Entertainment One Ltd., commonly abbreviated as eOne (Records on Wheels Limited from 1970 until 1980, ROW Entertainment until 2005, Entertainment One Income Fund until 2009 and E1 Entertainment until 2010), is a Canadian multinational entertainment company. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the company is primarily involved in the acquisition, distribution, and production of films and television series. The company was listed on the London Stock Exchange before it was acquired by Hasbro on December 30, 2019.
|Type||Subsidiary of Hasbro|
|Revenue||£941.2 million (2019)|
The company has its origins in the music distributor Records on Wheels Limited (which was established in 1970), and the music retail chain CD Plus. The chain was in the process of acquiring other companies to bolster its wholesale operations in music and home video, leading to its purchase of ROW in 2001. Its vice president of operations, Darren Throop, had joined the company after CD Plus acquired his Halifax-based record store chain Urban Sound Exchange. The combined company later became known as ROW Entertainment, with Throop as president and CEO. The company listed itself on the Toronto Stock Exchange as an income trust, meaning that its taxes were paid by its shareholders, rather than the company itself.
Afterward, ROW began to diversify its operations into content ownership. In June 2005, it acquired the American independent music distributor and home entertainment publisher Koch Entertainment. Afterwards, it was re-incorporated as Entertainment One Income Fund.
In 2007, the company accepted a $188 million public equity takeover by Marwyn Investment Management to fund its expansion; the company was listed on London's Alternative Investment Market as Entertainment One Ltd.
In 2007, Entertainment One acquired Montreal-based film distributor Seville Pictures and UK distributor Contender Entertainment Group. The same year, the company secured its first film output agreement with Summit Entertainment, handling distribution in Canada and the United Kingdom, and acquired British film distributor Contender Entertainment. Acquisitions continued in 2008 with the purchase of the Benelux distributor RCV Entertainment. The same year, eOne acquired the television studios Blueprint and Barna-Alper, and international television distributor Oasis International. Throop stated that the company was attempting to "replicate the success of Alliance Atlantis", with a focus on diversifying into production alongside distribution. Also in 2008, the company listed itself on the London Stock Exchange.
In April 2011, eOne acquired Australian distribution company Hopscotch for £12.9 million. On May 28, 2012, eOne placed a bid to purchase the Canadian film distributor Alliance Films from Goldman Sachs Group and Investissement Québec. The deal was completed on January 9, 2013, giving eOne Canadian distribution rights for titles from The Weinstein Company, Lionsgate, CBS Films, FilmDistrict and Focus Features. On May 28, 2014, eOne announced a strategic investment in interactive agency Secret Location; the firm would continue to operate independently under the leadership of James Milward (President, Executive Producer and Founder), and partners Pietro Gagliano (Creative Director and SVP) and Ryan Andal (Technical Director and SVP). On June 2, 2014, eOne acquired Phase 4 Films; its CEO Berry Meyerowitz was named as head of eOne's U.S. film distribution business and North American family entertainment business. On July 17, the company acquired Paperny Entertainment. On August 28, 2014, eOne acquired Force Four Entertainment.
On January 5, 2015, eOne acquired a 51% stake in Mark Gordon's self-named studio, with an option to acquire the remainder at a later date. The purchase was part of an effort by eOne to bolster its presence in the United States. On September 9, 2015, eOne revived the Momentum Pictures brand (which was previously used by Alliance UK) and announced that it had entered into a multi-picture deal with Orion Pictures to jointly acquire films for "specialized theatrical releases" in the U.S., and targeted international releases, focusing on ancillary and digital distribution.
On September 30, 2015, eOne acquired a 70% stake in British animation studio Astley Baker Davies—producers of the animated children's series Peppa Pig. On December 16, 2015, eOne, Steven Spielberg, Reliance Entertainment, and Participant Media officially announced a joint venture known as Amblin Partners. eOne served as an investor, while the majority of its films would be distributed by Universal Pictures.
On January 7, 2016, eOne made a strategic investment in Sierra Pictures and on January 20, 2016, the company acquired Dualtone Music Group. On March 8, 2016, eOne the acquired music recording, publishing and artist management company Last Gang, and announced that its founder Chris Taylor would join the company as president of music. In 2016, eOne acquired a majority stake in unscripted production company Renegade 83.
In February 2016, Entertainment One reached a home media distribution deal with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment to release eOne's titles on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK.
On August 17, 2016, eOne announced that it would acquire Secret Location outright for an undisclosed amount. On September 12, 2016, eOne announced its acquisition of UK-based music management company Hardlivings. That same year, eOne acquired music management company Nerve.
eOne consolidated its film and television studios into a single structure in 2017, as part of an effort to reposition its operations towards production rather than acquisitions and "large output deals".
In May 2017, eOne joined with Hollywood producer Brad Weston to launch global content creation studio MAKEREADY. The deal secured distribution rights for eOne in its territories and Universal in all other territories worldwide.
In 2017, eOne joined Participant Media, Reliance Entertainment, Alibaba Pictures and Universal Pictures in backing Amblin Partners, a content creation company led by Steven Spielberg.
In April 2018, eOne acquired UK non-scripted production company Whizz Kid Entertainment. Later that year, eOne joined a round of investment in Jeffrey Katzenberg's short-form digital content venture "NewTV" (later renamed Quibi).
On March 5, 2019, eOne's Benelux division was acquired by a new company named WW Entertainment, founded by Wilco Wolfers and Caspar Wenckebach. As a result, all eOne Benelux titles, including future releases, have since moved to WW. Later that month, Entertainment One ended their home media distribution agreement with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment following Fox's purchase by the Walt Disney Company on March 20, 2019. eOne reached an agreement with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to handle home media distribution of its films and television series in Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, New Zealand, the US, and the UK.
In 2019, eOne acquired UK-based unscripted company Daisybeck Studios. That same year, eOne acquired American long-form nonfiction producer BLACKFIN. Also in 2019, eOne Music acquired Audio Network, a British company involved in the production of music for film and television, for $215 million.
In 2021, even though Entertainment One has an home media distribution deal with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment now distributes eOne titles under Studio Distribution Services, LLC. as part of its joint venture.
Acquisitions and targetsEdit
Since listing on the London Stock Exchange's AIM submarket, eOne has made a series of acquisitions.
- In June 2007, eOne acquired Contender Entertainment Group, one of the largest distributors of TV content in the UK (now operates as eOne UK)
- In August 2007, eOne acquired Seville Entertainment Inc. for an undisclosed sum (now operates as Les Films Séville)
- In January 2008, eOne acquired the Netherlands-based distributor RCV Entertainment (now operates as eOne Benelux)
- In July 2008, eOne acquired TV producers Blueprint Entertainment and Barna-Alper Productions as well as domestic distributors Oasis International and Maximum Films. (Barna-Alper now operating as eOne Television, Maximum Films amalgamated into eOne Films Canada while Maximum Film International was amalgamated into Les Films Séville, all others closed)
- In April 2011, eOne acquired Australian distribution company Hopscotch for £12.9 million. (now operates as eOne Australia)
- In January 2013, eOne acquired Alliance Films.
- In June 2014, eOne acquired Phase 4 Films.
- In July 2014, eOne acquired Paperny Entertainment.
- In August 2014, eOne acquired Force Four Entertainment.
- In May 2014, eOne made a strategic equity investment in interactive agency Secret Location, and later took full control.
- In January 2015, eOne acquired a 51% stake in The Mark Gordon Company, the production studio behind such TV series as Quantico, Grey's Anatomy, Army Wives, Ray Donovan and Criminal Minds; and films such as Steve Jobs, Source Code, The Day After Tomorrow, and Speed. It acquired the remaining 49% in January 2018.
- In September 2015, eOne acquired a controlling stake on Astley Baker Davies thus increasing its ownership of the preschool franchise Peppa Pig.
- In March 2018, eOne acquired Round Room Entertainment, a live entertainment company, founded by Stephen Shaw in 2016.
- In April 2018, eOne acquired a majority 70% stake in British-based Whizz Kid Entertainment, producer of Ex on the Beach.
- In April 2019, eOne acquired UK-based Audio Network, an independent creator and publisher of original music for use in film, television, advertising and digital media.
- In July, eOne acquired British factual producer Daisybeck Studios.
- In September 2019, eOne acquired US-based, nonfiction content producer Blackfin.
As a Hasbro subsidiaryEdit
On August 22, 2019, American toy and media company Hasbro announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Entertainment One for US$4 billion. Throop cited that its goals to "unlock the power and value of creativity" were "[aligned] with Hasbro's corporate objectives", and would be enhanced by access to Hasbro's properties and merchandising capabilities. eOne's Canadian operations will be structured in such a way as to maintain eligibility for Canadian content classification. The deal was approved by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. On November 21, 2019, the United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it would investigate the purchase under British competition law, to determine if it would result in a lessening of competition. The sale was completed on December 30, 2019, with the company becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of the company. Throop remains CEO of eOne, reporting to Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner. The UK CMA cleared the acquisition the following month. In April 2020, eOne had in early development (scripting) of its first Hasbro-related film, an untitled Transformers animated film.
In October 2020, eOne took over as Hasbro's new production arm and began development and distribution of content based on properties from the toy company, resulting in Allspark being absorbed into the acquired company. On February 10, 2021, it was announced that Hasbro would be laying off 10% of its Film and TV division.
The film division was initially involved primarily in acquiring films for international distribution, but has since shifted its resources towards producing and funding its own films.
eOne Films was formed in 2007, and acquired the Montreal-based Séville Pictures soon afterwards. In 2012, the company announced that it would acquire Alliance Films for CDN$225 million, which also added the assets of Maple Pictures and Momentum Pictures to its holdings.
In May 2015, eOne consolidated its film production and international sales units into a new unit known as eOne Features, with a goal to self-produce and finance six-to-eight films per-year. On December 16, 2015, it was announced that eOne would be an investor in Amblin Partners, a joint venture between Steven Spielberg, Reliance Entertainment, Participant Media, and Universal Pictures. One of the first film projects under this banner was 2015's Eye in the Sky.
In January 2019, Universal Pictures acquired eOne's Australian and New Zealand self-distribution division. eOne distributed Universal's Best Picture winner Green Book in 2019. eOne has also distributed Best Picture winner Spotlight and Best Picture nominee 1917.
In 2020, eOne was the top distributor in the UK, taking around 15.3% of the total market.
eOne Television (formerly Barna-Alper Productions) is a television production company founded in 1980 and based in Toronto, Ontario. In April 2005, the company launched a distribution division, Barna-Alper Releasing. Entertainment One acquired Barna-Alper Productions Inc., Blueprint Entertainment, and distributor Oasis International in July 2008 to expand its television production and distribution capabilities. As part of a company-wide rebrand, the three companies were folded into E1 Television in January 2009.
Notable television series distributed or produced by eOne and its subsidiaries have included the three Ilana Frank-produced series Burden of Truth, Rookie Blue and Saving Hope, Bitten, The Book of Negroes, Border Security: Canada's Front Line, Call Me Fitz, Cardinal, Criminal Minds, Designated Survivor, Haven, Klondike, Mary Kills People, Naked and Afraid, Private Eyes, The Rookie, Siesta Key, The Walking Dead, and the HBO series Hung, Run, and Sharp Objects.
In 2013, eOne reached an agreement with AMC Networks to handle the international distribution of its original scripted productions, beginning with Halt and Catch Fire. The agreement expanded on existing pacts for the eOne-produced Hell on Wheels, and international distribution for The Walking Dead. The pact ended in May 2019 (with AMC having since expanded its in-house distribution business), although it will continue to handle international distribution for existing series, as well as The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead.
Family & BrandsEdit
eOne's Family & Brands division deals primarily in family-oriented intellectual property, including development, distribution, licensing, and marketing. The division has been seen growth credited to retail sales, licensing deals, and programming sales to broadcasters, accounting for US$202 million in revenue in 2018. It represented a year-over-year increase of 28%, with Peppa Pig and PJ Masks alone accounting for $114.9 million and $75.8 million respectively.
After making an investment in the company in 2014, eOne acquired the Toronto-based interactive agency Secret Location in 2016, which specializes in virtual and augmented reality experiences. In 2015, Secret Location won a Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Award in "Outstanding User Experience and Visual Design" for a tie-in to the drama series Sleepy Hollow.
- What If... (2013) (co-production with CBS Films and Telefilm Canada)
- Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)
- Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)
- Spotlight (2015) (international distribution only)
- Trumbo (2015) (international distribution only)
- Eye in the Sky (2015) (co-production with Bleecker Street)
- Molly's Game (2017) (co-production with STX Entertainment and The Mark Gordon Company)
- Stan & Ollie (2018)
- Wild Rose (2019)
- Official Secrets (2019) (co-production with IFC Films)
- Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) (co-production with Lionsgate and CBS Films)
- Midway (2019) (studio credit only, co-production with Lionsgate and Centropolis Entertainment)
- Jexi (2019) (co-production with Lionsgate and CBS Films)
- Queen & Slim (2019) (co-production with Universal Pictures, Makeready and Bron Studios)
- Love and Monsters (2020) (co-production with Paramount Pictures and 21 Laps Entertainment)
- Happiest Season (2020) (co-production with TriStar Pictures and Temple Hill Entertainment)
- Awake (2021) (co-production with Netflix)
- Snake Eyes (2021) (studio credit only, co-production with Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Skydance Media and Di Bonaventura Pictures)
- Stillwater (2021) (UK distribution only, co-production with DreamWorks Pictures, Amblin Partners and Participant Media)
- Blue Bayou (2021) (studio credit only, co-production with Focus Features and Macro)
- Come from Away (2021) (co-production with Junkyard Dog Productions, RadicalMedia and Alchemy Production Group)
- My Little Pony: A New Generation (2021) (co-production with Netflix and Boulder Media)
- Clifford the Big Red Dog (2022) (UK and Canadian distribution only, co-production with Paramount Pictures, The Kerner Entertainment Company and New Republic Pictures)
- Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (2022) (studio credit only, co-production with Paramount Pictures, Skydance Media and Di Bonaventura Pictures)
- Dungeons & Dragons (co-production with Paramount Pictures and Sweetpea Entertainment)
Below is a list of productions eOne has been involved with either through production and/or distribution:
- The Adventures of Sinbad
- Arctic Air
- The Best Years
- Book of Negroes
- The Bridge
- Burden of Truth (Canadian production only)
- Call Me Fitz
- Cruel Summer
- Degrassi (Canadian distribution only)
- Designated Survivor
- The Enfield Haunting
- Ex on the Beach
- Fear the Walking Dead
- The Firm (NBC TV series)
- From Dusk till Dawn: The Series
- Grey's Anatomy (season 15–present)
- Growing Up Hip Hop
- Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta
- Halt and Catch Fire
- Hap and Leonard
- Hell on Wheels
- The Hunger
- Little Mosque on the Prairie
- Lost Girl (season 1 only, Canada only)
- Made in Canada
- Mary Kills People
- Men with Brooms
- Naked and Afraid
- Nurses (NBC TV series)
- Primeval: New World
- Private Eyes
- Rambo: New Blood
- The Rookie
- Rookie Blue
- Saving Hope
- Sharp Objects
- Show Me Yours
- Siesta Key
- Strictly Confidential
- This Hour Has 22 Minutes
- Trailer Park Boys (season 9–present)
- Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy
- The Turnout (in development)
- The Walking Dead
- Upright (Distribution outside of Australia and the UK)
- You Me Her (2016)
- Alien TV
- Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom
- Cupcake & Dino: General Services (2018)
- Lost and Found
- Magic Hockey Skates
- Majority Rules!
- My Little Pony: Pony Life
- Ninja Express
- Pat & Stan
- Peppa Pig
- PJ Masks
- Power Rangers Beast Morphers
- Power Rangers Dino Fury
- Ricky Zoom
- Tractor Tom
- Transformers: Cyberverse
- Transformers: Rescue Bots Academy
- Treehouse Detectives
- Winston Steinburger and Sir Dudley Ding Dong (2016)
Below is a list of Secret Location VR games:
- The Great C
- Welcome to Wacken
Former names and logosEdit
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- "Canadian Music Publisher ole Rebrands as Anthem Entertainment". Billboard. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
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