Tony Xia’s Beijing-based Recon AG has been kicking the tires of Millennium Films for what the Chinese firm hopes to be an outright purchase of the independent film company which has financed and produced such titles as The Expendables franchise, Olympus Has Fallen , London Has Fallen and The Mechanic.
It is known that Recon AG has been in and out of Millennium offices and helping the company talk strategy. The move comes after Millennium has already opened its doors to the Chinese. It recently entered into deals on two films with China’s Hishow Entertainment to co-finance and co-produce Hunter Killer and Escobar (Hishow is the same company that handled The Imitation Game in China).
According to Bloomberg, were Recon’s purchase of Millennium to advance, it would likely go through Shenzhen-listed Recon Wenyuan Cable Co. Its shares have been halted from trading since January 26 pending an acquisition in the film industry.
Millennium was founded in 1996, a spin-off of Nu Image, which the company’s Avi Lerner launched years earlier and began building with his brother Danny Lerner. From small beginnings at the AFM with home entertainment titles, the company grew as it moved more mainstream and began packaging films with name talent.
Millennium is an already known brand to Chinese moviegoers thanks to The Expendables series. Those films’ co-star Jason Statham is also a big draw in China where Millennium’s Mechanic: Resurrection last year was a muscular hit with about $50M. The company has good relationships in the Middle Kingdom.