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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.
When I first heard about The Foreigner back in the halcyon days of 2015, I was puzzled as to why anyone would agree to make it; it was a Jackie Chan movie, directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale), also starring Pierce Brosnan (Goldeneye)! This sounded like the worst idea for a movie since a Pacific Rim sequel not directed by Guillermo del Toro. Now, in defense of 2015 me, things weren't exactly bright and sunny for the three names above. Chan, still trying to hold onto his glory days, was making big budget duds like Chinese Zodiac and Skiptrace. Campbell was nearly 10 years removed from Casino Royale and was also recovering from the recent Green Lantern debacle. As for Brosnan, he was still reeling from the shockingly dull The November Man and the forgotten film Survivor. There was absolutely NO REASON for this movie to be any good, which is what made the act of seeing it such a pleasant surprise.
Ngoc Minh Quan (Jackie Chan) is a retired Vietnam War special forces oper…
A few weekends ago I had the distinct pleasure of meeting journeywoman filmmaker Livi Zheng as she and a close associate made a stop in New York City. During our conversation we spoke about some of her current activity and it was much ado with her latest role as a spokesperson at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the World Bank Group and the IMF Global Media Gathering in Washington D.C. several days prior. It was at these events the flegeling helmer hosted the latest teaser for her new documentary, Bali: Beats Of Paradise, themed centrally around Gamelan, a traditional style of Indonesian music which has also been used in James Cameron's 2009 blockbuster hit, Avatar. The film marks the latest follow up for Zheng who debuted in 2015 with a starring and directing role with actor and martial artist Ken Zheng in Brush With Danger, and will reteam with the one and only Yayan Ruhian in the coming months for the continued production of their next narrative thriller, Insight. During filming Livi …
It looks as if television director Kim Hong-Sun (Voice, Black, Liar Game) has moved up into narrative feature territory these days. Signaling this is the first trailer for the new sword drama, The Age Of Blood, which lunges into Korean cinemas on November 23 courtesy of MLine. The day of revolting has dawned.
KIM Ho, the best swordsman in Joseon and the King’s guard, one day is being demoted to a prison and receives the order to keep the prisoners. At midnight, when he falls asleep, a riot happens and suddenly 5 armed men appear in front of Ho. They are coming for LEE In-jua, who has imprisoned on a charge of planning conspiracy, to keep him out of jail. LEE In-jua and 5 martial masters are planning to subvert the country again. Now Ho must fight with this pitiless gang not only to keep his duty but his family.
Jung Hae-in, Kim Ji-hoon and Hong Soo-ah are just several of the names leading the cast among those you can spot in the four posters just beneath the trailer. Enjoy!