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Legendary, Sony Sign Film Deal

Legendary Entertainment and Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group struck a new multiyear worldwide film distribution partnership. Sony Pictures will market and distribute upcoming theatrical motion picture titles from the Burbank-based company, according to a release about the deal. 

“As part of the pact Sony Pictures will market and distribute new Legendary theatrical releases worldwide excluding China, where Legendary East will handle all marketing and distribution activities,” a release from Legendary stated. 

Legendary East is a joint-venture film production company based in Hong Kong. It was founded by the U.S. company in 2011.

Sony Pictures will also handle home entertainment and TV distribution for the titles it releases. Legendary retains the rights to produce and distribute feature film content for the streaming platforms now available and in the future, the Nov. 28 release said. 

Legendary will continue to do business with Warner Bros. Pictures, its once long-time home, including on the upcoming “Dune: Part Two” currently in production and slated to be released in November.

Sony Pictures and Legendary are aligned in their ongoing commitment to theatrical distribution as a driver for other “downstream” windows and the theatrical window’s long-term value for films, the release said.

Josh Greenstein and Sanford Panitch, co-presidents of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, said that it was a rare opportunity in the entertainment industry to partner with true pros who understand Sony’s theatrical commitment and vision for this business.

“The creative brilliance and power of Legendary is huge and we look forward to bringing their work to theaters across the world,” Greenstein and Panitch said in a statement. 

Legendary Chief Executive Joshua Grode said that as the company continues to grow its content offerings, it is excited to forge this relationship with Greenstein, Panitch and the rest of the Sony team. 

“Sony’s commitment to theatrical distribution aligns with our vision of how to best derive the most value for Legendary’s movies,” Grode said in a statement. “The incredible slate of movies that (vice chairman of worldwide production) Mary Parent has amassed are built for the theatrical experience and we are excited about our partnership with Sony for this next phase in Legendary’s growth.”

Legendary Entertainment was founded in 2000 by Thomas Tull with $500 million from multiple financial backers and built it into a Hollywood powerhouse by producing such franchises as “The Dark Knight” and “The Hangover” films, and the 2015 blockbuster, “Jurassic World.” 

In 2005, Tull signed a 25-picture distribution deal with Warner Bros. and then went over to neighboring studio Universal Pictures in Universal City for a five-year co-financing and distribution deal.

Hannah Madans Welk
Hannah Madans Welk
Hannah Madans Welk is a managing editor at the Los Angeles Business Journal and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. She previously covered real estate for the Los Angeles Business Journal. She has done work with publications including The Orange County Register, The Real Deal and doityourself.com.
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