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Saturday, August 08, 2020 

Valiant may be collapsing

Comic Watch reports that the revived Valiant closed its New York office down:

Valiant Entertainment, home to such properties as X-O Manowar, Harbinger, and recent Hollywood breakout Bloodshot, closed the doors on its New York City Headquarters location recently. As rumors about the company’s health began to swirl, we reached out to Valiant for comment:

All Valiant employees have been operating remotely since March. Nothing is more important than making sure Valiant’s employees are safe during this pandemic, so they will continue to work from home for the foreseeable future and business will continue to operate at 100%.

Even if the hired writers do work at home, something not really so novel, somebody has to run a main office for public relations and printing jobs. As noted here, closing an office is more a sign of cutting down costs, and, there's also recently hired editor Heather Antos to consider. She had a bad reputation when she worked at Marvel (she originally tipped her hat to the disgraced Scott Allie, for whom she'd worked at Dark Horse), and based on what the audience thinks of her as a result of her time at Marvel, it's clear it made her persona non grata with consumers when she was hired by Valiant, explaining why their sales sunk.

Also, if they only got into the business to serve as moviemaking material, that's another big mistake. I'd written over 2 years ago about a filmmaking source buying into their ownership, but at the time wasn't fully or immediately aware it was just the tip of an iceberg: as noted by Forbes, Valiant was bought by a filmmaking business with connections to China:

Valiant Entertainment, which controls the third-largest corporate-owned superhero universe behind industry juggernauts DC (Warner Bros) and Marvel (Disney), was acquired today by DMG Entertainment, a $6 billion production company best known for its ability to bring US-based franchise films to the crucial Chinese market. DMG and its owner/CEO, Dan Mintz, already had a controlling 57% stake in Valiant. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The move comes as several Valiant movie projects are moving closer to release and the company stands at the cusp of launching one of the more ambitious portfolios of connected properties in recent years. [...]

Most intriguing, however, is Mintz’s connection to the lucrative Chinese market. Yinji Entertainment and Media, the Chinese offshoot of DMG, is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Market and is an influential player in the complex intellectual property marketplace, which has assumed crucial importance to the financial health of Hollywood tentpole features in recent years. The company was reportedly interested in taking a stake in Forbes, according to a report in Variety from October 2017.

The Wall Street Journal also spoke 5 years ago about an early deal made on their properties. The company's bound to be quite a kowtower to China's censorship board, and after the whole Coronavirus disaster, something tells me not many will want to finance a production outfit that's either owned by China, kowtows to their autocracy, or both. (If the Bloodshot movie tanked, some probably aren't sorry they stayed at home by now.)

Of course, it's a shame a publisher once co-founded by Jim Shooter has been brought down by political correctness. But that's what happens when the original owners of the resurrected publisher only get into the business so they can create movie templates. To enter such a business, it has to be for the sake of the primary medium, not the extended type.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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