Los Angeles—Sep 24, 2003
2929 Entertainment Announces Acquisition of Landmark Theatres
Deal will facilitate 2929’s goal to aggressively leverage ability to produce films, promote and display them on HDNet and HDNet Movies and exhibit them at Landmark Theaters
Todd Wagner, Co-Founder and Chief Executive
Officer of 2929 Entertainment, announced his company has entered into an
agreement to acquire the parent company of Landmark Theaters, the nation's
largest art-house theater chain, from investment funds and accounts managed by
Oaktree Capital Management, LLC. Upon closing of the transaction, Wagner and his
partner Mark Cuban will assume ownership of the parent company of the Los
Angeles based chain. It is expected that the current management team at Landmark
will remain in place after the closing. The transaction is scheduled to close in
October subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions.
“This transaction further enhances 2929 Entertainment’s presence in the
industry,” says Wagner. “2929 Entertainment is now able to expand our
development and acquisition efforts and create a vertical industry presence. Our
goal is to aggressively leverage our ability to produce our own films, promote
and display them on HDNet and HDNet Movies and exhibit them at Landmark. We
think this acquisition provides a unique opportunity to make a significant
impact in the art and independent film, HDTV production and digital exhibition
After selling Broadcast.com, the Internet company that he and Cuban founded, for
$5.7 billion to Yahoo! Inc. in 1999, Wagner created 2929 Entertainment to
leverage his expertise in digital technology and his passion for the
entertainment business. In November, 2001, 2929 acquired Rysher Entertainment
and its substantial film and television programming library, including various
rights to such shows as "Hogan's Heroes," Sex and the City," and "Star Search.”
A new version of “Star Search” co-produced by 2929 Entertainment, premiered in
January 2003 to strong ratings. A second season of Star Search will launch in
January 2004 on CBS.
2929 Entertainment co-financed the film, "Searching for Debra Winger," which was
honored at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002. The company is currently in
post-production on two films. "Godsend," starring Robert DeNiro and Greg Kinnear
is a co-production with Lions Gate. The second film, "Criminal," is a
co-production with Steven Soderbergh's Section 8 production company. Directed by
frequent Soderbergh collaborator Greg Roberts, the film stars recent Oscar
nominee John C. Reilly. Warner Brothers will release the film. It is expected
that 2929 Entertainment will continue to acquire content and partner with movie
studios and other industry leading partners on film and television projects.
In addition to 2929 Entertainment's extensive library and production
capabilities, Wagner and Cuban are also partnered in HDNet, an all-high
definition national television network. HDNet, the leader in high-definition
broadcasting, produces and televises more hours of original HDTV entertainment,
news and sports programming than any other network. Its two 24/7 networks, HDNet
and HDNet Movies, are currently available on DIRECTV, DISH Network, Charter
Communications, Insight Communications, and other cable companies affiliated
with the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC).
2929 Entertainment also holds interests in Magnolia Pictures, a Denver-based
movie exhibition company and Lion's Gate Entertainment; a global entertainment
company whose recent releases include the Oscar-winning "Monster's Ball,"
"Frailty," and "Confidence.” Landmark Theaters, the nation’s largest art house
chain, features first run independent and foreign films, restored classics and
non-traditional studio fare in 54 theaters representing 185 screens in 14
states. Known for its successful grass roots marketing style, the chain was
founded in Los Angeles in 1974.
Oaktree Capital Management, LLC is a Los Angeles based investment management
firm with approximately $27.5 billion of assets under management from primarily
private and public pension plans, private and educational foundations and
endowments, insurance companies and private clients.