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DMG Entertainment Gets Into Virtual Reality (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 3/16/2017 Brent Lang
© Provided by Variety

DMG Entertainment is getting into the virtual reality business. The media and entertainment company is launching DMG VR, a new unit focused on immersive storytelling. As part of that effort, DMG is unveiling Arcturus, a company focused on interactive narrative experiences and technology, that it incubated under the DMG VR umbrella.

“The creative canvas of VR gives us new ways to experience stories and express creativity,” said DMG founder Dan Mintz in a statement. “We’re partnering with a team of trailblazing leaders in this rapidly-growing industry to push new boundaries and bring mind-blowing VR experiences to the world.”

The Arcturus team is led by Ewan Johnson, who oversaw production teams at Pixar and DreamWorks Animation; Devin Horsman, an alum in the virtual reality gaming space; and Andy Stack, formerly a member of the team at 360/VR Tech at YouTube/Google. It’s one of what DMG hopes will be many startups it helps fund and foster in the virtual reality space. Mintz and his team will oversee DMG VR and is also looking to buy existing virtual reality companies, develop technology, and partner with other organizations that are currently working on immersive experiences.

“DMG’s track record of global success, considerable resources and Dan’s creative vision will be instrumental as we elevate interactive VR experiences far beyond what is possible today, both technically and creatively,” said Stack. “We’re excited to join DMG and open the door to the future of the VR experience.”

At a time when theatrical attendance is flat, media and entertainment companies see virtual reality as a source of growth. It’s considered an exciting way to marry Hollywood storytelling with digital wizardry, with companies like Sony and Fox betting heavily on the space and filmmakers like Peter Jackson expressing interest in working in the medium.

Mintz founded DMG about two decades ago as an advertising company based out of Beijing. It’s retained those ties to China, but in the years since it launched, DMG has broadened its portfolio, moving into movies, theme park attractions, and television. It has backed such previous releases as “Looper,” Rian Johnson’s sci-fi hit; a 3D re-release of “Terminator 2”; and “Iron Man 3.” Upcoming releases include “Bastards” starring Owen Wilson and Ed Helms, John Curran’s “Chappaquiddick” with Kate Mara and Jason Clarke, and “The Pact” toplined by Leslie Mann and John Cena. DMG has been busy of late, snapping up intellectual properties such as Valiant’s comic book universe, which includes such titles as “Bloodshot” and “Harbinger.” It is also developing films based on Brandon Sanderson’s fictional fantasy universe, “Cosmere,” and Ken Liu’s epic adventure novel “The Grace of Kings.”

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