Add Comcast’s Universal Filmed Entertainment to the list of companies backing Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners. The studio says this morning that it has bought a minority stake in Amblin, with Universal Filmed Entertainment Chairman Jeff Shell joining its board.
The companies offer no details about the size of the investment. Other backers include Participant Media, Reliance Entertainment, Entertainment One (eOne), and Alibaba Pictures.
“We are big believers in Amblin Partners and its proven ability to create the kind of quality films that appeal to broad, global audiences,” NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer, Shell and Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley say in a joint statement. “Steven is a genius and has always been part of our family, as well as an incredible partner to Universal. We are thrilled to become strategic investors in the company that he, Michael and Jeff are committed to growing.”
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Spielberg calls Universal “such a significant part of my life,” making it “an added pleasure to welcome its stake in Amblin.”
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In December 2015 the companies announced a multiyear partnership in which Universal markets and distributes Amblin films domestically and some overseas markets. DreamWorks Pictures’ The Girl On The Train, released in October 2016, was the first title covered by that agreement.
Universal’s second release is Amblin and Walden Media’s family film A Dog’s Purpose, which hit theaters in late January.
Amblin CEO Michael Wright, and President and Co-CEO Jeff Small, in a joint statement, call Universal “the gold standard in our industry,” adding that it “fits perfectly with our other esteemed partners.”
Amblin Partners was officially born in December 2015 as a film, television and digital content creation company. The partners at the time had culled together over $300 million with the bulk coming from Participant. Spielberg is also personally invested.
Alibaba Pictures forged what was called a “comprehensive strategic partnership” with Amblin in October. The production arm of Jack Ma’s China e-commerce giant said they would co-produce and finance films for global and Chinese audiences. Alibaba Pictures also agreed to collaborate on the marketing, distribution and merchandising of Amblin’s movies in the Middle Kingdom.
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