It's Official: Tang Media Group Acquires Open Road

Donald Tang and Tom Ortenberg - Split - Getty - H 2017
Left, courtesy of Tang Media Partners; Right, Getty Images

Tom Ortenberg will continue as CEO of the distributor, orginally launched by Regal and AMC.

Tang Media Partners announced today that it has acquired Open Road Films from AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment Group. Tom Ortenberg will continue as the company's CEO.

While terms of the deal, which was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, weren't disclosed, the Los Angeles-based Tang Media, headed by CEO Donald Tang, said it is part of a larger overall $500 million expansion plan, made possible by a major round of funding earlier this year with a broad base of partners and investors, including China's Tencent Holdings.

Founded in 2015 by Tang, a former chairman and CEO at Bear Stearns Asia, Tang Media has been on a buying spree over the past year, taking a majority stake in IM Global, the international sales and production finance business headed by Stuart Ford, and more recently buying Luke Ryan's content developer Chaotic Good Studios and its proprietary Fanalytics service, which provides data to film, TV and gaming studios about audience engagement and behavior. 

With today's announcement, Tang Media said that by buying the 6-year-old motion picture distributor, it will be able to create, develop, finance, produce, market and distribute movies in the U.S., China and internationally. 

"Open Road is among the best independent theatrical distribution companies in the entertainment world, from its established infrastructure and dedicated leadership, to its solid track record for producing captivating stories," Tang said. "Open Road's addition to Tang Media Partners is a critical step in our strategy to enable our production team to collaborate with the most talented, visionary filmmakers in bringing targeted content to audiences everywhere."

Ortenberg added, "Our Open Road team is excited for this new milestone with TMP. We have cultivated a strong reputation with filmmakers who seek theatrical releases outside of the major studio ecosystems. By joining TMP we're able to offer these filmmakers studio capabilities that reach beyond established limits and international borders."

Upcoming films from Open Road include the animated comedy The Nut Job 2, opening Aug. 11; Hallie Meyers-Shyer's Home Again, starring Reese Witherspoon, on Sept. 8; and the Thurgood Marshall drama, Marshall, starring Chadwick Boseman and directed by Reginald Hudlin, on Oct. 13. 

Originally launched as a joint venture between theater chains AMC and Regal to provide theaters with mid-range product in between studio tentpoles, the company has built a library of more than 35 features, the best known of which is the best picture Oscar-winning Spotlight. But with disappointing returns on movies like Snowden, Fifty Shades of Black and Max Steel, the venture had also lost money, leading to Regal and AMC reaching out to potential buyers.