Digital Domain shutters Florida Unit

TemboAwful news out of Florida this morning. Digital Domain announced today that as part of “a strategic realignment that will enable it to focus its resources on its core business,” it will shut down its new Port St. Lucie, Florida studio Tradition and halt production of its first animated feature The Legend of Tembo. Per the studio’s press release:

As a key part of this strategic realignment, DDMG has begun the cessation of its Port St. Lucie operations by reducing virtually its entire Port St. Lucie workforce, retaining approximately 20 employees who will remain as part of the wind-down.

300 people lost their jobs this morning. The breakdown: “About 100 on Tembo, 50 or so on VFX, 100 or so doing Stereo Conversion work, and about 50 or so misc. employees.”

One artist who was let go tweeted, “A very sad day for the Digital Domain Tradition studios family. I’ll miss the whole Tembo crew,” and followed up with, “In related news, I’m looking for work! I’ll have an updated portfolio online later today.”

Other Digital Domain studios will remain open according to the same press release: “DDMG’s studios in California and Vancouver intend to continue to operate without interruption, as will the Digital Domain Institute, based in West Palm Beach, Florida

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AMC Chain – SOLD

BEIJING, China and KANSAS CITY, Mo., Sept, 4, 2012 — Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd. (“Wanda”), a leading Chinese private conglomerate and China’s largest investor in cultural and entertainment activities, and AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. (“AMC”), a preeminent U.S. movie exhibitor, today announced the successful completion of Wanda’s acquisition of AMC, creating the world’s largest cinema owner. The transaction is valued at approximately US$2.6 billion.

Wanda Chairman and President Wang Jianlin said, “We are very pleased to have completed the acquisition of AMC and begin this new chapter in Wanda’s international development. Throughout this entire process we have been impressed with the expertise and dedication of AMC’s management team and associates. We now look forward to working with AMC’s CEO Gerry Lopez and his team to invest in and build on the company’s widely-recognized brand and the incomparable entertainment experience AMC offers to its millions of customers.”

Gerry Lopez, chief executive officer and president of AMC, said, “All of us at AMC are thrilled about our future with Wanda. It allows us to continue expanding and innovating in what is the world’s largest movie market. More so, we are enthusiastic about combining AMC’s leadership in the US with Wanda’s leadership in China, the world’s fastest-growing market. We strongly believe in our shared common interests in advancing the movie industry and we feel this partnership creates one of the world’s premier location-based entertainment companies.”

Wanda will operate AMC as a wholly owned subsidiary under its existing brand while investing up to an additional US$500 million in the unit over time to fund strategic and operating initiatives. AMC will continue to control film programming and remain headquartered in the Kansas City metropolitan area, with more than 17,000 associates operating theaters in 32 states across the United States.

The transaction creates the world’s largest global cinema owner by combining Wanda’s 94 theatres, 805 screens and large-scale stage show, film production and distribution, entertainment chains with AMC’s 338 multiplex theatres and 4,865 screens, including 2,171 3-D screens and 124 IMAX screens, making it the world’s largest operator of IMAX screens. Approximately 200 million people watched movies in AMC theatres in 2011.