Warner Bros. Inks $450 Million Deal With Ratner Consortium
The top grossing studio of 2013 entered a financing deal with a three-person consortium that includes one familiar face.
The Wall Street Journal, Warner Bros. (NYSE: TWX) has finalized a $450-million funding deal with RatPac-Dune Entertainment LLC. The group includes noted producer-directer Brett Ratner, along with Steven Mnuchin, chairman and CEO of OneWest Bank Group LLC, and Australian entertainment billionaire James Packer.
"This agreement gives us increased strength and flexibility in the motion picture division and an even greater ability to manage risk as we continue to produce high-quality filmed entertainment for the global audience," Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara said. "We look forward to working with their team as we move forward in this exciting new partnership with a truly great organization.”
The deal will cover up to 75 films over the next four or five years, with some notable exceptions. The two planned Hobbit sequels, as well as the recently-announced series of movies based on J.K. Rowling's "Fantastic Beasts" books, will not receive this particular funding.
According to Box Office Mojo, Warner Bros. has grossed $1,339.8 billion so far this year, about $54 million ahead of Universal Pictures (NASDAQ: CMCSA). They have seen enormous success over the last few years, a run that has included The Hangover trilogy and Christoper Nolan's "Batman" reboot.
After cutting his teeth in the music video realm, Ratner is well-known as the director for the Rush Hour trilogy. The series grossed almost $850 million worldwide at the box office.
He is currently filming Hercules: The Thracian Wars, set for a summer 2014 release. The film stars Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, who has had a string of #1 box office openings in 2013.
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