legendary's head of production, is said to be staying with the Burbank-based studio.

Dalian Wanda Group declined to comment.

More to come...

UPDATE
Sources tell THR that Gao decided to depart of his own accord, as his role had become hampered by recent regulatory changes in Beijing that have made overseas investing difficult to impossible for Chinese conglomerates operating in the entertainment sector.

A former News Corp. and Microsoft exec, Gao joined Wanda in 2015. In addition to his interim duties at Legendary, he served as Wanda's CEO of international investments and operations, a title that entailed acting as one of Wang's chief strategists during a period of aggressive international expansion for the firm in 2015 and 2016. That era came to a screeching halt around the close of 2016, however, when Beijing began a strict clampdown on Chinese capital outflows and corporate indebtedness.

Wanda, along with fellow conglomerates HNA Group, Anbang Insurance and Fosun International, a backer of Jeff Robinov's Studio 8, were singled out by the crackdown in July, when financial regulators instructed China's state banks to stop lending to the four firms for overseas expansion. Regulators were said to be especially perturbed by the conglomerates' pricey, debt-fueled acquisitions in the entertainment, sports and hospitality sectors (Wanda abandoned a $1 billion deal to buy TV producer Dick Clark Productions in March).

Wanda responded with a series of moves that appeared calibrated to signal to the Chinese government that it would step in line.

Speaking with China's preeminent business news outlet in July, Wang said: "Wanda will respond to the state’s call and has decided to keep its main investment within China."

The new domestic focus represented a radical about-face from Wanda's prior outward-looking strategy — and Gao's remit — of the past two years. Around the same time, Wang executed a debt-reducing fire sale of the bulk of his Chinese hotel and theme park holdings, unloading the assets to fellow local property developers Sunac and R&F Properties Co. for a combined $9.5 billion.

Sources close to Wanda say the company is now in something of a holding pattern. No major Chinese company is expected to be able to make moves in the international entertainment arena until the conclusion of China's 19th Communist Party Congress, a high-stakes political event that kicks off Oct. 18. And analysts are divided on whether a smooth conclusion to the political occasion will result in a regulatory easing, or if the current constraints are something dealmakers will have to endure long-term.

But with Wanda already so deeply invested in the international film business — the company owns the world's largest movie theater network, comprising North America's biggest circuit AMC, two major chains in Europe, one in Oceania, as well as China's largest — sources close to Wang say he believes surrender from global entertainment is not an option.
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby lhb412 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:30 pm

Hmmmm... if Legendary goes under I wonder if WB will just gobble up the MonserVerse?

... and Universal Pacific Rim, if Uprising does well?
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby jellydonut25 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:04 am

Just make it through Godzilla vs Kong, since that's what has been planned out.
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby mr.negativity » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:58 pm

lhb412 wrote:Hmmmm... if Legendary goes under I wonder if WB will just gobble up the MonserVerse?

... and Universal Pacific Rim, if Uprising does well?

I bet we'll get one Pacific Rim vs MonsterVerse movie.
Universal probably won't give up the rights to Pacific Rim if Uprising is a hit.

THR 10/18/2017:
China's Perfect World Secures $250M for Universal Pictures Slate Financing
Patrick Brzeski wrote:China's Perfect World Pictures has closed a $250 million credit facility with East West Bank and JPMorgan to capitalize the second phase of its ongoing five-year slate finance agreement at Universal Pictures.

In a deal unveiled in January 2016, Perfect World agreed to co-finance 50 films across the Universal slate over a half-decade. Sources told The Hollywood Reporter at the time that Perfect World would be getting a 25 percent share of most, but not all, of the films released by Universal until approximately the end of 2020. The names of the titles that were carved out of the agreement were never made public.

Perfect World made an initial $250 million equity investment, with plans to raise between $200-$250 million in debt at a later date. This second piece has now been secured.

"This credit facility represents a continuing commitment by Perfect World Pictures to the Universal slate finance deal," said Manatt, Phelps & Phillips partner Lindsay Conner, who represented the Beijing-based entertainment firm. "The deal should reassure people that the China-Hollywood partnership is alive and well. It shows that sophisticated Chinese entertainment companies remain strong partners for Hollywood studios."

More to come...
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby mr.negativity » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:06 am

Deadline December 5, 2017:
Joshua Grode Takes Legendary CEO Post; How He And Mary Parent Intend To Write Wanda-Backed Company’s Next Chapter
Mike Fleming Jr wrote:BREAKING: Legendary Entertainment has its first CEO since Thomas Tull exited after selling his company to Dalian Wanda for $3.5 billion in early 2016. Joshua Grode has taken the reins and will team with Vice Chairman of Worldwide Production Mary Parent to build the company’s future. Grode leaves as partner of the law firm Irell & Manella and co-chair of its Transactions practice who has advised Legendary and other media businesses including A24, Lionsgate, Marvel, Miramax, Summit Entertainment and financial institutions including Bank of America, Comerica Bank, Union Bank, as well as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where he worked on the financing and construction of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

Legendary offered Grode the job in late August, but he took his time figuring out if he wanted to make the switch. Legendary courted such heavyweights as Jim Gianopulos for the CEO post before he instead decided to reinvigorate Paramount Pictures. An issue facing any top candidate has been the uncertainty regarding any China-backed company after the government cracked down on money leaving the mainland. The combination of a strengthened Legendary balance sheet, working alongside dynamo creative executive Parent, and an ability to continue being entrepreneurial were the reasons Grode said yes.

“Throughout my legal career, I’ve been one of those lawyers who has been more of a proactive business partner type lawyer versus one who sits back and waits for the deal to get made and writes up the paperwork,” Grode told Deadline. “That started back when we did the Marvel deal. We came up with the idea, working with the executives there; let’s leverage your comic book characters into a financing entity and transform you from a licensing company into a studio. That was an idea that we as lawyers came up with and helped them execute, which is uncommon. Similar to Summit, when everyone said, you can’t build a new studio. We had just finished doing all these producer finance deals and said, of course you can build a studio, with a blank piece of paper. That was myself and Ron Hohauser, now the CFO at Legendary, who came up with the idea to build a new studio and we went out and recruited the executives to fill that role, put the financing together and we really were the instigators in building that.

“When this came up, I’d known the Wanda guys well from the years spent working with them,” Grode said. “I’d gotten to know Mary working with her after Wanda purchased Legendary. Seeing how she approaches this and what she wants to accomplish on the creative side, I thought, this could be another one of those unique opportunities to take advantage of what I see happening in the market. Which is, you have a creative force like Mary, you have the consolidation of our business — if Disney does buy Fox, and all the other changes going on with Time Warner — and I think there is going to be an opening for a company to really focus on delivering and getting very close to the content. Combined with the strength of Wanda being the 800 pound gorilla in China, an increasingly important market, and their willingness to deliver all the resources they own to support what Legendary is going to do in the future? That on the operational side is something unique”

The final decider was financial moves made by Wanda to convert debt into equity and show a liquidity that will help convince Hollywood that the company will be around for a long stay. These moves were assisted by Grode, advising from Irell Manella. The China party congress convened in October signaled a thaw, after which Wanda pulled $1.7 billion in funding out of China for its businesses. The company has put three quarters of a billion dollars on the balance sheet, and converted $500 million of debt into equity, Grode said. This was contrary to a number of other Chinese companies that pulled out of deals, most notably the co-financing arrangement made at Paramount with Huahua Media and Shanghai Film Group that was supposed to bring $1 billion to the studio’s slates over three years.

“The balance sheet was recently improved, and all the debt on the company was converted into equity by Wanda,” Grode said. “They put in close to three quarters of a billion dollars in new capital onto the balance sheet. So you have in Legendary a company that on a financial level is strong than it has ever been in its history. Combine those three things and, when does that happen, where you have a pristine balance sheet, a creative Michael Jordan working at the company, and the resources on a global level in a company small enough where you can effect change. Sounds great.”

Wanda scored a coup by getting Parent to continue as its chief creative executive, but landing a wingman at the CEO level was important to her committing longterm, because she had a key man clause in her contract. Had she taken another job, Wanda would have had little to show for its $3.5 billion acquisition. Parent said her time working alongside Grode when he was advising the company convinced her he would be an ideal CEO, and Grode said he wouldn’t have made the move if Parent wasn’t there.

“The best way to know is to be in the trenches with somebody, where you can judge their commitment and intensity,” Parent said. “Josh had the unique opportunity to be at the center of so many different kinds of deals and companies. Most people who come into these jobs worked at one or two companies their entire career. Because Josh worked at such a high level as a lawyer, he had the insight and the ability to look across all of these different companies and platforms, which is unique. Combine that with somebody who has as intense a work ethic as I do, and to me it became, how do we make this happen? I find people define themselves frankly when things are challenging. His level of integrity and honor and his creative thinking to quickly assess how to tackle problems and opportunities, are unique skill sets. I almost felt it was fated to happen this way and it meant everything to me. This is an environment I feel I can do my best work in, and with the stakes so high right now, you have to make sure the people you’re in the trenches with are able to bring out the best in one another, but also can bring something specific and unique to the table. Josh checked every single one of those boxes.”

Parent said she was excited by such upcoming big scale films that include the Dwayne Johnson-starrer Skyscraper, Godzilla: King of Monsters, Detective Pikachu, Godzilla Vs. Kong, and Dune with Denis Villenueve, as well as the Legendary produced/financed Carne Y Arena, the VR project by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu which just received a special Oscar. The TV projects include Lost in Space for Netflix, an adaptation of the Lawrence Wright Pulitzer Prize winning book The Looming Tower about the events that led up to the 9/11 terrorist attack, and Carnival Row, the fantasy noir that stars Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne, hatched by Rene Echevarria & Travis Beacham for Amazon.

Around all this, Grode will look for opportunities to expand Legendary’s imprint. It is a case where not being too big leaves a lot of room to grow.

“I get excited, that this company doesn’t have a lot of entanglements, limitations and drag that some of the big media companies have now,” Grode said. “If you turn the clock back ten years, HBO could have said, let’s go over the top, let’s deliver content that way, and you maybe wouldn’t have Netflix. But they really couldn’t do that then, because they were making so much from the MSOs paying them billions of dollars a year. They were never going to walk away from that, but it is a corporate entanglement that prevented them from executing on something they probably should have done, fully noting that hindsight is always 20/20. The benefit of Legendary is, we don’t have that. We’re free to go look at the marketplace with a strong balance sheet and excess cash and the ability to say, ‘boy that looks interesting, maybe that’s something we should do.”
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby daikaijusaurus » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:44 am

So according to this video, the Wanda Group (who owns Legendary Pictures) is having financial difficulties because of recent real estate blunders as well as a few movies that failed at the box office. So as a result the future of Legendary Pictures (which includes the MonsterVerse) may be uncertain.

phpBB [media]


I Googled it and did find a few articles that mentions their financial difficulties. Not sure what to make of this. The video speculates that Wanda may sell Legendary to another studio and they may continue with the MonsterVerse.

If this becomes the case, I think it would make sense for either WB or Universal to purchase Legendary. I see WB as more likely since they have the rights to the MonsterVerse movies. On the other hand, it would be cool if Universal picked it up since they have the rights to the classic Horror films. I wouldn't mind seeing a King Kong Vs Frankenstein someday :D
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby eabaker » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:14 pm

daikaijusaurus wrote:If this becomes the case, I think it would make sense for either WB or Universal to purchase Legendary. I see WB as more likely since they have the rights to the MonsterVerse movies. On the other hand, it would be cool if Universal picked it up since they have the rights to the classic Horror films. I wouldn't mind seeing a King Kong Vs Frankenstein someday :D


Well, the story and key characters of Frankenstein are all public domain, anyway. It's just anything specific to the Universal films (most notably Jack Pierce's make-up design) that Universal has specific ownership of.
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby jellydonut25 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:15 pm

^RE: The Clickbait Teaser on that video:

No. The movies that have already been announced and planned are all being released. Nothing is ending "prematurely"
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby klen7 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:35 pm

If G:KotM performs like PR:U, i wouldnt be surprised if the forgo GvKK
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby lhb412 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:03 pm

klen7 wrote:If G:KotM performs like PR:U, i wouldnt be surprised if the forgo GvKK


KotM comes out next Spring. GvK is supposed to start shooting this Fall. Shooting may already be wrapped before KotM comes out!

Right now, the MonserVerse is only planned as four movies. Two have already come out, and two are being made right now and will be released barring something extraordinary happening. KotM is done filming, so it's a sure thing. GvK is deep into preproduction and will start filming in a few months so its almost a sure thing.

What happens after that? That depends on if the movies are successful, bomb, only break even, etc. If Godzilla's doing well as a franchise and Wanda discards Legendary it'll probably be a studio that buys the remains of Legendary and absorbs them that'll make further MonserVerse movies. It the movies bomb or only do so-so, sure, that may be the end of the MonserVerse, but that's just how movies work. I won't be disappointed: that's four movies! That's nothing to sneeze at, guys. I think the extraordinary profundity of Marvel is giving us a warped sense of just how much of a franchise we should be turning out.
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby klen7 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:19 pm

Good point. Based on the Toho-Legendary deal details, there isnt much room for GvKK to move to the right
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby Henry88 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:41 am

i just hope we can continue to see more big budget us godzilla movies .
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby daikaijusaurus » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:11 pm

So far, I have been really enjoying the MonsterVerse movies. They have been good old fashioned monster movies in the spirit of the 50s and 60s, especially Kong Skull island. And so far they have been turning a profit. Nothing like the Marvel films obviously, but enough that we're getting two more. If GKOTM and GvsK earn as much as the previous two, I believe we'll see more, but by whome? I don't know, but whoever it is ( hopefully not Disney ) I hope they keep the spirit of the 50s and 60s.

To me it makes sense that it's WB since they currently have the rights and since they seem to realize that giant monsters movies do have an audience in the 21st century, especially since WB will also be releasing Rampage soon.

So I'm going to remain optimistic that whatever happens to Legendary, we'll be seeing more of MonsterVerse even after GvsK :D
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby Benjamin Haines » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:00 am

Financial Times, Feb. 5, 2018:
Dalian Wanda sells stake in films unit to Alibaba
Don Weinland wrote:Dalian Wanda, the Chinese entertainment-to-properties conglomerate, will sell a $1.2bn stake in its listed films unit to investors led by ecommerce group Alibaba, the latest in a string of divestments by the company over the past six months.

Wanda will sell a stake of about Rmb4.7bn ($747m) to Alibaba and Rmb3.1bn to Shanghai-listed Cultural Investment Holdings, or about 13 per cent of the films unit, according to a regulatory filing. Following the sale, Wanda will still hold a majority stake in the company. It said the deal would bring in strategic shareholders.

Once the vanguard of Chinese soft power overseas, spending $3.5bn on US production studio Legendary Entertainment and $2.6bn on cinema chain AMC, Wanda came under government pressure in mid-2017 to scale down its businesses.


I doubt Wanda will sell such a high-profile acquisition as Legendary, although I wouldn't be surprised if they sold stakes in Legendary to other investors.

Legendary is an odd duck. The company exists because Thomas Tull raised half a billion dollars in private equity financing and now it's a subsidiary of a Chinese conglomerate. Legendary came to prominence by co-financing & co-producing hit films like The Dark Knight, The Hangover, and Inception but that history can't be replicated. Their deal with Warner Bros. ended in 2014, so films based on DC Comics and/or made by Christopher Nolan are no longer part of Legendary's output. Their box office track record was always patchy when it came to original properties, with The Hangover being a lightning-in-a-bottle comedy franchise that landed big and flamed out quickly.

It was Legendary's history of specific big hits that led Universal to strike a co-financing deal with them in 2013, and it's what made the company look like a lucrative acquisition to Wanda a few years later. Both of those deals may ultimately have benefited Tull more than they did Universal or Wanda, with a number of Legendary's films flopping in the years since, including The Great Wall and Pacific Rim: Uprising. The only hit franchises that Legendary is currently involved in are Universal's Jurassic World sequels and WB's Monsterverse. At this point, so far removed from the unique circumstances that brought the company to prominence in the first place, Legendary is struggling to define its identity as a film studio.
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby mr.negativity » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:49 pm

THR 6/28/2018:
Legendary Lands $1 Billion Revolving Credit Facility
Tatiana Siegel wrote:Buoyed by the massive summer hit Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and a plum China release date for the upcoming Skyscraper, Legendary Entertainment has closed a $1 billion senior secured revolving credit facility led by J.P. Morgan.

Just three months after former attorney Joshua Grode joined the studio as CEO, he has quickly made his mark with the new facility, which replaces the previous $585 million credit facility with more favorable terms. Grode secured an industry-low interest rate and also incorporated significant production credits, which allows Legendary to borrow based on estimated future performance when a movie or TV show starts production as opposed to against receivables after that movie or TV show comes out.

Combined with its cash on the balance sheet on the closing of the new facility, Legendary will have approximately $2 billion of liquidity.

Joining J.P. Morgan is a syndicate of top-tier entertainment banks, including Union Bank, Bank of America, Comerica Bank, CIT, Fifth Third Bank and SunTrust Bank.

The move comes as Legendary ramps up under Mary Parent on the film side and Nick Pepper on the TV side and harnesses the studio's Chinese partners like Wanda to maximize distribution opportunities and profitability in the growing Asian market.

"We are executing the business plan that we mapped when I joined Legendary at the start of the year," Grode said. "This new facility and the support from the financial institutions that power our industry is validation of our strategy and another major step in cementing Legendary’s position as one of the premiere content creation companies in the world. We are continuing to be heads down on the creative work with our world-class creative team, with Mary Parent driving the film business and both Mary and Nick Pepper energizing our television business."

Added J.P. Morgan’s David Shaheen: "Legendary is an important name in the industry, with a strong balance sheet and deep support from the entertainment banking community that enables robust investment across its content platform."

Legendary currently has three films in various phases of postproduction, including the Dwayne Johnson starrer Skyscraper, which is set to open July 13 in the U.S. and on the unprecedented date of July 20 in China (that country typically releases only homegrown fare during that stretch of summer); Godzilla: King of the Monsters; and Detective Pikachu. Through its co-financing arrangement with Universal, Legendary also has a stake in the new Jurassic World movie Fallen Kingdom (which has grossed $798 million worldwide so far in its run) as well as such upcoming films as Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! (July 20), Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman (Aug. 10) and Mortal Engines (Dec. 14).

On the TV front, Legendary recently landed a second-season order from Netflix for its Lost in Space series and is supporting an Emmy campaign for The Looming Tower, the studio’s critically acclaimed 9/11 drama streaming on Hulu.
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby mr.negativity » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:16 pm

THR 7/13/2018:
Box Office: 'Hotel Transylvania 3' Toppling 'Skyscraper' in U.S.
Pamela McClintock wrote:Dwayne Johnson's 'Skyscraper' may have trouble earning much more than $23 million in its domestic launch, while 'Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation' heads for $43 million.
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby mr.negativity » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:52 pm

THR JULY 25, 2018:
Ryan Reynolds' 'Detective Pikachu' Moves From Universal to Warner Bros. (Exclusive)

DEADLINE AUGUST 13, 2018:
Encore From July 25: ‘Detective Pikachu’ Switch Offers Clues To Legendary Move To Warner Bros From Universal

VARIETY AUGUST 13, 2018:
Legendary, Warner Bros. Near Distribution Deal (EXCLUSIVE)
Brent Lang wrote:Legendary Entertainment will likely leave its distribution and co-financing pact with Universal Studios early, according to multiple insiders. The company behind “Godzilla” and “Kong: Skull Island” is decamping for Warner Bros., its former home. A deal has yet to be signed, but the two entertainment players are in exclusive negotiations and are expected to come to an agreement shortly.

However, the deal will be much different than previous pacts that Legendary has signed, signaling a larger strategic shift that’s taken place at the company following a series of box office flops and the departure of its founder Thomas Tull in 2017. Namely, the Warner Bros. alliance will be a straight output deal, meaning that the studio will release Legendary’s films for a fee. It will not be a slate financing partnership, which was the kind of alliance that Legendary had at Warner Bros. during an eight-year relationship that ended in 2013. Warner Bros. could invest in certain Legendary films and vice versa, but neither company is be obligated to take equity stakes in each other’s films.

Legendary was previously motivated to leave Warner Bros. in part because of bad blood between Tull and former studio chief Jeff Robinov. But both companies have new leadership — Toby Emmerich has taken the reins at Warners and Josh Grode, a former entertainment lawyer, has been in charge at Legendary since early this year. The two men have been hammering out a new deal in recent weeks. The company’s decision to move “Detective Pikachu,” its Pokemon adaptation, to Warner Bros. from Universal was widely reported to be a signal it was eyeing the exit door. Legendary no longer has any movies set up at Universal. It had originally been linked to the Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot action-thriller “Red Notice,” but it will no longer back that picture. The company’s deal with Legendary was originally slated to end in December. Legendary does not have rights to future installments in ongoing franchises such as “Jurassic World” that it previously invested in when its deal was in place at Universal.

When Legendary migrated to Universal, it did so with grand ambitions. The companies announced that as part of the deal Legendary’s franchises and intellectual property could be turned into rides at Universal’s theme parks. In return, Universal said it viewed the deal as a chance to collaborate with Legendary on projects in China. Legendary is owned by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda and has long had a presence in the Middle Kingdom through Legendary East, a joint venture film production company based in Hong Kong. The alliance didn’t pay off. Universal came to believe that it would have been better off if it had financed films such as “Jurassic World” without Legendary, because the studio was forced to share the profits on movies that were wildly successful and arrived without a lot of risk attached to them. In turn, many of the films that Legendary produced, such as this summer’s “Skyscraper” and “Crimson Peak,” turned out to be box office misses. “Kong: Skull Island,” a hit for Legendary, was released by Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. and Legendary reunited at this year’s Comic-Con to show footage from “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” the latest entry in the soon-to-be partners’ monster franchise. In June, Legendary announced it has closed a $1 billion senior secured revolving credit facility led by J.P. Morgan.

Spokespeople for Warner Bros., Universal, and Legendary declined to comment.
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Re: Thomas Tull Resigns from Legendary

Postby Benjamin Haines » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:20 pm

mr.negativity wrote:VARIETY AUGUST 13, 2018:
Legendary, Warner Bros. Near Distribution Deal (EXCLUSIVE)
Brent Lang wrote:When Legendary migrated to Universal, it did so with grand ambitions. The companies announced that as part of the deal Legendary’s franchises and intellectual property could be turned into rides at Universal’s theme parks. In return, Universal said it viewed the deal as a chance to collaborate with Legendary on projects in China. Legendary is owned by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda and has long had a presence in the Middle Kingdom through Legendary East, a joint venture film production company based in Hong Kong. The alliance didn’t pay off. Universal came to believe that it would have been better off if it had financed films such as “Jurassic World” without Legendary, because the studio was forced to share the profits on movies that were wildly successful and arrived without a lot of risk attached to them. In turn, many of the films that Legendary produced, such as this summer’s “Skyscraper” and “Crimson Peak,” turned out to be box office misses. “Kong: Skull Island,” a hit for Legendary, was released by Warner Bros.


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