The Chinese owner of Aston Villa Football Club now has a controlling stake in Millennium Films, for a low, low price.
Steven Schwankert reports: Shenzhen-based and listed Recon Holding has taken a 51 percent stake in Millennium Films, producer of The Expendables series, for US$100 million, the two companies announced Thursday in a statement.
The announcement ends rumors that a deal for that amount was being negotiated, although initial speculation indicated that price was more likely for a complete buy-out of Los Angeles-based Millennium.
The price tag seems a bargain for a company that claims box office grosses since 2011 of $1.2 billion, with films including The Expendables, Olympus Has Fallen, London Has Fallen, along with Rambo in its catalog. Millennium has The Hitman’s Bodyguard with Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L, Jackson coming up, along with Escobar, starring Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, and Hunter Killer, with Olympus and Londonstar Gerard Butler, and Gary Oldman.
However, it is the strength of Millennium’s offerings in China that may have appealed most strongly to Recon. The company produced Jason Statham’s Mechanic series, which grossed double in China what it did in North America. Unconfirmed reports indicate a fourth Expendable film could shoot in China.
Recon Wenyuan Cable Co. is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in southern China, and is … (read more)