Digital Domain Files for Bankruptcy Protection

Sections: Movies

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Digital Domain, the Florida-based special effects house, filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday and will sell its production side.

The company, which recently made a splash with its Tupac Shakur hologram at Bonnaroo, has provided its FX touch to movies such as “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Star Trek,” and “Transformers.” Another credit is “Titanic,” directed by one of Digital Domain’s founders, James Cameron.

According to Reuters, Digital Domain was victimized by low margins because studios have an array of (cheaper) options available to generate special effects. What makes the case so fascinating is how fast the company’s fortunes plummeted. The company’s initial public offering was 10 months ago. In May, Digital Domain’s market value was $400 million.


On Tuesday, Digital Domain said it had agreed to sell its production business — the bulk of the company — for $15 million to private equity fund Searchlight Capital Partners.

A one-day auction is planned on September 21 to solicit competing bids, as required by the bankruptcy code.

The bankruptcy is a black eye for Florida state and local officials who committed $135 million to subsidize the construction of a state-of-the-art studio in Port St. Lucie, which the company closed last week.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity demanded on Tuesday the immediate repayment of $20 million of state funds the company had received. Spokesman Ben Wolf told Reuters the department was exploring its legal options to recover the funds.

Does anyone know if creditors accept holograms of giant piles of cash?

Titanic” effects creator Digital Domain bankrupt, sale agreed (Reuters)




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