×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Landmark Theatres Chain Sold to Cohen Media Group

Arthouse specialist Landmark Theatres has been sold by Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban to Cohen Media Group for an undisclosed price.

The sale ends months of speculation about Landmark’s fate — the company has been shopped around for months, reportedly drawing interest from Amazon, Netflix, and Byron Allen. Cohen Media Group chairman Charles S. Cohen, a real estate developer whose fortune is estimated to be $3.4 billion, said he will retain the senior management team of Landmark Theatres.

In an interview with Variety, Landmark Theatres president and CEO Ted Mundorff said he was pleased that the sale had been resolved and also said he was optimistic that Cohen, a cinephile, was an ideal owner.

“It’s a great day for the industry,” said Mundorff. “You have a film lover who bought a theater company… and he’s going to keep the ship running the way it has been going.”

The deal was announced Tuesday by Wagner, Cuban, Mundorff, and Cohen, who formed Cohen Media Group in 2008 as an independent theatrical distribution and production company. He executive produced “Frozen River,” bought and remodeled the Quad Cities Cinema in New York City, and has acquired more than 700 classic films. He has made a point of restoring the films of Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, releasing remastered prints of “Howard’s End,” “Heat and Dust,” and other films. His holdings include Los Angeles’ Pacific Design Center, Design Center of the Americas in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Decorative Center Houston.

Landmark, which operates 252 screens in 27 markets, has been owned by Wagner-Cuban’s 2929 Entertainment since 2003. Landmark describes itself as the nation’s largest specialized theater chain dedicated to independent cinema. At a time when major theater chains have barred movies from Netflix, Landmark has shown a willingness to exhibit content that premieres on streaming platforms or that avoids traditional theatrical release windows. It is showing “Roma,” for instance. Mundorff indicated that its approach will not change with new ownership.

“I think we’ll continue to curate the films the way we’ve been doing,” he said.

Key locations include the Landmark in Los Angeles and the Landmark at 57 West in New York City, which are often used to host award-season events and screenings, as well as the E Street Cinema and the Landmark Atlantic Plumbing Cinema in Washington D.C., the Landmark at Merrick Park in Coral Gables, Fla., the Landmark at Greenwood Village in Denver and revival specialist the Nuart in West Los Angeles.

Cohen Media Group also restores and re-releases classic films under the label Cohen Film Collection, which includes the Merchant Ivory collection and the Buster Keaton catalog. The company has also released a variety of films nominated for the best foreign language Academy Awards, including “Timbuktu,” “Mustang,” and 2017’s winner “The Salesman.”

Landmark noted Tuesday that it was the first chain to introduce non-conventional seating with the installation of couches and love seats, along with the first to employ DCP digital projectors. Wagner and Cuban bought the chain from Oaktree Capital in 2003.

Cohen said in a statement, “I have been in the arthouse business for a long time as both a distributor and a producer, and I know better than most, that these films need a special home and require the utmost care. Landmark is that home. I have long admired and respected the way Landmark has built and grown its business from the ground up and I love this area of the business.“

Mundorff told Variety he was friends with Cohen and had known him for years, making the transition an easier one.

“Charles is a great guy,” he said. “In this case the phrase ‘the devil you know’ isn’t applicable.”

Stephens Inc. served as exclusive financial adviser to Landmark in the transaction.

More Film

  • Berlin Awarded 'Tess' Sells to Multiple

    Berlin Awarded 'Tess' Sells to Multiple Territories (EXCLUSIVE)

    Berlin-based sales agent Picture Tree Intl. has sold Steven Wouterlood’s coming-of-age film “My Extraordinary Summer with Tess,” which received a Special Mention from the jury of Berlin Film Festival’s Generation KPlus section, to distributors in several territories. Among the buyers are Les Films Du Preau in France, Proview Entertainment in Taiwan, Angel Films in Denmark, [...]

  • China Box Office: ‘Wandering Earth’ Reaches

    China Box Office: ‘Wandering Earth’ Reaches $557 Million in Second Week

    The winning films from Chinese New Year remained on top of the Chinese box office in their second normal weekend of release. Locally-made sci-fi film “The Wandering Earth” advanced its score to $557 million. “Wandering Earth” earned $88.8 million between Friday and Monday, according to data from Asian film industry consultancy Artisan Gateway. That was [...]

  • Nuno Beato’s ‘My Grandfather’ Part of

    ‘My Grandfather Used to Say He Saw Demons’ Marks Sardinha em Lata’s Animation Build

    Portuguese animator-producer-director Nuno Beato, whose credits include “Emma & Gui,” “Híssis” and the multi-prized “My Life In Your Hands,” will pitch a new project, currently in development, “My Grandfather Used to Say He Saw Demons” at Bordeaux’s upcoming Cartoon Movie, the leading European animated feature forum. Cartoon Movie runs March 5-7. Combining 2D and stop-motion, [...]

  • DF-10193 – L-R: Ben Hardy (Roger Taylor),

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Leads MPSE Golden Reel Awards for Sound Editing

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” followed up love from Cinema Audio Society sound mixers with a pair of honors at the Motion Picture Sound Editors’ 66th annual Golden Reel Awards Sunday night. The musical biopic scored wins for dialogue and ADR as well as sound editing in a musical. The film is nominated for sound editing at the Oscars [...]

  • Melissa McCarthy as "Lee Israel" in

    Writers Guild Makes It Official: This Is the Most Wide-Open Oscars Race Ever

    For the record, we’re in uncharted territory this Oscar season. While we still have the costume designers’ ceremony to get through on Tuesday, the Writers Guild Awards put a bow on the major guild kudos circuit Sunday night. The results have yielded what is, unequivocally, the most wide-open Oscar field in history. The major guild [...]

  • Melissa McCarthy as "Lee Israel" and

    WGA Awards 2019: 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?,' 'Eighth Grade' Win Screenplay Awards

    In a pair of upsets, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” has won the Writers Guild of America’s adapted screenplay award for Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty and Bo Burnham has won the original screenplay award for “Eighth Grade.” The major television trophies went to “The Americans,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Homeland” and “Barry” for the [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel' No Match for China's 'Wandering Earth' Overseas

    Hollywood movies like “Alita: Battle Angel” and “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” are doing respectable business overseas, but they’re proving no match for foreign titles at the international box office. The Chinese New Year is bringing in huge business in the Middle Kingdom. China’s sci-fi epic “The Wandering Earth” pulled in a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content