Thomas Tull just bought himself a fully functioning in-house marketing division. Legendary Pictures announced today that they’ve acquired strategic marketers FIVE33. The LA and London-based company will become incorporated into Legendary. The companies became acquainted earlier this year as FIVE33 were brought on board for marketing on Legendary’s Pacific Rim and the still in production Godzilla. Here’s the release:
Burbank, CA – May 16, 2013 – Legendary Entertainment has announced an agreement to purchase FIVE33, a global marketing company that specializes in developing innovative marketing programs to bring immersive awareness of tentpole movies and intellectual properties to audiences around the world. Through this deal, FIVE33 will now work exclusively with Legendary and its high-profile stable of filmmakers and storytellers to drive awareness of the studio’s brand and suite of properties via worldwide campaigns and multi-platform strategies. The announcement was made by Legendary President and Chief Creative Officer, Jon Jashni and FIVE33 CEO and Founder, Emily Castel.
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Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros’ story of the man who broke pro baseball’s color barrier is headed to the White House. President Obama will host the producers, crew and stars of 42 for a screening at 5:35 PM ET in the Executive Mansion’s Private Theatre. Legendary boss Thomas Tull, director Brian Helgeland, and stars Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman will be in attendance. Boseman plays Jackie Robinson in the film, which tells his life story and of his signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Ford plays Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey. Robinson’s widow Rachel Robinson will also be at the screening tonight. Robinson, Tull and the cast joined First Lady Michelle Obama earlier today at an interactive student workshop at the White House looking at the legacy of the legendary ballplayer. 42 opens April 12. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After just more than a year in the job, Tim Connors has been let go as Chief Operating Officer of Legendary Entertainment. Sources close to situation confirmed his departure, and that the position has been … Read More »
Here’s another Hollywood example of big boys and their big toys. Thomas Tull’s Legendary Pictures didn’t just co-finance The Dark Knight Rises with … Read More »
There is no chance the Comic-Con crowd will have forgotten him, but Guillermo Del Toro’s last directorial effort was a Hellboy sequel released in 2008. In the four years since, he collaborated on the scripts for two installments of … Read More »
Sources tell Deadline that the Legendary Entertainment CEO won’t be attending his own Legendary Comics panel today in San Diego. Instead Tull is attending the Allen and Co’s investment conference in Sun Valley, … Read More »
Hollywood moguls are arriving at the annual Allen & Co investment conference in Sun Valley starting today — but I don’t know why. It’ll be another non-showbiz snorefest. Because there’s not a single entertainment panel on the official schedule. Instead my … Read More »
2ND UPDATE 11:15 AM: Legendary just sent out the announcement that it has finalized an agreement to purchase Nerdist Industries.
EXCLUSIVE… UPDATE 9:30 AM: Legendary Entertainment heading into Comic-Con has set a new deal with multiplatform fanboy outfit Nerdist. My sources say huge comic book fan Thomas Tull will be stepping up his existing early investment in Nerdist and actually making an all-out acquisition. But co-owner Peter Levin (my pal) wouldn’t do a deal that stripped him and the other co-owner Chris Hardwick of autonomy for the editorial business. Now they will report to Legendary Entertainment COO Tim Connors. The strategy is that the addition of the Levin and Hardwick digital prowess would add more firepower to the Tull war-chest. Hardwick and Levin will continue in their current roles within Nerdist, and will also take on the roles of Co-Presidents of Legendary’s digital business with Hardwick serving as Co-President Digital Content and Levin functioning as Co-President Digital Strategy. They will work closely with Legendary’s executive management team on event management and comics-related operations. The deal calls for Nerdist to maintain complete editorial autonomy and operations, while benefitting from Legendary Entertainment’s resources and platform as the company continues to offer up quality fanboy content to audiences around the world. Nerdist was founded in 2008 by Hardwick — a comedian, author, podcaster, new media personality and AMC’s The Talking Dead host. In 2011, Nerdist and Levin’s GeekChicDaily merged to form Nerdist Industries with Hardwick serving as Founder and Chief Creative Officer while digital media entrepreneur Levin became CEO of the new company. Read More »
Legendary Entertainment chief Thomas Tull tells Deadline that President Obama is hoping to drop by the set of the Jackie Robinson biopic 42 on Tuesday. The President on June 26th will be appearing at fundraisers in Atlanta, where Legendary’s film is … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: More rich Hollywood boys and their toys besides Jerry Bruckheimer and pro hockey, and Peter Guber and pro basketball, and others. … Now the local San Diego media is reporting that Legendary Entertainment Chairman/CEO Thomas Tull is making a bid for the Padres baseball team. Today, San Diego Padres Hall of Fame outfielder and hometown hero Tony Gwynn — now head baseball coach at SDSU — publicly endorsed Tull to the local media. [UPDATE: Hall Of Famer Tony Gwynn is joining Tull's group in the bidding, according to Gwynn's agent John Boggs. Gwynn played for the Padres his entire 20-season big league career and is currently a baseball coach at his alma mater, San Diego State. The AP says that Gwynn met with Tull last week, according to Boggs.] Tull is one of 5 potential bidders for the team, but my sources say the vetting has narrowed to just 3 contenders — and Tull is among that select group. They want to buy the 51% share of the baseball team which current Padres Chairman John Moores is selling as the result of a divorce. Read More »
UPDATE: I understand that Legendary Entertainment founder/chief Thomas Tull took an extraordinary role in personally (and unusually) wheeling-dealing these 2 equity and debt financing deals. Fideltity Investments also is one of the major investors on the equity side, but Morgan Stanley was the … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Peter Loehr is in demand after Deadline first announced he’s leaving CAA’s Beijing office. Last week we reported that Loehr might be joining Bruno Wu’s new $800M film fund and that’s still possible. But the newest development is that Thomas Tull has made Loehr an offer to run Legendary East. Loehr had been head of CAA’s Beijing office since it opened in 2005. He has been in talks to join Bruno Wu, the Chinese entrepreneur who last month unveiled a plan to raise $800 million in equity financing to make English-language pictures under the banner of the Harvest Seven Stars Media Fund. The fund is being advised by CAA and I hear the agency really wants Loehr to take the job. Meanwhile, Thomas Tull who runs Legendary Pictures is about to relaunch Legendary East with a new structure and new financing after its proposed partner Paul Y Engineering put its $220.5 million investment in the venture on hold in late December 2011. No deal is yet in place for Loehr, who is in demand because he’s a rarity: an experienced film guy who lives in China and has been part of the production community for a long time. Loehr established the country’s first independent film studio, Imar Film, in 1997, before opening CAA’s China outpost. Read More »
UPDATE: Legendary East released the following statement: “The goal is to relaunch a placing exercise in 2012. Legendary East will issue a formal announcement when the new structure and transaction is solidified.”
PREVIOUS: Legendary East’s proposed partner Paul Y Engineering has put its $220.5 million investment in the venture on hold. The Hong Kong construction company said it had been unable to raise the necessary funds in a share sale to investors ahead of the year-end deadline. PYE chairman Ir James Chiu maintained that the placement had received “a positive and substantial response,” but said “we anticipate that under the current difficult environment of the capital markets the placing will not be able to close before the long stop date, being 31 December 2011.” Thomas Tull unveiled Legendary East in June in partnership with China’s Huayi Brothers and with plans to co-produce English-language features and related content for a worldwide audience. In August, publicly-traded PYE emerged as an investor saying it would raise the $220.5 million by issuing new shares in Hong Kong. Under that deal, PYE was to have owned 50% of Legendary East. PYE says it hasn’t entirely thrown in the towel, however, indicating in a press release that the joint venture parties may continue to discuss options to modify the structure of the deal and relaunch a placement in 2012. In August it was announced that Ed Zwick’s The Great Wall would be the first film under the Legendary East banner. Below is the PYE release.
PYI and Paul Y. Engineering Announce Lapse of Film Joint Venture Investment
(29 December 2011, Hong Kong) – Bulk cargo port and infrastructure group PYI Corporation Limited (“PYI”, 0498.HK) and its subsidiary, Paul Y. Engineering Group Limited (“PYE”, 0577.HK) announced the Independent Placing Agreement, the AID Subscription Agreement and the Legendary East Subscription Agreement, each as entered into by PYE, will lapse or be terminated with effect from the long stop date of 31 December 2011. Accordingly, the Distribution in Specie (or the Cash Alternative) and the Cash Dividend (or the Scrip Alternative) will no longer proceed as they are conditional on completion of the Placing on or before 31 December 2011.
PYE will remain in its present form and its shares should trade on the same basis as they did prior to the joint announcement dated 21 August 2011. PYE will not, at this stage, be investing any cash in Legendary East Ltd. (“Legendary East”) However, some or all of the parties to the Joint Venture Agreements may continue, in the near term, to discuss potential changes to the transaction structure with a view to agreeing upon prospective terms for a modified film joint venture, with the goal of relaunching a placing exercise in 2012. Both PYE and PYI will make further announcements if such changes are agreed and will likely seek fresh approvals from their respective shareholders on any new transactions.
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The move to add former Procter & Gamble president, chairman and CEO A.G. Lafley to its board of directors is the latest significant one for Thomas Tull’s Legendary Entertainment, which has been ramping up in all areas as part of its evolution from a co-financier of Warner Bros films to an enterprise generating its own films released by Warner Bros. The company has also recently branched into TV and comics, and it formed the stand-alone company Legendary East, which is based in Beijing and Hong Kong and will create content for the global marketplace. Most recently, Legendary promoted Jon Jashni to president. Lafley joins Tull, Jim Breyer, Larry Clark, Dick Cook and Joe Roth on the company’s board. Here’s today’s release: Read More »
BREAKING: Legendary Entertainment chairman and CEO Thomas Tull has promoted Jon Jashni to president, a new post. Jashni, a veteran executive and producer who joined Tull six years ago, will continue to function as chief creative officer and has been a big part of Legendary’s evolution from a co-financier of Warner Bros films to an enterprise that is generating its own films that are released by Warner Bros. Legendary’s rise has been fueled by being partner in such films as The Hangover, Clash of the Titans, the Chris Nolan Batman trilogy and Inception, as well as the upcoming Superman reboot Man of Steel. Tull’s company is generating its own tent pole films, including the Guillermo del Toro-directed alien-invasion film Pacific Rim that stars Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba, and a reboot of Godzilla. Jashni is a producer on those films as well as the Alex Proyas-directed Paradise Lost that will star Bradley Cooper and Benjamin Walker, and the Sergey Bodrov-directed The Seventh Son, which stars Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore and Ben Barnes. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: I’m hearing that Bill Fay is leaving Legendary Pictures where he worked in physical production as president. Sources say its been in the works for a while as boss Thomas Tull and his chief creative officer Jon Jashni are ready to start production on several films in 2011 and … Read More »
In her first producing effort since leaving as chairman of the MGM Worldwide Motion Picture Group, Mary Parent has come aboard as producer of Pacific Rim, Legendary Pictures’ big-budget action film that Guillermo del Toro will begin shooting in November. … Read More »
This announcement about another Hollywood-China deal was just posted to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange website in the past hour. It follows Legendary Entertainment’s June news that it formed Legendary East, a stand-alone entertainment company creating feature film and related content for a worldwide audience. Legendary East is based in Hong Kong, with Chinese management and international investors as well as Thomas Tull’s Legendary Entertainment. Today, Legendary East announced the investment vehicle to inject $220.5M of cash from Paul Y Engineering Group Ltd by issuing new shares on the Hong Kong stock market. The investment would allow Legendary East to become a fully funded studio operating from China. ”A key feature of this structure is that it provides liquidity for those investors in Legendary East that are investing through PYE because PYE’s shares are publicly traded on the HKSE,” an insider emails me. Legendary East is led by CEO Kelvin Wu and Tull, its chairman who is also chairman/CEO of Legendary Entertainment. As previously announced, China media conglomerate Huayi Media will take a key role as local Chinese production and distribution partner and investor in Legendary East. Here’s today’s release: Read More »