Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.
Village Roadshow is extending its collaboration with Lana and Andy Wachowski, joining Warner Bros. to co-produce the action sci-fier starring Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis and Sean Bean. That will be VR Entertainment Group’s fourth collaboration with the Wachowski siblings following The Matrix trilogy and Speed Racer. VREG is also partnered with WB on The Great Gatsby, All You Need is Kill and Fury Road. Village Roadshow Ltd. today announced net profit after tax of $A33.5 million ($34.3 million) in the half year to December 31, up 18.4%. The main drivers were theme parks in Australia, Arizona and Hawaii ($44.2 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization), film distribution in Australia ($27.2 million) and cinemas in Australia and Singapore ($25.5 million). The firm’s Gold Class Cinemas in the U.S. recorded a small loss but managing director Graham Burke tells Deadline that business is growing strongly. VREG is committed to co-produce 6-8 Hollywood films per year after renewing its joint venture with WB for five years and increasing its U.S. credit facility to $1.1 billion last November. VRL draws an annual dividend of $5 million from its 47% stake in VREG, as Burke notes the firm continues to build the library, now at 72 titles.
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