Mark Cuban May Sell Magnolia Pictures
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is nothing if not an effective businessman. He sold Broadcast.com at exactly the right moment, diversified his wealth appropriately and is now saying all the right things to attract buyers for his Magnolia Pictures and Landmark Theatres holdings. He's owned the companies for the last few years but is now hearing offers in preparation for a possible auction early next week. Whether he's jumping ship because Magnolia hasn't quite panned out or whether he's simply looking over his options is for you to decide after reading his take.
In a letter to The Hollywood Reporter, Cuban said he and his partner Todd Wagner "want to see how the market values the business. If it undervalues it, (they) won't sell." The business in question he's principally speaking of is Magnolia Pictures which has, over the last few years, taken the unprecedented step of releasing its independent movies on OnDemand the same day they hit theaters. While a novel idea, the business model unfortunately has yet to find a single film that's been more than marginally successful.
Word is more than a few bidders are interested, but if they ultimately undervalue the company in Cuban's estimation, it'll be fascinating to see whether he stands pat as he's claimed he will or whether he bails for the guaranteed pay check. Personally, I'm far less invested in the future of Magnolia Pictures than I am in the future of Landmark Theatres. The chain has fast-developed into one of the best places to see independent movies, and I'd hate to see a conglomerate turn them into just another place to see G.I. Joe 2.
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