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Public-listed China-based Recon Holding has reportedly acquired the majority interest in the independent film staple, Millennium Films according to a new press announcement. News of the deal in its development began circulating as early as last week.
The terms of the deal confirm that Recon Holding's 51% acquisition majority ownership stake in Millennium Films for $100 million (RMB 688 million) and its 300-film library with the option to acquire the remaining 49% thereafter. Avi Lerner and Trevor Short, who founded Millenium as a subsidiary of Nu Image in 1996, are remaining on board as Chief Executive Officer and Millennium Films and Chief Operating Officer, respectively, while Recon Chairman Dr. Tony Xia will serve as Chairman of Millennium Films.
The company is best known for its franchise properties including Rambo as well as The Expendables which is on deck to shoot a fourth installment this year, and the Gerard Butler led 'Fallen franchise which will continue with Angel Has Fallen. Millenium has accumulated 1.2 billion dollars at the worldwide box office since 2011, and has a slate that extends more with titles, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L, Jackson, the Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz-led Escobar and Butler's forthcoming novel adaptation, Hunter Killer with Gary Oldman.
“We are excited about our new partnership with Recon Holding led by Tony” said Messers. Lerner and Short. “China is emerging as the world’s largest market for premium filmed entertainment, and we see enormous value in placing the Chinese market at the forefront of our global strategy. Our films have experienced considerable success in China and in other markets around the world, and we feel there is significant value in partnering with an astute, experienced, and well-connected partner to help us execute our long-term strategy of making commercial movies for the global market place.”
“Since Avi and his partners founded the company, the Millennium Films organization has created a dynamic film brand and a deep library of intellectual property that resonates with audiences on a global scale,” said Tony Xia, Chairman of Recon Group and Aston Villa Football Club. “We believe Millennium’s unparalleled portfolio of motion picture franchises and intellectual property provides significant opportunities for long-term growth as the company continues to maximize the value of its creative properties across multiple platforms and in multiple territories. This is an incredible opportunity for us to build upon Millennium’s premium brand by accessing a film market in China that continues to experience a period of unprecedented growth.”
The transaction is expected to close during Q2 of 2017, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
Millennium Films was advised by The Raine Group and Latham & Watkins LLP. Amir Malin of Qualia Capital also provided advice and counsel. Recon Holding was advised by China International Capital Corporation and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.
The past few years have been a vigorous tug-and-pull over just how long it would be before actor and martial artist Iko Uwais would see a more principal role than in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Landing a more definitive English speaking line in this year's thriller, Headshot, was just another layer on the waiting cake added until more time passed until now, with actor Frank Grillo front and center with the cast that outlines the first of possible prospects to come between two actors who've gotten their start in different markets.
I speak of prospects with a certain action crime saga remake in mind, but in the good name of staying on topic, let's bring things back into focus. For this, we now turn to the long-awaited first official teaser trailer for the new sci-fi thriller, Beyond Skyline from writer/producer/director Liam O'Donnell who served on the first film from directing duo Colin and Greg Strause back in 2010.
Those who haven't seen the first film yet have…
I think it's safe to say you know your movie sucks when you not only screw the rights holders whose name and content you base your unsanctioned film on, but when said rights holders join the chorus of critics panning your movie from literally every angle of the internet. That is the level of achievement you have reached if your name is George Nolfi and you've directed a film called Birth Of The Dragon, long hyped to be a hopefully legendary homage to Bruce Lee, the late founder of Jeet Kune Do and patriarch of American martial arts movie fandom.
My weekend was pretty huge for movies. My thoughts on Wolf Warrior 2 are up on my Instagram as well as posts about S.S. Rajamouli's Bahubali saga so feel free to skim those through and follow me as well as I also cross post news there. The news also includes the latest on what's what in the weekly Hit List and we begin with a new round of stunt and training reels from around the web. Anna Akimova gets things going this week with her latest reel followed by Jake Teel, D.L. MacDonald, Tyler Street, Jessica Stafford, Graham Hooper, Andy Whitmarsh, Samuel Horowitz, Monica Lopez, Noel Martinez, Casey Michaels, Bronson Cameron, Yessenia Cossio, Aaron D. Alexander, Antjuan Rhames, Donovan Law, Ai Ikeda, Justin Mane, Lukaz Leong and Cassie Lee Minnick, along with Benjamin J. Redic III and the crew at Ballistic Blade, multifaceted stuntmen and fight choreographers Fernando Jay Huerto and Geo Corvera, and Australia's own Asaya Yasushi with a newly launched team reel for Team Yas!