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Cohen Media Group Buys Landmark Theatres From Wagner/Cuban Companies
Nation's Largest Independent Theater Chain Sold to Indie Film Distributor and One of the Country's Most Influential Patrons of Culture and the Arts
Landmark Theatres, the nation's largest specialized theater chain dedicated to independent cinema with 252 screens in 27 markets, has been purchased by Cohen Media Group, an Academy Award-winning independent theatrical distribution and production company. The announcement was made jointly today by Landmark Theatres President/CEO Ted Mundorff, Cohen Media Group Chairman Charles S. Cohen, Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. Cohen will retain the senior management team of Landmark Theatres. Landmark established itself at the forefront of luxury cinema and was the first chain to introduce non-conventional seating with the installation of couches and love seats in its theatres. Landmark was also first to employ DCP digital projectors. And on the programming side, the company has become a recognized industry leader in the sector, providing customers with a wide variety of films including commercial, independent, foreign language and documentaries. Landmark was acquired by 2929 Entertainment from Oaktree Capital in 2003. Under Wagner/Cuban's ownership, Landmark, has grown to become the pre-eminent flagship brand in the sophisticated arthouse exhibition business known for its destination locations, The Landmark in Los Angeles and The Landmark at 57 West in New York City, favored by filmmakers and studios to host Award season events and screenings, as well as other iconic locations including the E Street Cinema and The Landmark Atlantic Plumbing Cinema in Washington DC, The Landmark at Merrick Park in Coral Gables, Florida, and The Landmark at Greenwood Village in Denver's flourishing Tech Center. "Anyone who knows Charles, knows he is an avid lover of art and cinema, and this deal to purchase Landmark serves so many of his true passions and interests," said Mundorff. "By acquiring our chain, he has supercharged and scaled his distribution footprint in the arthouse sector, where he has been a savvy distributor and producer for many, many years. He has also acquired the crown jewel in the arthouse exhibition arena with prime A-list locations and an established loyal base of customers who love our theaters, brand and diverse range of extraordinary, high-quality programming choices throughout the year." "I have been in the arthouse business for a long time as both a distributor and a producer, and I know better than most, that these films need a special home and require the utmost care. Landmark is that home. I have long admired and respected the way Landmark has built and grown its business from the ground up and I love this area of the business," said Cohen. "As the independent market has changed over the years, Ted and the entire Landmark team have done an outstanding job adjusting with the times, anticipating trends and opportunities and new areas for growth and exploration. I couldn't be more excited to add Landmark to Cohen Media Group's portfolio of companies. This is a phenomenal fit with our other businesses, and this deal will be welcome news to the filmmakers we do business with or plan to work with in the arthouse arena in the years ahead." "We are thrilled that we are passing the baton to Charles, a buyer who is passionate about independent cinema and who truly understands this market. As we complete our sale, we expect the transition between owners to be smooth and seamless with little to no impact on our staff or customers," said Wagner and Cuban. Landmark is at the forefront of independent exhibition. The company provides filmgoers with numerous amenities, including the best in digital projection, seating, gourmet concession items, as well as Landmark's signature brand of customer service. Screening Lounges can be found in many locations featuring a comfortable, unique seating experience. Cohen Media Group was formed in 2008 by Charles S. Cohen, an executive producer of Frozen River, which garnered two Academy Award nominations. The Cohen Media Group (CMG) is an Academy Award-winning independent theatrical distribution and production company, releasing the world's best in contemporary and classic cinema. Cohen Media Group distributes select films throughout North America, allowing the CMG team to devote their best efforts towards each film's fullest potential. CMG has released multiple Academy Award-nominated films, including Timbuktu, Mustang, and 2017's Academy Award-winner, The Salesman. In addition to a dedication to high-quality new releases, Cohen Media Group also restores classic films under the label, Cohen Film Collection. The restorations, which include the Merchant Ivory collection and the Buster Keaton catalog, are re-released theatrically in pristine transfers and presentations. Landmark Theatres is part of the Wagner/Cuban Companies, a vertically integrated group of media properties co-owned by Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban that also includes theatrical and home entertainment distribution company Magnolia Pictures, production company 2929 Productions, and high definition networks AXS TV and HDNet Movies. Stephens Inc. served as exclusive financial advisor to Landmark in the transaction.
[caption id="attachment_201507" align="aligncenter" width="427"] BMI President and CEO Mike O'Neill[/caption]
BMI Sets Revenue Records With $1.199 Billion –Company Distributes $1.118 Billion in Royalties, a $95 Million IncreaseBMI has once again broken revenue records, generating $1.199 billion for the fiscal year ending June 30. The company also distributed and administered a record $1.118 billion in royalties to its songwriters, composers and publishers, an increase of $95 million, or 9% higher than the previous year. These results mark the most public performance and highest royalty distribution of any music rights organization in the world. Mike O'Neill, President and CEO, BMI, stated, "Thanks to the incredible creativity of our songwriters, composers and publishers, BMI was once again able to generate record revenue and distributions on their behalf. While we are proud of achieving these results, we will always strive to do better. BMI will continue to advocate for our affiliates, ensuring that all songwriters and composers can continue to earn a living creating the music that is loved all over the world." The $1.118 billion in total distributions includes domestic and international royalties, as well as royalties from direct deals that BMI administers on behalf of its publishers. Distributions from these direct deals totaled $53 million, a $17 million increase over the previous year, representing approximately 5% of BMI's total distribution. Notably, BMI's overhead rate dropped to its lowest level in the company's history. When factoring in the impact of direct deal administration, a relatively new business for the company, BMI now distributes nearly 90 cents of every dollar directly back to its songwriters, composers and publishers. The company's revenue growth was driven by strong gains in the digital sector, as well as increases in general licensing and international revenues. BMI's digital revenue grew an impressive 32% to $215 million thanks in part to new deals with Amazon, Apple Music, Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, Sound Cloud and Spotify, as well as expansion into new digital markets including social media with Facebook and the fitness app Peloton. Digital now represents 24% of the company's total domestic revenue. General licensing, which encompasses 18% of BMI's total domestic revenue and is generated from businesses like bars and restaurants, hotels and fitness centers, along with other income, posted record results of $156 million, a 5% gain year-to-year. The company added 15,000 new businesses to its growing portfolio. Total domestic revenue, which is comprised of digital media, traditional television and radio, cable and satellite, and general licensing, grew to a record $880 million, up 5% over the prior year. Revenue from cable and satellite sources once again generated the largest portion of BMI's domestic revenue at 33%, while traditional television and radio revenue accounted for 25% of the overall domestic total. Notably, BMI's international revenue grew $25 million to an impressive $319 million, up 9% over the previous year. BMI processed nearly 1.7 trillion performances in FY '18, a 23% increase over last year. Of this total, 1.67 trillion were digital performances, or 97.7% of all performances processed, reinforcing the critical need for fair compensation for songwriters, whose musical contributions provide the very foundation of the streaming services' businesses.
UMG to Provide Multifaceted, Global Support to Band’s Iconic Recorded Music and Audio-Visual Work Including Merchandising, Brand Management and ArchiveThe Rolling Stones and Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music entertainment, today announced an expansive worldwide agreement covering the band’s iconic recorded music and audio-visual catalogues, archival support, global merchandising and brand management. This multi-faceted partnership marks the beginning of a new era of expanded collaboration between The Rolling Stones and UMG. Few bands in history have so profoundly impacted global culture as The Rolling Stones. Through their powerful music, infectious live performances, unique visual identity and attitude, the band is renowned throughout the world to audiences of all ages, widely influencing popular culture through art, fashion and film. With UMG, the band has a partner that complements and supports their global stature, with expertise and resources that enable the band to maximize their reach while underscoring their enduring cultural relevance across numerous forms of entertainment. In making the announcement, Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Group, said, “After a decade of working in partnership together, we are thrilled to expand and extend our relationship with The Rolling Stones. We look forward to bringing our expertise and passion to bear as we put our global organization to work on behalf of this iconic band who continue to create music and influence culture around the world.” David Joseph, Chairman & CEO, Universal Music UK, said, “The Rolling Stones continue to define rock and roll, they are loved the world over and they are the band who never let up. It’s a privilege to work with them and Joyce Smyth, their exceptional manager.” Joyce Smyth, The Rolling Stones manager said, “For many years now we’ve had a wonderful partnership with Universal Music and look forward to an even more successful future together.’’ As part of the agreement, UMG extends its position as the home for The Rolling Stones’ iconic catalogue, which includes some of the most celebrated and influential albums of all time, from Sticky Fingers through to 2016’s Grammy award-winning Blue & Lonesome. UMG will continue to distribute the band’s celebrated recorded music catalogue globally with future projects and reissues to be released through UMG’s labels and networks around the world. Bravado, UMG’s brand-management and merchandise company and the leading global provider of consumer, lifestyle and branding services to recording artists, will handle global merchandising rights, retail licensing, brand management and e-commerce on behalf of the band, including their iconic tongue logo, one of the most universally recognized symbols in entertainment. At the same time, Bravado will continue working closely with the band and management to identify new and innovative opportunities for creative collaboration within the worlds of art, fashion, retail, sport, lifestyle and touring merchandise to excite and inspire their millions of fans around the world. Recent programs and collections include partnerships with Paris Saint Germain FC, Selfridges, Colette and Zara and newly designed merchandise for their No Filter European Tour. Eagle Rock, the UMG-owned leading producer and distributor of music programming for broadcast, DVD, Blu-Ray, TV and Digital Media, have expanded their global distribution rights to the band’s extensive long-form audio visual catalogue. As part of the agreement, Eagle Rock will also re-issue several classic concert films from their archives including: Atlanta (1989); Steel Wheels (1989-90); Voodoo Lounge (1994); Bridges to Babylon (1997-1998); Four Flicks (2002) and Bigger Bang (2005-2006). In addition, UMG will provide The Rolling Stones with archival support and dedicated space for the band’s physical media assets, musical instruments and equipment across the company’s ecosystem of vaults positioned around the world. Universal Music Group has been home to the Rolling Stones since 2008, and with this extended agreement sees UMG leverage the company’s global network of industry leading businesses spanning more than 60 countries to support the multimedia creative output of one of music’s most iconic and influential artists.
Sony Music Entertainment has entered into a strategic partnership with Jonathan Master, the innovative A&R and marketing entrepreneur who has worked with artists including Logic, D.R.A.M., G-Eazy, Cam'Ron, PJ Morton and Grammy-nominated producer !llmind, it was announced today. Together, Sony Music and Master are launching SamePlate, a new joint venture label focused on cultivating emerging, dynamic music talent using cutting-edge approaches to artist development and services. Master will head the New York-based imprint and oversee a dedicated staff that includes Alex Ciccimarro, who will serve as VP, Operations. Ciccimarro previously held digital marketing roles for Republic Records and Atlantic Records, and has worked on releases from Cardi B and Gucci Mane, and the soundtrack to “Hamilton: The Broadway Musical,” among others. At launch, SamePlate’s roster includes Ro Ransom, YGTUT, TOBi, Eza, Shari Marie, ROMderful and Ducko McFli. Its first release, “Floetry,” from Ro Ransom, is out now. “We are thrilled to be partnering with all the great people at Sony Music on this new label,” said Master. “SamePlate’s mission is to work in true partnership with artists to help them nurture their brands, not just chase records. Artists need to be competitive and relevant all the time, not just in traditional release cycles, and we are committed to helping them share their stories with fans every day, through any medium, including music, videos, and social content.” Said Peter Edge, Chairman & CEO, RCA Records, “Jonathan Master is a forward-thinking entrepreneur, talent developer and marketer with a strong vision for building artist careers. I look forward to SamePlate making exciting new contributions to music culture, and creating opportunities for collaboration with RCA.” Said Brad Navin, CEO, The Orchard, “The Orchard is excited to serve as the global distribution solution for SamePlate. We share Jonathan Master’s passion for providing the best possible value and service to artists, and we are eager to collaborate with him and his talented team to help grow the reach and awareness of SamePlate artists around the world.” For the last four years, Master has overseen the New York A&R and Marketing operations of EMPIRE, an independent distribution and artist services company, where he was involved in numerous artist signings/label distribution deals, including agreements with D.R.A.M., PJ Morton, George Clinton Cam'Ron, Styles P, Joell Ortiz, Jet Life, IshDARR, Joe Budden, and Raekwon. Master also has spent more than a decade running his own independent marketing, artist management, events and content creation company under the SamePlate name. During that time, he partnered with leading music labels across the music industry on innovative digital, traditional and lifestyle marketing campaigns for artists including Logic, G-Eazy, Joey Badass, Big K.R.I.T., Smokers Club, H.E.R., and Dom Kennedy, among many others. He also manages producer !llmind, who has worked with artists including Drake, J. Cole, Kanye West and Romeo Santos. He spent the early part of his career in various marketing and A&R roles for companies including Viper Records and SRC Records.