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THE DEALMAKER: A self-described film geek, Thomas Tull raised more than $500 million in private equity to establish Legendary Pictures in 2005. The exec is more than a hands-off financier; Legendary is actively involved in development, casting and production.

Per Tull, Legendary has a selective and focused point of view regarding projects, coupled with a long-term outlook.

“Principals are a big thing for me,” says Tull, whether behind the camera or as business partners. He credits Warner Bros.’ Alan Horn and Barry Meyer as “fantastic and honorable” partners. “Stand next to someone smarter than you and it always seems to work out.”

In the face of the current bad economy, Tull points to entertainment’s historic viability and movie tickets’ relative value. “Films and libraries are an attractive asset,” he says. Four of the company’s nine releases have done more than $200 million domestically.

Key to his dealmaking strategy is to stay focused on his company’s mission. “When you get to a certain size, it’s not lack of opportunities,” he adds, “it’s too many opportunities.”

KEY DEALS: Led extension multipic, co-production and co-financing partnership with Warner Bros. through 2012 to the tune of $1 billion. Co-financed “The Dark Knight,” with “Watchmen,” “Clash of the Titans” and “Where the Wild Things Are” in the pipeline for 2009.

DEALMAKER DOS: “Know what you’re good at and be disciplined. ”

DEALMAKER DON’TS: “Don’t chase trends.”

TOP DEALMAKERS ENCOUNTERED: David Maisel, Kevin Tsujihara