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Mark Cuban puts Landmark Theatres and Magnolia Pictures up for sale

Dallas Mavericks owner and media entrepreneur Mark Cuban confirmed Tuesday that he has put Landmark Theatres, the nation’s leading theater chain showing specialized movies, and his production and distribution company Magnolia Pictures up for sale.

"Prices for entertainment properties are up," Cuban said in an email. "If we don't get the price and premium we want, we are happy to continue to make money from the properties."

Bids are expected as early as next week, according to Bloomberg, which first reported news of the auction.

Landmark operates 296 screens at 63 theaters in 17 states, including its flagship theater in West Los Angeles. Cuban and his partner Todd Wagner bought the Landmark chain, at one time under bankruptcy protection, from Oaktree Capital Management in 2003. They invested heavily in expanding and upgrading the circuit, including spending $20 million on its 2,000-seat, 12-screen multiplex at the intersection of Pico and Westwood boulevards.

Magnolia Pictures distributes independent films, such as James Marsh's 2008 documentary "Man on Wire," about tightrope walker Philippe Petit, and last year's love story and murder mystery "All Good Things," starring Ryan Gosling. The company's home entertainment arm also releases films simultaneously with their theatrical debut via cable channel HDNet, also owned by Cuban and Wagner.

"Given our unique position of enabling VOD day-and-date with theatrical, we wanted to test the market,'' Cuban said.

However, most theater operators, including the nation's largest circuits -- Regal, AMC and Cinemark --have been alarmed by Hollywood studios' plans to accelerate the early release of movies in the home through video-on-demand services. They fear that such offerings will significantly undermine ticket sales.


Hollywood plans for premium video on demand

Movie ticket prices reach a new milestone

Theater chains escalate fight with studios as premium video-on-demand looms


-- Richard Verrier



Comments () | Archives (3)

"They fear that such offerings will significantly undermine ticket sales."
The Theater owners should be afraid. I can see 50 movies a month
anytime I want on Netflix for the same price as one scheduled showing
at a theater. I will also save on gas, parking, and I can eat healthy food
instead of the usual candy, soda, and popcorn. Why don't theater owners
put healthy food in their lobbies, and show revival films?
Another good reason sales are down at the box office is because
Hollywood has become an assembly line of crap. Seth Rogen is not a leading man.

I couldn't agree more.
Cuban is one of the most intelligent young investors out there and it saddens me greatly that he is opting out of the film biz.
I produce independent flicks and he is the owner of another solid company exiting an ever troubling and dying business.
Unfortunately if you are not part of a studio film you can forget about getting the distribution necessary to make a decent living.
Just check the TV listings and you'll see the large numbers of movie stars venturing into TV and cable films, independent films as we knew just it a few years back is long gone and Cuban knows it.
Los Angeles

If this crook finally sells, I will finally go to a Landmark facility. For those of you who don't know about Cuban's insider trading charges, he accused the Bush Justice Dept of a political vendetta, but I think he is now saying something else since Obama's Justice Dept is also going after his sleazy behind.


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