Legendary Entertainment Distances Itself From Wanda’s China Funding Turmoil

Legendary Entertainment Tuesday denied any direct impact from the current political and financial woes of its Chinese parent company Dalian Wanda.

“Legendary is well capitalized with liquidity to fund its film and TV slates and operate its business as usual. Furthermore, Legendary has not been presented with any Chinese bank documents referenced by the recent press reports surrounding its parent, Wanda, and has not experienced any change in its relationship with Wanda,” Legendary said in a statement emailed to media.

Earlier this week, documents were circulated in China that appeared to show notes from a meeting in which Chinese financial regulators ordered banks to cut off funding to six overseas units of Wanda. The understanding was that these companies had been acquired in breach of capital control rules that China imposed late last year.

While the document acknowledged that most of the deals had been completed in 2016, it appeared to show instructions to the Chinese banks to shut off credit at the units and refuse to accept their assets as collateral, or to allow these assets to be included in any company listed on a Chinese stock market.

Legendary was acquired by unlisted Dalian Wanda in a deal announced in January 2016 for a sum of up to $3.5 billion. A subsequent attempt by Wanda to refinance the deal by including Legendary within listed Wanda Film Holdings (then called Wanda Cinema Line) was blocked in May last year. And a recently proposed restructuring of Wanda Film appears to concern only its businesses in China and to omit Legendary.

Earlier Tuesday, AMC Entertainment issued a far more detailed statement about its relationship with Wanda. That showed only minimal financial connections between the two groups. AMC also denied parts of the Chinese document and said that all four of its recent acquisitions had been fully financed and completed.

Legendary has enjoyed box office success in excess of $100 million in China with each of “Warcraft,” The Great Wall,” and “Kong Skull Island.” But the performance of these titles in other territories was disappointing.

The company is currently being operated jointly by Mary Parent and senior Wanda executive Jack Gao, pending the announcement of a new company president. Legendary’s founder Thomas Tull stepped down earlier this year.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • iQIYI headquarters building in Beijing

    Chinese Streamer iQIYI Squeezed by Changing Content Context

    Chinese video streaming giant iQIYI saw its losses deepen, in the April to June second quarter of its financial year. The company grew subscriptions, but was hit by rising content costs and lower advertising revenue Its parent company, Chinese search leader, Baidu saw its year on year profits drop, though it recovered from loss in [...]

  • Plume of black smoke rising from

    Universal Music Says ‘Many’ Suing Artists’ Masters Were Not Damaged in 2008 Fire

    UPDATED: Late Friday the attorneys representing Soundgarden, Steve Earle and the estates of Tom Petty and Tupac amended their lawsuit against Universal Music Group over damages to their music archives as a result of a 2008 fire. While most of the amended complaint updated details in the original document — adding information about UMG’s alleged [...]

  • Lady Gaga

    Variety Earns 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Award Nominations

    Variety has received 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie award nominations for its coverage of the entertainment industry over the past year. The awards gala, which will take place at The Hilton Midtown in New York City on Oct. 30, celebrates publications that have demonstrated impressive investigative journalism, in addition to thoughtful digital and print design. [...]

  • Bob Bakish Joe Ianniello

    ViacomCBS Sets Board Members; Bob Bakish, Joe Ianniello New Deals Disclosed

    ViacomCBS has unveiled the 13 members of its board of directors and details of new employment contracts for president-CEO Bob Bakish and CBS chairman-CEO Joe Ianniello. The disclosure came Monday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, six days after Viacom and CBS at long last set an all-stock merger agreement valued at [...]

  • Spotify Announces Upgrades to Family Plan,

    Spotify Announces Upgrades to Family Plan, at No Charge in U.S. and U.K.

    Just days after reports emerged that Spotify is aiming to increase the price of its family plan in its home market of Scandinavia, the streaming giant announced an upgrade to the plan — with no price increase in the U.S. and U.K., where it remains at $14.99 and £15, respectively. A rep for the company [...]

  • Untold Stories Film Program

    Robert De Niro's Company Files $6 Million Suit Against Ex-Employee

    Robert De Niro’s company has filed a $6 million lawsuit against a former employee, accusing her of embezzling money and binge-watching Netflix while on the job. Canal Productions, De Niro’s loan-out company, also accuses Chase Robinson of racking up exorbitant hotel and restaurant charges and using millions of De Niro’s frequent flyer miles for her [...]


    Jay-Z Gets Shade From Kaepernick, Support From Cardi B as NFL Fallout Continues

    UPDATED: If anyone expected the drama surrounding Jay-Z’s deal with the NFL to calm down over the weekend, they were mistaken, as controversy and conversation continued to swirl. The situation grew even more intense late Friday when TMZ reported that Jay is looking to acquire a majority interest in an unspecified NFL team, which would [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content