Mumbai: Universal Filmed Entertainment is taking a minority stake in Amblin, joining fellow investors such as Entertainment One (eOne), Participant Media, Reliance Entertainment and Alibaba Pictures.
The companies first announced a multiyear partnership in December 2015 for Universal to market and distribute Amblin Partners’ films domestically, as well as in select international territories. The first title released by Universal under the pact was DreamWorks Pictures’ The Girl on the Train, which opened at number one in the domestic box office in October 2016.
“We are big believers in Amblin Partners and its proven ability to create the kind of quality films that appeal to broad, global audiences,” said Ron Meyer, vice chairman of NBCUniversal; Universal Filmed Entertainment Chairman Jeff Shell; and Donna Langley, the chairman of Universal Pictures, in a joint statement. “Steven is a genius and has always been part of our family, as well as an incredible partner to Universal. We are thrilled to become strategic investors in the company that he, Michael and Jeff are committed to growing.”
“Because Universal has been such a significant part of my life, it is an added pleasure to welcome its stake in Amblin,” said Amblin Partners Chairman Steven Spielberg. “Together with Jeff Skoll and our other partners, we look ahead to creating and delivering the storytelling that defines our brands of filmed entertainment.”
“We couldn’t be happier that Universal has shown confidence in Amblin Partners by making this investment,” said Amblin CEO Michael Wright and President and Co-CEO Jeff Small. “As the gold standard in our industry, Universal fits perfectly with our other esteemed partners, Participant Media, Reliance Entertainment, eOne and Alibaba Pictures, and we can’t wait to welcome Jeff Shell to our board.”
Jeff Skoll, the founder and chairman of Participant Media, added, “Participant is in the business of social impact, and Universal has always been an excellent partner in ensuring our stories reach engaged global moviegoers who are eager to help change the world. We are thrilled to have Universal invest in Amblin Partners and look forward to extending our relationship.”