Anil Ambani's billion dollars entertainment gamble

Anil Ambani’s Big Entertainment is going the whole hog. Not wanting to left behind by the elder and more successful brother, Mukesh he is on an investing spree. After picking up Adlabs, and consolidating it, the Big Entertainment group has forayed into Hollywood and has announced development deals with Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Julia Roberts and Nicholas Cage.

Reliance Big Entertainment, the media and entertainment company of the Reliance ADA Group, said that it will provide development funds to eight Hollywood production houses. The company did not reveal the capital it plans to invest in this venture, but sources said the investment would be in the range of USD 500 million to USD one billion.

The development funds would be provided to eight creative forces in Hollywood including Nicolas Cage’s Saturn Productions, Jim Carrey’s JC 23 Entertainment, George Clooney’s Smokehouse Productions, Chris Columbus’ 1492 Pictures, Tom Hanks’ Playtone Productions, Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment and Jay Roach’s Everyman Pictures.

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In another development, Ambani’s Big Entertainment is investing a billion dollars to produce 69 movies. This will be in 9 languages in the next 2 years in India.

A major announcement was made at the 61st Cannes Film Festival. Over the next two years, the Anil Ambani led Reliance BIG Entertainment will invest one billion dollars in the production and distribution of films. A whopping one billion dollars – that’s what Reliance BIG Entertainment, the media and entertainment arm of the Reliance Group will invest in India’s film industry over the next two years.

The company will be producing and distributing 69 feature films in nine languages – and this investment by Big Entertainment is more than the cumulative of all the other players in the industry put together. Deals for producing films include projects with various Bollywood filmmakers. Like Producer and Director Vidhu Vinod Chopra who will be making two films Broken Horses and Talisman which is based on the Chandrakanta fables starring Amitabh Bachchan.

Vidhu Vinod Chopra says, “The Reliance tie-up took almost six months. They will market it worldwide.” Big Entertainment has also signed a deal with Farhan Akhtar’s Excel Entertainment for a sequel to Don starring Shah Rukh Khan.There are also film production deals with Shyam Benegal, Madhur Bhandarkar, Vivek Agnihotri and Sudhir Mishra. Reliance will also be opening distribution offices in India, the UK, US, South East Asia, Middle East and Australia.

Film making is an inherently risky business. With so much at stake, will Anil Ambani end up with egg on his face or will be laughing all the way to the bank? Only time will tell.

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