Universal Studios buys a minority stake in Amblin Partners
Universal Filmed Entertainment and Amblin Partners today announced that Universal will be taking a minority stake in Amblin, strengthening the relationship between the two companies. With the investment, Universal Filmed Entertainment Chairman Jeff Shell will join the board of Amblin Partners. Today’s announcement was made by Ron Meyer, Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal, Shell and Donna Langley, Chairman, Universal Pictures, and Amblin Partners Chairman Steven Spielberg, CEO Michael Wright, and President and Co-CEO Jeff Small.
With today’s announcement, Universal Filmed Entertainment joins Amblin Partners’ group of strategic investors, which includes Participant Media, Reliance Entertainment, Entertainment One (eOne), and Alibaba Pictures.
“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 Meyer, Shell and Langley 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 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 Wright and 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, 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.”
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, DreamWorks Pictures’ The Girl on the Train, opened No. 1 at the domestic box office in October 2016. The thriller has gone on to gross more than $175 million worldwide and has earned star Emily Blunt nominations for Best Actress from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the Screen Actors Guild. The second release by Universal under this agreement, Amblin Entertainment and Walden Media’s beloved new family film, A Dog’s Purpose, is currently in theaters.