Jan 5, 2022 - Economy & Business

"Avengers: Endgame" directors sell studio stake for $400 million

Anthony Russo and Joe Russo at 2019 Comic-Con International in San Diego, California

Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

AGBO, the production company co-founded by "Avengers: Endgame" directors Anthony and Joe Russo, on Wednesday said it sold a minority stake to Tokyo-based video game company Nexon.

Why it matters: This the latest in a series of investments in high-profile production companies, spurred on by the global rise of streaming.

  • This particular move links a game maker with a film production studio which both could benefit from shared intellectual property, as in making games out of films and vice versa.
  • Candle Media, a Blackstone-backed company led by former Disney executives Tom Staggs and Kevin Mayer, has bought several studios, including Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine, Moonbug Entertainment, and Faraway Road Productions.
  • Most recently, Candle Media announced a minority stake in Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s entertainment company, Westbrook Inc.
  • Last year, LeBron James' media company SpringHill sold a minority stake to a group of investors, including Epic Games.

By the numbers: Nexon will acquire at least 38% of AGBO for $400 million, valuing the production company at $1.1 billion, the companies said.

  • The deal also allows AGBO to ask for an additional $100 million in the first half of this year.
  • Nexon becomes AGBO's largest individual shareholder and grants it two board seats. The Russos and the rest of AGBO management will retain creative control.
  • In a statement, the Russos spoke of the opportunities with this new "scale" and that the deal furthers "the convergence of franchise filmmaking and games with a global reach."

Catch up quick: The Russos and fellow producer Mike Larocca founded AGBO in 2017. In addition to theatrical releases, they've produced streaming films like the war drama "Cherry" on Apple TV+ and the upcoming action thriller "The Gray Man" on Netflix.

  • Nexon produces online games and virtual worlds, including its top franchise "Dungeon & Fighter."

Kerry Flynn will co-author an upcoming Axios Pro newsletter on Media Deals. Join the waitlist.

Go deeper