Warner Bros

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has just swooped in and exercised its right to match the winning bid. It has bought the RatPac Dune Library that consists of 15-25% of 76 big ticket films that the studio co-financed with the help of RatPac Dune through its slate deal, sources confirm. Deadline revealed late last year that Vine Alternative Investments, which last year bought a controlling interest in Village Roadshow and acquired the Manchester Film Library, had all but agreed to a deal in the $290 million to $300 million range. The one caveat was that Warner Bros reserved the right to match. It isnt going to make Vine happy, but they and other suitors essentially established the bar and Warner Bros met it. The library was expected to fetch about $250 million when the auction started in November, brokered by financial advisor Alan Mnuchin of AGM Partners. He is the brother of Steven Mnuchin, the former RatPac Dune principal who divested his stake when appointed Treasury Secretary by President Donald Trump.

Even though the percentage of ownership in the films wasnt as high as some library sales, this drew multiple bidders in the mix because the titles were so attractive and the revenue so reliable. The library consists of minority stakes in films that include Gravity, Wonder Woman, Batman V Superman, The LEGO Movie, Creed, Annabelle, Godzilla, American Sniper, Mad Max: Fury Road, It and Dunkirk. At the time, sources said this was about the most attractive library to hit the market in at least a decade.

The library consists of films co-financed by and/or originated by RatPac when it was run by Brett Ratner and James Packer, latter of whom sold his stake to Len Blavatnik. Despite the messiness of that companys unraveling, sources at the studio said the optics arent the main reason the sale is happening. The original deal was to to co-fi 75 pictures over a four year span, and the traditional route is for investors in such ventures to cash out. The usual suspects in these types of investment opportunities were all in the mix, and Bank of America is standing by to lend the debt in a bidding process said to be very competitive.

Warner Bros discontinued its slate funding relationship with RatPac Dune. While it recently made a deal with BRON Studios to co-finance six films including the new Clint Eastwood release The Mule, sources at the studio said Warner Bros wouldnt likely get another partner to stake films on the level that RatPac Dune did. RatPac Dune financed a portion of just about every Warner Bros film except JK Rowlings Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films. Ratner remains the CEO and Chairman of RatPac and will after the sale of the RatPac/Dune library, a partnership between Ratners RatPac and Steve Mnuchins Dune.

The library titles are all past their theatrical lives, but there are pieces of huge titles that still create revenue reliably. Sources projected the library will generate $60M-$80M annually for the next five years and then dissipate. Now, Warner Bros will keep the rights to all these films on the Barham lot, owning the cash flow from the library and copyrights in perpetuity.

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Here again are the films in the library:

Grudge Match
The LEGO Movie
A Winters Tale
300 Rise of an Empire
Edge of Tomorrow
Jersey Boys
Midnight Special
How To Be Single
In The Heart of the Sea
Our Brand Is Crisis
The Intern
Black Mass
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Into the Storm
If I Stay
This Is Where I Leave You
The Judge
Horrible Bosses 2
Inherent Vice
American Sniper
Jupiter Ascending
Magic Mike XXL
San Andreas
Mad Max: Fury Road
Hot Pursuit
Get Hard
Run All Night
Batman v Superman
Barbershop The Next Cut
The Nice Guys
Me Before You
The Conjuring 2
Central Intelligence
The Legend of Tarzan
Lights Out
Suicide Squad
War Dogs
Ready Player One
Tomb Raider
Night Game
The 15:17 to Paris
Paddington 2
Justice League
The Accountant
Collateral Beauty
Live By Night
The LEGO Batman Movie
The LEGO Ninjago Movie
Annabelle Creation
The War Horse
Wonder Woman
Everything Everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Fist Fight
Kong: Skull Island
Going in Style

Original Article

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