Tang Media in Negotiations to Buy ‘Spotlight’ Studio Open Road

Spotlight
Courtesy of Open Road

Donald Tang’s Tang Media Partners is in negotiations to buy Los Angeles-based Open Road.

If the transaction is completed — and sources stress that it’s still in the early stages — it would represent a significant expansion into distribution for two-year-old Tang Media, which bought a majority stake last year in Stuart Ford’s sales-financing company IM Global. Tang Media also bought Luke Ryan’s content developer Chaotic Good Studios and its Fanalytics service last year.

Open Road is best known for releasing “Spotlight,” the best picture Academy Award winner about the Boston Globe’s investigation into pedophile priests. It grossed $90 million worldwide in 2015 and 2016.

Open Road’s best performer was 2014’s “The Nut Job” with $120 million worldwide; it’s opening the sequel on Aug. 11. Its top grosser last year was “Mothers Day” with $32 million worldwide and its top performer this year has been “Sleepless” at $30 million.

The company, headed by CEO Tom Ortenberg, was launched in 2011 as a joint venture between theater chains AMC Theaters and Regal Entertainment Group with the aim of providing non-tentpole titles at a time when studios were increasing their focus on mega-budget films. Open Road’s first title was “Killer Elite” in 2011 and its library now has 37 titles including “Snowden,” “Fifty Shades of Black,””Nightcrawler,” “Rock the Kasbah,” “The Promise,” and “Max Steel.”

Tang Media was founded in 2015 by Tang, a former chairman and CEO of Bear Stearns Asia. The company is based in Los Angeles and Shanghai and is active in the development, financing, production, and distribution of entertainment content focused on the intersection between China and Hollywood. Backers have been reported to include Tencent, Huayi Brothers, Sequoia Capital, and China Media Capital.

Reps for Open Road, Tang Media, AMC, and Regal did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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