Legendary Entertainment, the production company behind “Dune” and “Godzilla vs. Kong,” has severed ties with Warner Bros. for the first time in history. It entered into a multi-year global film distribution partnership with Sony Pictures.
Under the new agreement, Sony will market and distribute Legendary’s upcoming theatrical movie titles. However, some of the projects in Legendary are exempt from the agreement, which means Warner Bros. Pictures still supports “Dune: Part Two”. A sequel to the 2021 sci-fi film adaptation of Dune is currently in production and is set to be released on November 3, 2023.
In a press release, Sony Pictures and Legendary confirmed that the companies are aligned in their “continued commitment to theatrical distribution as a driver of other ‘final’ windows and the long-term theatrical window value of films.”
This sentiment may be an inaccurate reference to the general feud between Legendary and Warner Bros., however. in late 2020. At the time, the production company threatened legal action against Warners. The decision to send all of its 2021 films — including the legendary “Godzilla vs. Kong” and “Dune” — to HBO Max the same day they debuted in theaters. However, both companies have put aside their frustrations (for the time being) and found a mutually satisfactory deal. Furthermore, “Godzilla vs. Kong” grossed $470 million worldwide and “Dune” grossed $401 million worldwide, making both of them box office hits in the era of the pandemic despite From playing on the day and date to the live broadcast.
“It is a rare opportunity to partner in such a mutually beneficial way with true professionals, who align perfectly with our theatrical commitment and vision for this business,” said Josh Greenstein and Sanford Panitch, President of Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group. “The creative brilliance and power of Legendary is immense and we look forward to showcasing their work in theaters around the world.”
As part of the deal, Legendary East will handle all marketing and distribution activities in China. Sony Pictures will also handle the home entertainment and television distribution of its titles. Legendary reserves the option to produce and distribute feature film content to a wide range of current streaming platforms and for future incarnations. In the past, Legendary has worked with Netflix, Universal, and Sony on many projects. Before reuniting in 2018, Legendary had another high-profile split with Warner Bros. In 2014, when the production company signed a five-year deal with Universal.
“As we continue to grow our content offering, we are excited to forge this relationship with Tony, Tom, Sanford, Josh, and the rest of Sony’s exceptional team,” said Legendary CEO Joshua Grode. “Sony’s commitment to theatrical distribution is in line with our vision of how we can get the best value for Legendary films. The impressive slate of films Mary Parent has amassed is designed for the theatrical experience and we are excited to be partnering with Sony for this next phase of Legendary’s growth.”
“The legendary is, well, legendary, and we are excited and lucky to add Josh and Mary’s strong roster to our ongoing commitment to big movies on the big screen,” said Tom Rothman, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group.
Grodd continued, “We are also grateful to Warner Bros. Pictures who have been a valued partner to Legendary for many years, and we look forward to continuing our work with the talented Warner/Discovery executives.”
Recent Legendary movies also include “Pokemon: Detective Pikachu” and the Millie Bobby Brown-led thriller “Enola Holmes” and “Enola Holmes 2.”
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