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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.
Production I.G.'s longstanding Blood saga has been a mainstay in manga and on film and TV, save for Chris Nahon's own less-than-stellar effort nearly a decade ago. Since then, the animated franchise has seen its own evolution despite bearing some controversy which forbade it in both Japan and even China despite positive reviews.
That legacy extends further to Blood-C: The Last Dark, as its 2015 live-action stageplay, Blood-C: The Last Mind from director Shutaro Oku who has since moved on to a live-action setting for the upcoming spin-off, Asura Girl: Blood-C from Production I.G. and all-female animation group, CLAMP. Fujisaki Junichi, whose shared credits with the entirety of the Blood franchise date back to the 2000 Playstation game, wrote the script which will expand on the principal villain, Fumito, from the 2011 Blood-C anime now in a prequel setting. The story takes place in prewar-period Japan under the military government. The bloody battle between the tyrannical Specia…
The past three years saw plenty of fluctuating news and updates surrounding The Expendables, The ExpendaBelles and as recently as this month, a forthcoming reboot of Hellboy. All three are housed at Millenium Films for which its founder recently sold 51% of his stake in the company for $100 million dollars, and this week, Avi Lerner sat down with THR to discuss the nature of his sale with respect to his career and the current film climate and landscape in which a company like Netflix has dominated in snatching up independent titles at the film markets, among other things.
Going forward in the interview, Lerner also revived talk of the aforementioned titles; A fourth film in the Expendables franchise had been long in the works following the intial trilogy which gave moviegoers The Expendables 3 in 2014. In March, Stallone left the franchise altogether as he did with Rambo last year, and has since moved on to other projects, including a second installment and likely third for the Escap…
Welp, it was to be expected. And it could be a good thing too with the current development of an Indian remake of muscle-bound action movie classic, Rambo, with Bollywood action star, actor and martial artist Tiger Shroff starring. Bang Bang! helmer Siddharth Anand will direct the film with the involvement of M! Capital Ventures, Original Entertainment, Impact Films and Siddharth Anand Pictures.
via THR: The Indian Rambo will follow the last surviving member of an elite covert unit of the Indian Armed Forces who returns home to discover a war waging in his own land. Forced into the dangerous jungles and frozen mountains of the Himalayas, he unleashes mayhem and destruction, becoming the unstoppable machine he was trained to be.
The original film takes its cues from David Morrell's 1977 novel, "First Blood", lending a young Sylvester Stallone what would become one of the actor's most memorable, and incidentally iconic action movie franchises in the genre's history…