Legendary Entertainment

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For other uses, see Legendary.
Legendary Pictures Productions, LLC
Subsidiary
Industry Motion picture
Media
Publishing
Founded 2000; 16 years ago (2000)
Founder Thomas Tull
Headquarters Burbank, California, United States
Key people
  • Thomas Tull
  • (Founder and CEO)
Parent
Divisions Legendary Pictures
Legendary Comics
Legendary Television
Legendary East
Legendary Digital Networks
Subsidiaries Asylum Entertainment
Five33
Geek & Sundry
Nerdist Industries
Amy Poehler's Smart Girls
Website www.legendary.com

Legendary Entertainment (also known as Legendary Pictures or Legendary) is an American media company based in Burbank, California. The company was founded by Thomas Tull in 2000 and in 2005, concluded an agreement to co-produce and co-finance films with Warner Bros., and began a similar arrangement with Universal Studios in 2014. Since 2016, Legendary has been a subsidiary of the Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group.

History[edit]

Thomas Tull founded Legendary Entertainment after raising $500 million from private equity firms.[1] It was one of the first companies of its kind to pair major motion picture production with major Wall Street private equity and hedge fund investors, including ABRY Partners, AIG Direct Investments, Bank of America Capital Investors, Columbia Capital, Falcon Investment Advisors, and M/C Venture Partners.[2] Legendary Pictures, Inc. was incorporated in California in 2000[3] and in 2005 it signed an agreement with Warner Bros. to co-produce and co-finance up to 40 films over seven years.[2] In 2010, Tull, Fidelity Investments, and Fortress Investment Group bought all the shares of the original investors. The buyout also included a $25 million-investment by Orange Sky Golden Harvest Entertainment. Following the transaction, Tull became the largest shareholder, thus enabling him to more easily direct the company's operations.[4] Golden Harvest later sold its stake in the company for $30 million.[5] In 2011, Accel Partners bought $40 million-worth of shares and Accel partner Jim Breyer joined the company's board of directors.[6] That same year the company was reported to have been valued at more than $1 billion.[2] In September 2011, Chief Creative Officer Jon Jashni was appointed to the new position of President.[7] In December 2012, Waddell & Reed bought around 20% of Legendary's shares for $443 million.[8]

In July 2013, Legendary reached an agreement with Universal in which it will market, co-finance, and distribute Legendary's films for five years starting in 2014, the year that Legendary's similar agreement with Warner Bros. expires.[9] In October 2014, SoftBank bought $250 million shares, a 10% stake, in Legendary. The transaction increased the company's total value to around $3 billion.[10]

On January 11, 2016, Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group announced that it concluded an agreement with shareholders to acquire Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion, making it the largest acquisition of an American media company by a Chinese firm.[11]

Divisions and ventures[edit]

In addition to producing American films, Legendary Entertainment has announced various other business endeavors.

Legendary Digital Networks[edit]

In 2009, the company announced the establishment of a digital division, to be headed by Kathy Vrabeck, that would primarily focus on game development, a move which surprised many industry analysts because of the film industry's previous disengagement with the video game industry.[12] The goal of the division was reoriented in 2012 with the acquisition of Nerdist Industries, LLC, a pop culture blog with a synonymous podcast.[13] Nerdist founder Chris Hardwick announced that he and his partner Peter Levin (founder of GeekChicDaily) would still have complete editorial autonomy and that they would become the new presidents of the digital division, with Levin heading digital strategy and the digital content.[14] In 2014, Legendary acquired both Geek & Sundry, Inc., a YouTube channel and production company,[15] and the website Smart Girls at the Party.[16] On June 10, 2016, LDN announced a subscription streaming service, Alpha, which will include shows from Nerdist and Geek & Sundry studios.[17]

Legendary Comics[edit]

Main article: Legendary Comics

In 2010, the company announced the launch of a comic book division called Legendary Comics, LLC under the direction of editor-in-chief Bob Schreck.[18] The first graphic novel published by the company was Holy Terror by Frank Miller, which was released in 2011.[19]

Legendary Television and Digital Media[edit]

Main article: Asylum Entertainment

In 2011, the company announced the creation of Legendary Television, LLC to focus on developing television productions. The division was headed by Jeremy Elice and a co-financing contract with Warner Bros. Television was signed.[20] However, in 2012, Legendary decided to postpone its expansion into television and put the division on hold while restructuring; the contract with Warner Bros. was terminated and Elice left the company.[21]

In 2013, Legendary purchased film marketing agency Five33 Ltd.[22] The company, which in the past has worked on marketing campaigns for various studios, will now work exclusively on marketing Legendary's films.[23] Also in 2013, Legendary invested in hiring former head of Warner Bros. Television, Bruce Rosenblum, to head Legendary's television and digital media operations.[24] In December 2013, Legendary acquired television production company Asylum Entertainment, best known for producing sports programming and reality and scripted television series such as Beyond the Glory and The Kennedys.[25]

Legendary East[edit]

In 2011, the company announced the formation of Legendary East Ltd., a joint venture film production company based in Hong Kong. The purpose of the company is to co-produce films with Chinese companies to bypass Chinese quotas on foreign film releases in the country.

Under an initial agreement with Chinese film distributor Huayi Brothers International, half of the company was to be owned by the shell corporation Paul Y. Engineering Group, 40% was to be owned by Legendary Entertainment (through holding companies such as Legendary Asian Pacific, LLC or Legendary East Holdings, LLC[3]), and 10% was to owned by the Huayi Brothers International.[26] Legendary East initially hoped to produce one to two globally marketed English-language films per year and finance a quarter of the production of an additional two films per year. The company hoped to raise US$220.5 million through the sale of stock of Paul Y. Engineering Group on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange by the end of 2011.[27] However, because financing did not meet the targeted goal, Legendary East scrapped the deal with Huayi Brothers International and continued its efforts to secure financing in 2012.[27]

In 2013, Legendary East announced a new agreement with China Film Group. Under the new agreement, the two companies will co-produce multiple films over a three-year period.[28]

Filmography[edit]

Legendary Entertainment has produced 47 feature films. In addition, the company is also in the process of producing an additional four films and is developing various other projects. Of the 47 feature films produced, 43 have had theatrical releases, one has had a direct-to-video release, and three have had video on demand releases. Note that in most cases the distributor or distributors also co-produced the film. In all cases, the film listed is a work of Legendary Pictures, unless the film's name is followed by a subscript "E", indicating that Legendary East is the production company or a subscript "D", indicating that Legendary Digital Media is the production company. The box office column reflects the worldwide gross for the theatrical release of the film in United States dollars, not adjusted for inflation.

Released[edit]

Year Title Director Co-production company(s) Distributor(s) Box office Ref.
2005 Batman Begins Nolan, ChristopherChristopher Nolan Syncopy Warner Bros. $374,218,673 [29]
2006 Superman Returns Singer, BryanBryan Singer Peters Entertainment / Bad Hat Harry Warner Bros. $391,081,192 [30]
2006 Lady in the Water Shyamalan, M. NightM. Night Shyamalan Blinding Edge Pictures Warner Bros. $72,785,169 [31]
2006 The Ant Bully Davis, John A.John A. Davis Playtone / DNA Productions Warner Bros. $55,181,129 [32]
2006 Beerfest Chandrasekhar, JayJay Chandrasekhar Gerber Pictures / Cataland Films / Broken Lizard Warner Bros. $20,387,597 [33]
2006 We Are Marshall McG Thunder Road Pictures / Wonderland Sound and Vision Warner Bros. $43,545,364 [34]
2007 300 Snyder, ZackZack Snyder Virtual Studios Warner Bros. $456,068,181 [35]
2008 10,000 BC Emmerich, RolandRoland Emmerich Centropolis Warner Bros. $269,784,201 [36]
2008 The Dark Knight Nolan, ChristopherChristopher Nolan Syncopy Warner Bros. $1,004,558,444 [37]
2009 Watchmen Snyder, ZackZack Snyder Lawrence Gordon Productions Warner Bros. / Paramount $185,258,983 [38]
2009 Observe and Report Hill, JodyJody Hill DeLine Pictures Warner Bros. $26,973,554 [39]
2009 The Hangover Phillips, ToddTodd Phillips Green Hat Films Warner Bros. $467,483,912 [40]
2009 Trick 'r Treat Dougherty, MichaelMichael Dougherty Bad Hat Harry Warner Bros. [41]
2009 Where the Wild Things Are Jonze, SpikeSpike Jonze Playtone / Village Roadshow Pictures Warner Bros. $100,086,793 [42]
2009 Ninja Assassin McTeigue, JamesJames McTeigue Dark Castle Entertainment / Silver Pictures / Anarchos Productions Warner Bros. $61,601,280 [43]
2010 Clash of the Titans Leterrier, LouisLouis Leterrier Thunder Road Pictures / The Zanuck Company Warner Bros. $493,214,993 [44]
2010 Jonah Hex Hayward, JimmyJimmy Hayward Mad Chance / Weed Road Pictures Warner Bros. $10,903,312 [45]
2010 Inception Nolan, ChristopherChristopher Nolan Syncopy Warner Bros. $825,532,764 [46]
2010 The Town Affleck, BenBen Affleck GK Films / Thunder Road Pictures Warner Bros. $154,026,136 [47]
2010 Due Date Phillips, ToddTodd Phillips Green Hat Films Warner Bros. $211,780,824 [48]
2011 Sucker Punch Snyder, ZackZack Snyder Cruel and Unusual Films Warner Bros. $89,792,502 [49]
2011 The Hangover Part II Phillips, ToddTodd Phillips Green Hat Films Warner Bros. $586,764,305 [50]
2012 Wrath of the Titans Liebesman, JonathanJonathan Liebesman Thunder Road Pictures Warner Bros. $305,270,083 [51]
2012 The Dark Knight Rises Nolan, ChristopherChristopher Nolan Syncopy Warner Bros. $1,084,439,099 [52]
2013 Jack the Giant Slayer Singer, BryanBryan Singer New Line Cinema / Original Film / Big Kid Pictures / Bad Hat Harry Warner Bros. $197,687,603 [53]
2013 42 Helgeland, BrianBrian Helgeland Warner Bros. $97,470,701 [54]
2013 The Hangover Part III Phillips, ToddTodd Phillips Green Hat Films Warner Bros. $362,000,072 [55]
2013 Man of Steel Snyder, ZackZack Snyder Syncopy Warner Bros. $668,045,518 [56]
2013 Pacific Rim del Toro, GuillermoGuillermo del Toro DDY Warner Bros. $411,002,906 [57]
2014 300: Rise of an Empire Murro, NoamNoam Murro Cruel and Unusual Films / Atmosphere Pictures / Hollywood Gang Warner Bros. $337,580,051 [58]
2014 Godzilla Edwards, GarethGareth Edwards Warner Bros. / Toho $529,076,069 [59]
2014 As Above, So Below Dowdle, John ErickJohn Erick Dowdle Universal $41,898,409 [60]
2014 Dracula Untold Shore, GaryGary Shore Michael De Luca Productions Universal $217,124,280 [61]
2014 Interstellar Nolan, ChristopherChristopher Nolan Syncopy / Lynda Obst Productions Paramount / Warner Bros. $675,120,017 [62]
2014 Seventh Son Bodrov, SergeiSergei Bodrov Thunder Road Pictures / Wigram Productions Universal $114,178,613 [63]
2014 Unbroken Jolie, AngelinaAngelina Jolie Jolie Pas / 3 Arts Entertainment Universal $163,278,357 [64]
2015 Blackhat Mann, MichaelMichael Mann Forward Pass Universal $19,589,056 [65]
2015 Dead Rising: Watchtower (D) Lipovsky, ZachZach Lipovsky Contradiction Films / Di Bonaventura Digital Crackle / Content Media [66]
2015 Jurassic World Trevorrow, ColinColin Trevorrow Amblin Entertainment Universal $1,670,400,637 [67]
2015 Straight Outta Compton Gray, F. GaryF. Gary Gray New Line Cinema / Cube Vision / Crucial Films / Broken Chair Flickz Universal $201,634,991 [68]
2015 Steve Jobs Boyle, DannyDanny Boyle Scott Rudin Productions / Mark Gordon Company / Entertainment 360 / Decibel Films / Cloud Eight Films Universal $34,441,873 [69]
2015 Crimson Peak del Toro, GuillermoGuillermo del Toro DDY Universal $74,679,822 [70]
2015 Krampus Dougherty, MichaelMichael Dougherty Zam Pictures Universal $61,548,707 [71]
2016 Fastball Hock, JonathanJonathan Hock Major League Baseball Gravitas Ventures [72]
2016 Warcraft Jones, DuncanDuncan Jones Atlas Entertainment Universal $433,537,548 [73]
2016 Dead Rising: Endgame (D) Williams, PatPat Williams DR2 / Contradiction Films Crackle [74]
2016 The Thinning (D) Gallagher, MichaelMichael Gallagher YouTube Red [75]
Box office total: $13,601,033,720

In production[edit]

For the purposes of this list, films that are "in production" are films whose principal photography is ongoing or finished. Films in development and pre-production are not included in this list.

Year Title Director Ref.
2016 Spectral Mathieu, NicNic Mathieu [76]
2016 The Great Wall (E) Zhang Yimou [77]
2017 Kong: Skull Island Vogt-Roberts, JordanJordan Vogt-Roberts [78]
2018 Pacific Rim: Maelstrom DeKnight, Steven S.Steven S. DeKnight [79]

Television[edit]

Run Type Title Platform Ref.
2015– Series The Expanse Syfy [80]
2016– Series Colony USA Network [81]
2016– Series Love Netflix [82]
2016 Miniseries Electra Woman and Dyna Girl Fullscreen [83]
2017– Series Downward Dog ABC [84]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]