×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Imagine Confirms Raine Group Investment

Imagine Entertainment has confirmed that it has a new financial backer, the Raine Group.

Variety first broke the news that the merchant bank was putting more than $100 million into the production company behind “Apollo 13,” “A Beautiful Mind,” and “The Da Vinci Code.” Imagine did not confirm the size of the investment beyond dubbing it “significant.”

Imagine is headed up by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. The investment comes as other top-shelf production companies, among them Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners, are on the prowl for new financial partners who will give them the capital to compete in a changing movie and media business.

“The ways in which content is created and consumed are transforming faster than ever before, expanding in directions that hadn’t been conceived even a few years ago,” Grazer said in a statement. “The opportunity to extend Imagine’s reach across this expanding landscape is a driving force for us.”

In addition to television and film production, Imagine said it will use the money to expand into branded content, location based entertainment and digital technology.

Imagine said it will weigh acquisitions, with Howard saying in a statement that the investment “…allows us to build upon our creative relationships to broaden our reach into all narrative formats and platforms.”

The Raine investment in Imagine may alter the company’s three-decade long production and distribution deal with Universal Pictures, which ends this year. Sources say that Imagine could move its film deal to 20th Century Fox, which has been the studio home for 16 years of Imagine’s television offerings.

Past Raine investments in the media space include Vice Media, “South Park” duo Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s Important Studios, action sports company Nitro Circus and fantasy sports company Draft Kings. Additional strategic co-investors brought in by Raine include China Media Capital, the Antenna Group and WPP.

The head of Raine’s entertainment group, Erik Hodge, described the bank’s long-time admiration for “master storytellers” Howard and Grazer.  “We are excited to invest in and partner with Imagine as they expand their many successful franchises across new mediums.” Hodge said. Raine co founder Joe Ravitch added that the funder “built our business on the principle that content and creators are the most valuable elements in today’s media ecosystem.” Both Hodge and Ravitch will join Imagine’s board.

Raine has been increasingly active in the entertainment space — most recently helping arrange Perfect World of China’s $500 million, five year film slate investment with Universal Pictures.

Skip Brittenham and Cliff Gilbert-Lurie of Ziffren Brittenham LLP represented Imagine Entertainment in the investment deal while Neil Whorisky of Cleary Gottlieb acted as legal counsel to Raine.  Also representing Imagine were Jeffrey B. Samuels and‎ Ariel J. Deckelbaum from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.

James Rainey contributed to this story.

More Film

  • Nicolas Cage

    Film News Roundup: Nicolas Cage's 'Jiu Jitsu' Obtains Cyprus Support

    In today’s film news roundup, Cyprus is backing Nicolas Cage’s “Jiu Jitsu”; “The Nanny” and “Amityville 1974” are moving forward; “Milk” is returning to theaters; and Garrett Hedlund’s “Burden” is getting distribution. CYPRUS REBATE Nicolas Cage’s “Jiu Jitsu” has become the first international film to use Cyprus’ new tax credit-rebate program by filming entirely in [...]

  • Zhao Tao

    Zhao Tao Gets Candid in Kering's Shanghai Women in Motion Showcase Interview

    Zhao Tao is one of the most recognizable faces in Chinese art cinema thanks to her longtime collaboration with director Jia Zhangke, whom she married in 2012. From 2000’s “Platform” to last year’s “Ash is Purest White,” her work has plumbed the moral depths of modern China and brought stories of the country’s drastic change [...]

  • Skyline on the Huangpu River with

    Chinese-American Film Festival Seeks Particular Dialog

    With U.S.-China ties at an ever-sinking low, the Chinese-American Film and TV Festival on Tuesday pledged to improve communications between the two countries —  at a Chinese language-only press conference Tuesday that had few foreigners present. Most attendees who took to the stage to give congratulatory speeches that seemed more intent on heaping praise upon [...]

  • Murder Mystery

    Netflix Reveals Record-Breaking Stats for Sandler-Aniston 'Murder Mystery' Flick

    “Murder Mystery,” the latest Adam Sandler film to debut on Netflix, broke viewing records on the streaming service, the company revealed Tuesday. The film, which is co-headlined by Jennifer Aniston, was seen by close to 30.9 million households in its first 3 days, according to a tweet sent out Tuesday afternoon. 🚨ADAM SANDLER AND JENNIFER [...]

  • Agents Accuse Writers Guild of Refusing

    Writers Guild 'Plans to Respond' to Agents' Proposal as Frustration Mounts

    In a sign of increasing frustration, Hollywood agents have accused the Writers Guild of America of foot-dragging in the bitter two-month dispute. “It has become clear as more days pass that the Guild is not interested in making a deal,” said the negotiating committee for the agents in statement issued Tuesday. “Over the past year, [...]

  • Jermaine Fowler arrives at the 69th

    Jermaine Fowler to Co-Star With Eddie Murphy in 'Coming 2 America' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jermaine Fowler is set to play one of the leads opposite Eddie Murphy in Paramount’s sequel “Coming 2 America,” sources tell Variety. “Hustle & Flow” helmer Craig Brewer is on board to direct the pic with the studio planning an August 7, 2020 release. Plot details of “Coming 2 America” are unknown, as are the [...]

  • Henry Golding attends the Fragrance Foundation

    Henry Golding Starts Long House Shingle With 'Inheritance,' 'Harrington's Greatest Hits'

    “Crazy Rich Asians” star Henry Golding has started Long House Productions in partnership with China’s Starlight Cultural Entertainment Group with two features in the works. Golding’s first feature under the Long House banner is action adventure “The Inheritance,” based on an original story idea by Alistair Hudson and Golding. Hudson is writing the script for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content