Dalian Wanda’s deal to buy Legendary at up to $3.5 billion was so off the scale that it allegedly angered Chinese President Xi Jinping and triggered the early 2017 currency controls that have crimped Chinese dealmaking ever since. With franchises including “King Kong,” “Pacific Rim” and “Jurassic World,” Legendary’s price tag should be around $1 billion. It’s not clear whether its changing studio alliances are good news or bad: Distribution recently returned to Warner Bros., after a five-year fling with Universal was not renewed. Wanda, which owns AMC, remains the world’s largest cinema operator, and would love to sell Legendary if only it didn’t lose face.
OUTLOOK: Treading water.