Partnership to continue through 2012
In a testament to Wall Street’s continued love affair with the movie biz, Legendary Pictures said it has raised an additional $1 billion in coin and extended its partnership with Warner Bros. through 2012.
Terms remain the same: Legendary will co-finance half of any movie it co-produces with Warners. Legendary expects to continue partnering on seven to eight films a year.
Legendary, like other funds, has had a bumpy ride: It scored profits on “Batman Begins” and “300,” but took lumps on toon “The Ant Bully” and “Lady in the Water.” Legendary was Warners’ partner on “Superman Returns,” which didn’t reinvigorate the superhero franchise to the degree hoped for.
Films set to be produced with the newly raised money include the bigscreen adaptation of DC Comics’ “The Losers,” the bigscreen adaptation of cult TV series “Kung Fu” and a remake of cult film “Clash of the Titans.”
Warner-Legendary pics “10,000 B.C.” and “Where the Wild Things Are” are already in the pipeline and prepping for release. Legendary’s slate also includes “Trick ‘r Treat.”
Original pact between Warner and Legendary was announced in 2005.
Legendary’s arrival on the studio lot with $500 million marked the beginning of the flood of private equity into Hollywood and studio slate deals.
“We recognize that this is a challenging and constantly evolving business. We believe in our particular approach, in our partner Warner Bros. and in the longterm prospects of the industry and content ownership,” Legendary chair-CEO Thomas Tull said.
Warner Bros. prexy-chief operating officer Alan Horn said he and his team have been impressed by the way Legendary operates, both from a business and creative standpoint. Legendary’s chief creative officer is Jon Jashni.
Investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort is advisor and sole lead arranger on the $1 billion in new financing, a mix of new equity, junior equity and debt. Participating in the junior equity portion is Columbus Nova, a Gotham-based investment management firm.