|Headquarters||Burbank, California, United States|
Legendary Entertainment, officially Legend Pictures, LLC (also referred to as Legendary Pictures or just Legendary onscreen) is an American media company based in Burbank, California. The company was founded by Thomas Tull in 2000 and in 2005, concluded an agreement to co-produce and co-finance films with Warner Bros. In 2014, Legendary began a similar arrangement with Universal Studios. Since 2016, Legendary has been a subsidiary of the Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group.
Thomas Tull founded Legendary Entertainment after raising $500 million from private equity firms. It was one of the first companies of its kind to pair major motion picture production with major Wall Street private equity and hedge fund investors, including ABRY Partners, AIG Direct Investments, Bank of America Capital Investors, Columbia Capital, Falcon Investment Advisors, and M/C Venture Partners. Legendary Pictures, Inc. was incorporated in California in 2000 and in 2005 it signed an agreement with Warner Bros. to co-produce and co-finance up to 40 films over seven years. In 2010, Tull, Fidelity Investments, and Fortress Investment Group bought all the shares of the original investors. The buyout also included a $25 million-investment by Orange Sky Golden Harvest Entertainment. Following the transaction, Tull became the largest shareholder, thus enabling him to more easily direct the company's operations. Golden Harvest later sold its stake in the company for $30 million. In 2011, Accel Partners bought $40 million-worth of shares and Accel partner Jim Breyer joined the company's board of directors. That same year the company was reported to have been valued at more than $1 billion. In September 2011, Chief Creative Officer Jon Jashni was appointed to the new position of President. In December 2012, Waddell & Reed bought around 20% of Legendary's shares for $443 million.
In July 2013, Legendary reached an agreement with Universal Studios where it will market, co-finance, and distribute Legendary's films for five years starting in 2014, the year that Legendary's similar agreement with Warner Bros. expires. In October 2014, SoftBank bought $250 million-worth of shares, which amounts to a 10% stake, in Legendary. The transaction increased the company's total value to around $3 billion.
On January 11, 2016, Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group announced that it concluded an agreement with shareholders to acquired Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion, making it the largest acquisition of an America film production company by a Chinese firm.
In addition to producing American feature films, Legendary Entertainment has announced various other business endeavors.
In 2009, the company announced the establishment of a digital division, to be headed by Kathy Vrabeck, that would primarily focus on game development, a move which surprised many industry analysts because of the film industry's previous disengagement with the video game industry. The goal of the division was reoriented in 2012 with the acquisition of Nerdist Industries, LLC, a pop culture blog with a synonymous podcast. Nerdist founder Chris Hardwick announced that he and his partner Peter Levin (founder of GeekChicDaily) would still have complete editorial autonomy and that they would become the new presidents of the digital division, with Levin heading digital strategy and the digital content. In 2014, Legendary acquired both Geek & Sundry, Inc., a YouTube channel and production company, and the website Smart Girls at the Party.
In 2010, the company announced the launch of a comic book division called Legendary Comics, LLC under the direction of editor-in-chief Bob Schreck. The first graphic novel published by the company was Holy Terror by Frank Miller, which was released in 2011.
In 2011, the company announced the creation of Legendary Television, LLC to focus on developing television productions. The division was headed by Jeremy Elice and a co-financing contract with Warner Bros. Television was signed. However, in 2012, Legendary decided to postpone its expansion into television and put the division on hold while restructuring; the contract with Warner Bros. was terminated and Elice left the company.
In 2013, Legendary purchased film marketing agency Five33 Ltd. The company, which in the past has worked on marketing campaigns for various studios, will now work exclusively on marketing Legendary's films. Also in 2013, Legendary invested in hiring former head of Warner Bros. Television, Bruce Rosenblum, to head Legendary's television and digital media operations. In December 2013, Legendary acquired television production company Asylum Entertainment, best known for producing sports programming and reality and scripted television series such as Beyond the Glory and The Kennedys.
In 2011, the company announced the formation of Legendary East Ltd., a joint venture film production company based in Hong Kong. The purpose of the company is to co-produce films with Chinese companies to bypass Chinese quotas on foreign film releases in the country.
Under an initial agreement with Chinese film distributor Huayi Brothers International, half of the company was to be owned by the shell corporation Paul Y. Engineering Group, 40% was to be owned by Legendary Entertainment (through holding companies such as Legendary Asian Pacific, LLC or Legendary East Holdings, LLC), and 10% was be owned by the Huayi Brothers International. Legendary East initially hoped to produce one to two globally marketed English-language films per year and finance a quarter of the production of an additional two films per year. The company hoped to raise US$220.5 million through the sale of stock of Paul Y. Engineering Group on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange by the end of 2011. However, because financing did not meet the targeted goal, Legendary East scrapped the deal with Huayi Brothers International and continued its efforts to secure financing in 2012.
Legendary Entertainment has produced 44 feature films. In addition, the company is also in the process of producing an additional six films and is developing various other projects. Of the 44 feature films produced, 42 have had theatrical releases, one has had a direct-to-video release, and one has had a video on demand release. Note that in most cases the distributor or distributors also co-produced the film. In all cases, the film listed is a work of Legendary Pictures, unless the film's name is followed by a subscript "E", indicating that Legendary East is the production company or a subscript "D", indicating that Legendary Digital Media is the production company. The box office column reflects the worldwide gross for the theatrical release of the film in United States dollars, not adjusted for inflation.
|Year||Title||Director||Co-production company(s)||Distributor(s)||Box office||Ref.|
|2005||Batman Begins||Nolan, ChristopherChristopher Nolan||Syncopy||Warner Bros.||$374,218,673|||
|2006||Superman Returns||Singer, BryanBryan Singer||Peters Entertainment / Bad Hat Harry||Warner Bros.||$391,081,192|||
|2006||Lady in the Water||Shyamalan, M. NightM. Night Shyamalan||Blinding Edge Pictures||Warner Bros.||$72,785,169|||
|2006||The Ant Bully||Davis, John A.John A. Davis||Playtone / DNA Productions||Warner Bros.||$55,181,129|||
|2006||Beerfest||Chandrasekhar, JayJay Chandrasekhar||Gerber Pictures / Cataland Films / Broken Lizard||Warner Bros.||$20,387,597|||
|2006||We Are Marshall||McG||Thunder Road Pictures / Wonderland Sound and Vision||Warner Bros.||$43,545,364|||
|2007||300||Snyder, ZackZack Snyder||Virtual Studios||Warner Bros.||$456,068,181|||
|2008||10,000 BC||Emmerich, RolandRoland Emmerich||Centropolis||Warner Bros.||$269,784,201|||
|2008||The Dark Knight||Nolan, ChristopherChristopher Nolan||Syncopy||Warner Bros.||$1,004,558,444|||
|2009||Watchmen||Snyder, ZackZack Snyder||Lawrence Gordon Productions||Warner Bros. / Paramount||$185,258,983|||
|2009||Observe and Report||Hill, JodyJody Hill||DeLine Pictures||Warner Bros.||$26,973,554|||
|2009||The Hangover||Phillips, ToddTodd Phillips||Green Hat Films||Warner Bros.||$467,483,912|||
|2009||Trick 'r Treat||Dougherty, MichaelMichael Dougherty||Bad Hat Harry||Warner Premiere||—|||
|2009||Where the Wild Things Are||Jonze, SpikeSpike Jonze||Playtone / Village Roadshow Pictures||Warner Bros.||$100,086,793|||
|2009||Ninja Assassin||McTeigue, JamesJames McTeigue||Dark Castle Entertainment / Silver Pictures / Anarchos Productions||Warner Bros.||$61,601,280|||
|2010||Clash of the Titans||Leterrier, LouisLouis Leterrier||Thunder Road Pictures / The Zanuck Company||Warner Bros.||$493,214,993|||
|2010||Jonah Hex||Hayward, JimmyJimmy Hayward||Mad Chance / Weed Road Pictures||Warner Bros.||$10,903,312|||
|2010||Inception||Nolan, ChristopherChristopher Nolan||Syncopy||Warner Bros.||$825,532,764|||
|2010||The Town||Affleck, BenBen Affleck||GK Films / Thunder Road Pictures||Warner Bros.||$154,026,136|||
|2010||Due Date||Phillips, ToddTodd Phillips||Green Hat Films||Warner Bros.||$211,780,824|||
|2011||Sucker Punch||Snyder, ZackZack Snyder||Cruel and Unusual Films||Warner Bros.||$89,792,502|||
|2011||The Hangover Part II||Phillips, ToddTodd Phillips||Green Hat Films||Warner Bros.||$586,764,305|||
|2012||Wrath of the Titans||Liebesman, JonathanJonathan Liebesman||Thunder Road Pictures||Warner Bros.||$305,270,083|||
|2012||The Dark Knight Rises||Nolan, ChristopherChristopher Nolan||Syncopy||Warner Bros.||$1,084,439,099|||
|2013||Jack the Giant Slayer||Singer, BryanBryan Singer||New Line Cinema / Original Film / Big Kid Pictures / Bad Hat Harry||Warner Bros.||$197,687,603|||
|2013||42||Helgeland, BrianBrian Helgeland||—||Warner Bros.||$97,470,701|||
|2013||The Hangover Part III||Phillips, ToddTodd Phillips||Green Hat Films||Warner Bros.||$362,000,072|||
|2013||Man of Steel||Snyder, ZackZack Snyder||Syncopy||Warner Bros.||$668,045,518|||
|2013||Pacific Rim||del Toro, GuillermoGuillermo del Toro||DDY||Warner Bros.||$411,002,906|||
|2014||300: Rise of an Empire||Murro, NoamNoam Murro||Cruel and Unusual Films / Atmosphere Pictures / Hollywood Gang||Warner Bros.||$337,580,051|||
|2014||Godzilla||Edwards, GarethGareth Edwards||—||Warner Bros. / Toho||$529,076,069|||
|2014||As Above, So Below||Dowdle, John ErickJohn Erick Dowdle||—||Universal||$41,898,409|||
|2014||Dracula Untold||Shore, GaryGary Shore||Michael De Luca Productions||Universal||$217,124,280|||
|2014||Interstellar||Nolan, ChristopherChristopher Nolan||Syncopy / Lynda Obst Productions||Paramount / Warner Bros.||$675,120,017|||
|2014||Seventh Son||Bodrov, SergeiSergei Bodrov||Thunder Road Pictures / Wigram Productions||Universal||$114,178,613|||
|2014||Unbroken||Jolie, AngelinaAngelina Jolie||Jolie Pas / 3 Arts Entertainment||Universal||$163,278,357|||
|2015||Blackhat||Mann, MichaelMichael Mann||Forward Pass||Universal||$19,589,056|||
|2015||Dead Rising: Watchtower (D)||Lipovsky, ZachZach Lipovsky||Contradiction Films / Di Bonaventura Digital||Crackle / Content Media||—|||
|2015||Jurassic World||Trevorrow, ColinColin Trevorrow||Amblin Entertainment||Universal||$1,670,400,637|||
|2015||Straight Outta Compton||Gray, F. GaryF. Gary Gray||New Line Cinema / Cube Vision / Crucial Films / Broken Chair Flickz||Universal||$201,634,991|||
|2015||Steve Jobs||Boyle, DannyDanny Boyle||Scott Rudin Productions / Mark Gordon Company / Entertainment 360 / Decibel Films / Cloud Eight Films||Universal||$34,441,873|||
|2015||Crimson Peak||del Toro, GuillermoGuillermo del Toro||DDY||Universal||$74,679,822|||
|2015||Krampus||Dougherty, MichaelMichael Dougherty||Zam Pictures||Universal||$61,548,707|||
|2016||Fastball||Hock, JonathanJonathan Hock||Major League Baseball||Gravitas Ventures|||
|Box office total:||$13,167,496,172||—|
For the purposes of this list, films that are "in production" are films whose principal photography is ongoing or finished. Films in development and pre-production are not included in this list.
|2016||Warcraft||Jones, DuncanDuncan Jones|||
|2016||Dead Rising: Endgame (D)||Williams, PatPat Williams|||
|2016||Spectral||Mathieu, NicNic Mathieu|||
|2016||The Thinning (D)||Gallagher, MichaelMichael Gallagher|||
|2017||The Great Wall (E)||Zhang Yimou|||
|2017||Kong: Skull Island||Vogt-Roberts, JordanJordan Vogt-Roberts|||
|2016||Miniseries||Electra Woman and Dyna Girl||YouTube|||
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