Mark Cuban Sells Netflix-Friendly Landmark Theatres

Landmark Theatres, the Los Angeles-based independent exhibitor with 252 screens in 27 markets nationwide, Dec. 4 disclosed it has been acquired by the Cohen Media Group (CMG) for an undisclosed amount.

Co-owned since 2003 by Mark Cuban (“The Shark Tank” and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks) and Todd Wagner, Landmark has pushed indie film distribution and wasn’t afraid to partner with subscription ticket service MoviePass or screen Netflix movies – including recent release Roma– day-and-date with their global streaming debut.

CMG, formed in 2008 by real estate developer Charles Cohen – a film buff and executive producer on Oscar-nominated Frozen River, starring Melissa Leo, the company has restored hundreds of films, and distributes titles via Amazon’s Cohen Media Channel and on disc through Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

“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,” Landmark CEO Ted Mundorff said in a statement. “By acquiring our chain, he as supercharged and scaled his distribution footprint in the arthouse sector.”

Mundorff reportedly will remain CEO of Landmark along with the chain’s management going forward.

“As we complete the sale, we expect the transition between owners to be smooth and seamless with little or no impact to customers,” Wagner and Cuban said in a statement.

 

 

 

Amazon Eyeing Mark Cuban’s Landmark Theatres

Amazon reportedly is among several companies looking to acquire Landmark Theatres, the indie exhibitor co-owned by “Shark Tank” veteran and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and his business partner Todd Wagner.

Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the situation, said Amazon is interested in Landmark as the ecommerce behemoth ventures further into brick-and-mortar businesses. Any deal would be relatively small compared to Amazon’s $13.7 billion acquisition of Los Angeles-based Whole Foods last year.

Landmark operates 50 theaters with 250 screens in 27 markets, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York and Dallas.

The chain last year became one of the few high-profile exhibitors to ink a revenue-sharing agreement with ticket subscription service MoviePass.

With Amazon operating a proprietary studio, ownership of an exhibition venue would technically be in violation of the 70-year-old Paramount Pictures consent decrees, which prohibits studios from owning theaters.

The Justice Department antitrust division earlier this month announced it would revisit the rulings due to changes in the distribution of entertainment.

“The Paramount decrees have been on the books with no sunset provisions since 1949,” Makan Delrahim, head of the Justice Department’s antitrust unit, said in an Aug. 2 statement. “It is high time that these and other legacy judgments are examined to determine whether they still serve to protect competition.”

Delrahim is also responsible for the antitrust litigation filed against the ATT/Time Warner merger, in which a federal judge sided against the government’s claim the merger was anti-consumer. The decision is under appeal.

 

Atom Tickets Inks Deal with Mark Cuban’s Landmark Theatres

Atom Tickets, the app-based paperless movie ticket platform May 15 announced a deal with Landmark Theatres, which is owned by Dallas Mavericks owner and “Shark Tank” star Mark Cuban.

The deal affords Atom Tickets –which is financially backed by Lionsgate and 20thCentury Fox Film – access to Landmark Theatre’s 53 theatres and 255 screens. The exhibitor ups Atom’s total reach to more than 20,000 screens across North America.

With exhibitors feeling the crunch from over-the-top video and alternative entertainment options, indie theaters such Landmark eye Atom Tickets as a means of putting consumers in seats.

Landmark recently inked a revenue-sharing deal with MoviePass, the controversial subscription-based ticket service enabling members daily access to one screening for a $9.95 monthly fee.

The free Atom app and website offer movie reviews, trailers and synopses to guide consumers about moviegoing options. Atom offers streamlined ordering of tickets and concessions from any Android or iOS phone. At the theater, users go directly to the ushers and concession counters, where they scan a QR code at tablet kiosks.

“We’re excited to partner with Atom Tickets as yet another way to provide the best moviegoing experience to our guests,” Cuban said in a statement.

 

Mark Cuban Accepting MoviePass Fits Maverick Role

NEWS ANALYSIS – Billionaire Mark Cuban is as much reality TV showman as digital pioneer, self-help author, owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA franchise, AXS TV network and Magnolia Pictures, among other hats.

When Cuban talks, people listen. As a celebrity TV judge on “Shark Tank,” contestants are often grateful just to hear Cuban’s input on their entrepreneurial dreams – even if he has no financial interest backing them or advice to offer. Cuban makes no secret his affection for upstart techies looking to disrupt the status quo.

Like movie ticket subscription service MoviePass, which is now offering (for a limited time) daily access to a theatrical screening for a $6.95 monthly fee. The strategy — however fiscally illogical — has irked major theater chains, despite increasing moviegoing foot traffic.

MoviePass is spearheaded by CEO Mitch Lowe, a longtime industry disruptor who cut his teeth helping Netflix and later Redbox reinvent the home video market.

When Cuban agreed to give MoviePass a percentage of ticket sales from his Landmark Theatres chain, it was much more than revenue-sharing from 255 screens across 53 theaters in 27 markets nationwide. It was subtle affirmation without Lowe pitching five “Shark Tank” judges.

“There is no better place to watch a movie than Landmark and now MoviePass customers will be able to enjoy all of our theaters,” Cuban said in a statement.

Landmark, which Cuban co-owns with Todd Wagner, is no stranger to bucking distribution norms. The chain was one of the first to screen (independent) movies concurrent with their release in retail channels.

Cuban infamously blogged in 2005 that consumers should have access to Hollywood movies, “How they want it, when they want it, where they want it.”

Cuban released faith-based drama, The War Within, simultaneously on Landmark screens and HDNet (now AXS TV).

In 2008, he experimented screening a Mavericks game in 3D at a Landmark/Magnolia theater in Dallas.

Last year, Landmark opened the first new theater in midtown Manhattan in 15 years: a 30,000-square-foot complex with eight screens featuring wall-to-wall screens, laser projection and oversized lounge chairs for viewers.

“We are creating a new destination for cinema,” Ted Mundorff, president of Landmark Theatres, said in a statement.

Cuban himself upended conventional wisdom during the dot-com bubble in 1999 selling (with Wagner) upstart Internet-radio platform, Broadcast.com, to Yahoo for $5.7 billion in stock – or reportedly more than $10,000 per subscriber. Cuban shortly sold his Yahoo stock, netting $1 billion at the age of 41.

Yahoo shut down Broadcast.com in 2002. Cuban now markets “three-comma” T-shirts in support of the entrepreneurial spirit – and his fiscal legacy.

MoviePass Inks Deal With Mark Cuban’s Landmark Theatres

Movie theater subscription service MoviePass is getting a “look” from Dallas Mavericks billionaire owner and “Shark Tank” regular Mark Cuban.

MoviePass March 27 announced a deal with Landmark Theatres, which is owned by Wagner/Cuban Companies, a group of media properties co-owned by Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban.

Through the agreement, MoviePass will be integrated into Landmark Theatres’ ticketing system. Subscribers who use the service at Landmark will be able to use e-ticketing, advanced screening reservation, and in-app seat selection.

Landmark operates 255 screens across 53 theaters in 27 markets nationwide, including Florida, Illinois, Los Angeles, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin.

“There is no better place to watch a movie than Landmark and now MoviePass customers will be able to enjoy all of our theaters,” Cuban said in a statement.

A MoviePass representative said the partnership includes revenue sharing, which the service is seeking from all exhibitors. Aligning with Cuban underscores MoviePass’ worth to their bottom line, according to Bernadette McCabe, SVP of exhibitor relations & business strategy at MoviePass.

“It’s another step towards educating exhibitors on how we can work together in a mutually beneficial way to create a valuable and cost-effective experience for moviegoers,” McCabe said.