Chinese conglom Dalian Wanda Group, which has been looking to delve deeper into the entertainment industry, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Legendary Entertainment, the production company behind Godzilla, Pacific Rim, and the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong. The deal is in the final stages of negotiations, a source told Deadline, which would give over half of the company over to Wanda. Not surprising that Wanda would look to Legendary as both Godzilla and Pacific Rim were huge box office performers in the Middle Kingdom.
First reported by Reuters, Wanda — who acquired AMC Entertainment Holdings in 2012 for $2.6B — is said to have valued Legendary between $3B and $4B, which makes us wonder what kind of valuation Bruckheimer Films brand name would receive.
Legendary is no stranger to Chinese investment, having previously danced with Huayi Brothers (a deal was reached, but it was quickly dissolved). Legendary just produced the Matt Damon-starring The Great Wall, the first tentpole-sized English-language film produced in China and directed by local helmer Yimou Zhang. The film, which also includes some of China’s biggest box office draws, is due out in November.
Legendary’s other financial partners — Japan’s SoftBank and investment firm Waddell & Reed Inc. — have agreed to sell their stakes in the company, Reuters reported.