2929 Entertainment is an integrated media and entertainment company with operations and subsidiaries spanning content creation to distribution. Co-founded by billionaire entrepreneurs Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban, 2929 Entertainment maintains holdings and subsidiaries that span development and packaging, film production and distribution, digital and broadcast syndication, theatrical exhibition, and home entertainment.
|Industry||Movies, Television, Home entertainment, Home video, Movie theaters|
|Todd Wagner (CEO)|
Mark Cuban (Co-Founder)
Kevin Parke (EVP)
AXS TV (co-owner)
Landmark Theatres (sold)
2929 Entertainment has offices in Los Angeles, New York, and Dallas. Wagner serves as its CEO and Kevin Parke as its Executive Vice President.
2929 Entertainment made several strategic acquisitions to assure that releases could be made available to any audience across a variety of platforms simultaneously. Wagner says that, "ready availability of such infrastructure would be an operating advantage to both the circuit and the production company." Some titles would even see DVD releases alongside theatrical openings as early as 2007, through a partnership with Netflix.
An extensive catalogue of television and film rights were acquired with Rysher Entertainment in 2001, and 2929 would co-produce a newer version of Star Search which premiered in January 2003 on CBS (the original Star Search aired from 1983 to 1988).
Variety termed 2929 a pioneer for its simultaneous theatrical and cable television release of Steven Soderbergh's Bubble in 2006. Bubble would be the first of several films with concurrent releases in theaters and through 2929's cable channel HDNet. At the time, this move was controversial as most films are released in different formats on a staggered schedule, giving each channel an exclusive window. Exhibitors were especially timorous, as many feared that they would eventually lose their exclusive release windows for more mainstream films.
2929 Entertainment develops original feature and series through its production company 2929 Productions, and formerly through HDNet Films.
Co-founded by Wagner and Cuban in 2003, 2929 Productions engages filmmakers and studios to selectively finance and develop independent feature films and series. The studio says its aim is to bring critical and mainstream audiences compelling stories, which generally fall within: previously untold historical or contemporary non-fiction; inspirational and socially conscious, and filmmaker-driven projects of all genres that are elevated by the presence of a director. Budgets for the feature films are in the range of $10–40 million.
“Godsend,” “Criminal” and “The Jacket” were among of the studio's first projects, co-produced and co-financed with Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney's Section Eight Productions. After his work on "Godsend" Marc Butan was offered the role of studio head at 2929, leading him to leave his executive VP role at Lionsgate.
In 2006, the 2929 released "Good Night, And Good Luck." with Warner Independent. The film uses a mix of archival footage and contemporary production to tell the story of the famed wartime reporter Edward Murrow (George Clooney) and his historic "See it Now" broadcast criticizing Senator Joseph McCarthy and the Red Scare. To mitigate risks that could arise with a black-and-white historical drama, Wagner engaged Jeff Skoll and his company Participant Media to produce the film. "Good Night. And Good Luck" grossed over $30 million (USA) and was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
2929 Productions' previous leadership has included Ben Cosgrove (formerly of Paramount and Section Eight) and Marc Butan (MadRiver Pictures and formerly Lionsgate).
|2002||Searching for Debra Winger||Rosanna Arquette||July 13, 2002|
|2004||Godsend||Nick Hamm||April 30, 2004|
|Criminal||Gregory Jacobs||September 10, 2004|
|2005||The Jacket||John Maybury||January 23, 2005 (Sundance)|
March 4, 2005
|Good Night, and Good Luck||George Clooney||September 1, 2005 (VIFF)|
October 7, 2005 (United States)
|2006||Akeelah and the Bee||Doug Atchison||March 16, 2006 (CIFF)|
April 28, 2006 (United States)
|Turistas||John Stockwell||December 1, 2006|
|Black Christmas||Glen Morgan||December 15, 2006 (United Kingdom)|
December 19, 2006 (Grauman's Chinese Theatre)
December 25, 2006 (United States)
|2007||The Ex||Jesse Peretz||May 11, 2007|
|We Own the Night||James Gray||May 25, 2007 (Cannes)|
October 12, 2007 (United States)
|2008||The Life Before Her Eyes||Vadim Perelman||September 8, 2007 (TIFF)|
April 18, 2008
|What Just Happened||Barry Levinson||January 19, 2008 (Sundance)|
May 25, 2008 (Cannes)
October 17, 2008 (United States)
|2009||Two Lovers||James Gray||May 19, 2008 (Cannes Film Festival)|
February 13, 2009 (United States)
|The Girlfriend Experience||Steven Soderbergh||January 20, 2009 (Sundance)|
May 22, 2009 (United States)
|The Burning Plain||Guillermo Arriaga||August 29, 2008 (Venice International Film Festival)|
September 18, 2009 (United States)
|The Road||John Hillcoat||September 3, 2009 (VIFF)|
September 13, 2009 (TIFF)
November 25, 2009 (United States)
|2012||Deadfall||Stefan Ruzowitzky||April 22, 2012 (Tribeca Film Festival)|
December 7, 2012 (United States)
|2015||Serena||Susanne Bier||October 13, 2014 (BFI London Film Festival)|
November 12, 2014 (France)
March 27, 2015 (United States)
|2017||2:22||Paul Currie||June 30, 2017|
|Permanent||Colette Burson||September 30, 2017 (Edmonton)|
|2018||Please Stand By||Ben Lewin||October 27, 2017 (Austin)|
January 26, 2018 (United States)
|The China Hustle||Jed Rothstein||March 20, 2018|
HDNet Films produced lower budget movies with a focus on creating compelling content in high definition. To promote HD video on demand distribution, theatrical releases strategically coincided with films being made available on demand and in HD for home audiences as well.
|2005||Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room||Alex Gibney||April 22, 2005|
|The War Within||Joseph Castelo||September 30, 2005|
|2006||Bubble||Steven Soderbergh||September 3, 2005 (Venice Film Festival)|
January 27, 2006 (United States)
|S&Man||J. T. Petty||March 10, 2006 (SXSW Film Festival)|
|Herbie Hancock: Possibilities||Doug Biro, Jon Fine||April 4, 2006|
|One Last Thing...||Alex Steyermark||September 12, 2005 (TIFF)|
May 5, 2006 (United States)
|The Architect||Matt Tauber||April 26, 2006|
|2007||Diggers||Katherine Dieckmann||March 30, 2007 (USA)|
|Fay Grim||Hal Hartley||September 11, 2006 (TIFF)|
May 18, 2007 (United States)
|Broken English||Zoe Cassavetes||January 20, 2007 (Sundance)|
June 22, 2007 (United States)
|Mr. Untouchable||Marc Levin||October 26, 2007|
|Redacted||Brian De Palma||August 31, 2007 (Venice Film Festival)|
November 16, 2007 (United States)
|2008||Surfwise||Doug Pray||September 11, 2007 (TIFF)|
May 9, 2008 (USA)
|Quid Pro Quo||Carlos Brooks||June 13, 2008|
|Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson||Alex Gibney||January 20, 2008 (Sundance)|
|2009||American Swing||Jon Hart and Mathew Kaufman||September 5, 2008 (TIFF)|
March 27, 2009 (USA)
|2010||And Everything Is Going Fine||Steven Soderbergh||January 23, 2010 (Slamdance)|
|2011||Rejoice and Shout (Documentary)||Don McGlynn||June 3, 2011|
Originally formed in 2001 by Bill Banowsky and Eamonn Bowles, Magnolia Pictures is the home entertainment and theatrical distribution subsidiary of 2929. In November 2005 the company created Magnolia Home Entertainment to release its films over home video, with its first release being Alex Gibney's acclaimed doc, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. It is headed by entertainment industry vet and former head of home entertainment for Miramax, Randy Wells. Magnolia Pictures also provides its content through a curated streaming service, Magnolia Selects.
2929 has also launched Truly Indie, which is refers to as an "innovative distribution program" for independent filmmakers.
On December 4, 2018 the announcement was made that Landmark Theatres was sold to the Cohen Media Group. Wagner and Cuban were thrilled to pass the baton to, "a buyer who is passionate about independent cinema and who truly understands this market." 2929 acquired Landmark Theatres September 24, 2003. The chain was originally founded by Kim Jorgensen in 1974 and specialized in independent and foreign films.
2929 holds a significant interest in AXS TV, which Cuban originally co-founded in 2001 as the all-high definition cable channel HDNet (through AXS TV LLC, formerly HDNet, LLC). HDNet Movies, a companion channel, shows movies in high definition. 2929 also owns and operates Rysher Entertainment, a television syndication distributor with an extensive library of titles and syndication rights to TV shows like Hogan’s Heroes, Sex and the City and Star Search.
- DiOrio, Carl; DiOrio, Carl (2003-09-24). "Wagner, Cuban buy Landmark circuit". Variety. Retrieved 2019-01-17.
- Mohr, Ian; Mohr, Ian (2007-04-06). "Independent windows shrinking". Variety. Retrieved 2019-01-17.
- "About Us - 2929 Entertainment - 2929 Productions". Retrieved January 8, 2018.
- Fleming, Michael (2004-02-17). "Butan new bigwig at 2929 Prods". Variety. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
- Gardner, Pamela McClintock,Chris; McClintock, Pamela; Gardner, Chris (2006-02-10). "Par plucks Cosgrove". Variety. Retrieved 2019-01-09.
- "Mark Cuban Backed De Palma's 'Redacted' to Promote New Movie Distribution Business". NewsBusters. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
- Brooks, Brian (2005-11-05). "Magnolia Pictures Launches Home Entertainment Division". IndieWire. Retrieved 2017-12-11.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony; D'Alessandro, Anthony (2018-12-04). "Cohen Media Group Acquires Landmark Theatres From Wagner/Cuban Companies". Deadline. Retrieved 2019-01-09.
- "Mark Cuban's Landmark Theatres Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-12-11.