Funimation, the studio responsible for licensing shows from Japan and producing subs or dubs for English-speaking audiences, including hits like Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball, is in talks of being bought out or entered into a partnership with Universal and Sony Pictures.
According to a report by Bloomberg, sources close to the situation were able to confirm that talks were indeed going on. Though a different insider has said that Universal chose to pass on extending its current multiyear distribution contract with Funimation, all of this remains just speculation at this point.
For the time being, it seems unlikely that the anime studio will buy in with another bigger studio, at least for the time being. In fact, Funimation’s Chief Operating Officer Mike DuBoise stressed how much the company has grown in under five years in a recent interview, saying:
“Funimation has experienced annual double-digit revenue growth since 2013 for both our digital and physical collectible business despite industry trends in physical disc sales moving in the opposite direction.”
It should come as no surprise that Hollywood is eager to become part of such a lucrative venture like the anime industry, especially when considering buying all nine seasons of Dragon Ball Z will run a fan nearly $250 while the complete Friends series goes for less than half that price.
Still, the prospect of a larger corporation taking over Funimation is an interesting one.
What do you think? Should Hollywood look the other way, or could its involvement help in any way? Let us know in the comment below!