Legendary Pictures LLC received on Thursday a $250 million investment from SoftBank Corp., a Japanese telecom company that reportedly has bid $3.4 billion for DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.
The Burbank feature film and television production company also will form a joint venture with the Tokyo-based company to focus on distribution of streaming content in growing markets in China and India.
Legendary Chief Executive Thomas Tull said the partnership is an opportunity for SoftBank, and its newly formed unit SoftBank Internet and Media Inc. unit, to extend its reach into entertainment and media.
“We are excited to be one of (SoftBank Internet and Media Inc’s) first partners and look forward to working together to deliver the next phase of Legendary's growth,” Tull said in a prepared statement on Thursday
SoftBank is majority owner of U.S. cellular carrier Sprint Nextel Corp., and has e-commerce, technology services, media and marketing businesses. It’s bid for DreamWorks, the Glendale animation house run by Jeffrey Katzenberg, reportedly has stalled.
Nikesh Arora, chief executive of SoftBank Internet and Media Inc. and a former executive at Google, joins the Legendary board of directors.
Legendary, the production house behind “The Dark Knight” and “Hangover” franchises, distributes its films through Universal Pictures after a lengthy distribution relationship with Warner Bros. Entertainment expired this year.