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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.
Having had a stellar festival run throughout Asia, Europe and the U.S. with last year's Fantastic Fest premiere, director Shimomura Yuji's new film, Re:Born, has seen quite the journey to its praise. The same can amply be applied to the resurgence of its star, actor Sakaguchi Tak who, given personal career circumstances, essentially had to keep off radar and thankfully, that dry patch is now over and done.
How so? Well, despite intial speculations of Re:Born being his last film, it has instead been noticeably buzzed as his return and one that stands deservedly on ceremony. Together with WAVE innovator, close quarters fighting expert Inagawa Yoshitaka and host to a story sampling from the inspired dark, reclusive tales of real-life commandos, Sakaguchi stars as a small town clerk forced to adhere to his bloodlust once again following a string of military murders and the emergence of a squad of clandestined soldiers and assassins led by his former commanding officer now seeking…
Honorary Oscar winner Jackie Chan is in Shanghai stirring a ruckus for attendees and fellow stars at the 20th Shanghai International Film Festival. More news on this will rollout eventually and there will be plenty to sift over amid the buzz for Chan and his upcoming titles, and the same goes for the Fall release of the new thriller, The Foreigner, which is getting an October 13 release from STX.
The film takes its cues from Stephen Leather's novel, The Chinaman and is adapted for the screen by David Marconi with Casino Royale helmer Martin Campbell directing. Chan is joined by Pierce Brosnan, Liu Tao and Katie Leung for the story of a South London restaurant owner who reverts to the lethal skillset built in his dark past, paving his own way for vengeance after an IRA terrorist attack that kills his family and the justice system fails him.
The film has already made itself a share of festival appearances with a few gamey one-sheets but we now have an official first poster for its …
Acclaimed director and film multi-hyphenate Shaun Piccinino is set to direct American Fighter for ESX Entertainment. The film is a sequel to last year's American Wrestler: The Wizard which starred actor George Kosturos in the 1980-set tale of a young Iranian teen transplanted into a new town where he's forced to face adversity from all angles after joining the high school wrestling team.
Kosturos is returning to the sequel according to a new report from Variety which also lists Tommy Flanagan, Bryan Craig, Sean Patrick Flanery and Parviz Sayyad attached to star. Forrest Lucas, Ali Afshar, Christina Moore and Anna Zielinski are producing the film with a story by Afshar that now centers on a desperate teen who builds character between opponents upon competing in the underground fight circuit to save his dying mother. “Continuing down the line of a ‘Rocky’ meets ‘Karate Kid’ story, this new ‘American Wrestler’ movie remains a very heartfelt project for me,” Afshar said. “The res…