Tencent invests in film and VR maker Skydance Media, the company behind Archangel
Skydance Media, LLC (“Skydance”), a diversified media company that creates elevated, event-level entertainment for global audiences across multiple platforms, and Tencent Holdings Limited (“Tencent”, SEHK: 00700), a leading provider of Internet value-added services in China, announced today that they have entered into a partnership, with Tencent making a strategic investment in Skydance Media.
The investment is part of a broader strategic partnership, which provides a global platform for project-level collaboration and will also allow Skydance to access Tencent’s expertise in Asia and gaming to further build out its presence in these markets.
Partnership initiatives will include the opportunity for Tencent to co-finance Skydance films, as well as to market, distribute and merchandise in China. The partnership also supports collaboration on other media initiatives, including television, interactive and virtual reality.
“We are thrilled and honored to be entering into a strategic partnership with Tencent, whose global reach and position within the Chinese marketplace is truly unmatched”, said David Ellison, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Skydance Media. “Skydance has experienced a tremendous amount of growth since our inception in 2010, and we're excited that our next phase of expansion will be in partnership with a company that shares our vision for where entertainment is heading.”
“Skydance is nurturing successful entertainment franchises, especially in the action and science fiction genres, which are particularly popular in China. We believe this partnership will support Skydance’s expansion internationally, across media and into television production, and provide Tencent with attractive content that we can share with China consumers,” said James Mitchell, Chief Strategy Officer at Tencent.
Skydance has developed valuable brands across its four pillars of Film, Television, Animation and Interactive entertainment. They are currently in production on the new Mission: Impossible film starring Tom Cruise, directed by Christopher McQuarrie; Gemini Man starring Will Smith, directed by Ang Lee; the next Terminator film produced by James Cameron, directed by Tim Miller; and two animated films – Luck, written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, directed by Alessandro Carloni and Split written by Linda Woolverton, directed by Vicky Jenson.
In addition, Skydance produces and retains the rights to several of the most-successful action, adventure and science fiction franchises of all time, including Star Trek, G.I. Joe, World War Z and Top Gun contributing to nearly $5 billion in worldwide box office.
Furthermore, Skydance TV has become one of the most prolific independent TV studios, creating and financing 8 premium series to date, including the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated hit Grace and Frankie and the upcoming Altered Carbon on Netflix, Jack Ryan on Amazon, Dietland on AMC, andCondor on Audience Network. The Company also has produced and released multiple AAA virtual reality games through Skydance Interactive, including the critically acclaimed Archangel VR and the upcoming Walking Dead VR game.
Tencent uses technology to enrich the lives of Internet users. Every day, hundreds of millions of people communicate, share experiences, consume information and seek entertainment through its integrated platforms. Tencent’s diversified services include QQ, Weixin / WeChat for communications, Qzone for social networking, QQ Game Platform for online games, QQ.com and Tencent News for information and Tencent Video for video content. In addition, Tencent Pictures was founded in 2015 as a production company that creates films based on books, comic books, animated series, and video games. In September 2017, the Company announced 43 upcoming projects, which cover movies, TV series and online series, as well as pan-entertainment projects based on IP collaboration.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal advisor to Skydance. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP acted as legal advisor to Tencent.