Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group and investment firm Domain Capital announced that they have inked a multi-year, co-financing agreement spanning multiple years that “reflects Warner Bros. expanded focus of theatrical films as the company continues to grow its diverse slate of movies across every genre for audiences across the globe.”
The new arrangement included Barbie — released in July — and will continue with the studio’s major tentpoles including Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Wonka and The Color Purple. The time frame of the deal wasn’t released.
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The news comes after WBD reported mixed quarterly earnings last week with a glum advertising outlook, and as the company led by David Zazlav is making headlines over Coyote Vs Acme. WBD planned to axe the finished Looney Tunes film but after an uproar from the filmmakers and creative community it decided instead to shop it around and is holding screenings. The studio could have taken a $30-$40 million write-down on the circa $70-million budgeted pic apparently. That story continued today as Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro slammed WBD on X saying its “tactic of scrapping fully made films for tax breaks is predatory and anti-competitive.”
The situation may well be different but it recalled WBD’s axing of Batgirl and Scoob!: Holiday Haunt in the summer 2022 as it wrestled with its financials after the Discovery-Warner Media merger. The combination with its ensuing high debt has been complicated give the costs of streaming and decline in linear television. The Domain deal is WBD looking to save some cash.
Domain in 2022 announced the closing of more than $700 million of equity commitments for an entertainment fund and co-investment vehicle for film, television and music. As of March 31, it managed approximately $8.2 billion in total assets. The Atlanta-based firm is an investor in Electric Owl Studios in Stone Mountain, GA.
Mike De Luca and Pamela Abdy, co-chairs & CEOs of Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group, “We are pleased to have this co-financing agreement with Domain Capital in place given their deep knowledge of the entertainment space, and as we continue to build on the studio’s 100-year commitment to theatrical releases.”
Said Pete Chiappetta, Domain’s managing director Media, Entertainment & Technology: “We are honored to be working with a world-class studio partner in Warner Bros. and excited to participate in furthering their long track record of creating premium theatrical content. We believe this long-term relationship, and the ultimate library that it creates, will further our investment strategy within media, entertainment and technology”.
Variety first reported the agreement.
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