Kevin Tsujihara Breaks Silence on Why Legendary, WB Parted Ways

WB CEO explains that RatPac-Dune Entertainment covered the broader slate it needed to finance

Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara opened up about the dissolution of the deal that saw Thomas Tull’s Legendary Pictures finance many of Warner Bros. Pictures’ most successful films at USC School of Law event on Saturday.

While he didn’t delve too deeply into the particulars, Tsujihara made clear that Legendary wasn’t looking to finance as many films as WB was looking to get, which led to the companies parting ways in June.

“We had a great relationship and a great run with Thomas and Legendary,” he told a packed audience at USC’s Institute of Entertainment Law and Business event. “it worked very well for both of us. But it became a situation where our objectives kind of diverged.”

Tsujihara drew a contrast between Legendary’s aims and those of RatPac-Dune Entertainment, the combination of Dune’s Steven Mnuchin, filmmaker Brett Ratner and Australian billionaire James Packer, who closed a $450 million deal earlier this week to fund over 75 movies.

“You kind of want to make sure if you’re going to do it, you want to do it do it on everything, and make sure it’s not a l carte,” said Tsujihara. “From our perspective that was the strategy that made the most sense to us. “

Legendary has since moved onto Universal Pictures, which was planning to spend $275 million annually in U’s films and its own properties within the first two years of the deal and $350 million a year during the next three years.

The WB-Legendary pact dates back to 2005 and provided the funds for several blockbusters including “Inception,” “Man of Steel,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Dark Knight” and the “Hangover” series.

Tsujihara held forth on a range of subjects related to the entertainment industry and WB at the USC event, from the importance of combating copyright infringement to plans to expand film and TV programming derived from DC Comics.

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