Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine to be sold to Blackstone-backed media company for $900 million

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CNBC 02 August, 2021 - 11:04am 62 views

Reese Witherspoon Sells Production Company Hello Sunshine for $900 Million

Us Weekly 02 August, 2021 - 02:11pm

“What a tremendous day! I started @HelloSunshine to change the way all women are seen in media. Over the past few years, we have watched our mission thrive through books, TV, film and social platforms,” Witherspoon, 45, announced via Instagram on Monday, August 2. “Today, we’re taking a huge step forward by partnering with @blackstone, which will enable us to tell even more entertaining, impactful and illuminating stories about women’s lives globally. I couldn’t be more excited about what this means for our future.”

The actress, who created the company in 2016, described her plans to keep offering unique storytelling through multiple media platforms.

“I am committed to continuing to create opportunity for filmmakers, authors and creators of all backgrounds and experiences to tell their stories in their own way, and reach more audiences who will see that their stories matter,” the Legally Blonde star added. “This is a unique time in our world where the intersection of art, commerce and media makes it possible for these creators to tell their stories and Hello Sunshine is here to put a spotlight on their amazing creations.”

The company, whose mission has been to “empower women and the people who celebrate them,” will continue to include Witherspoon in the day-to-day operations, according to a press release from Blackstone. Former Disney executives Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs will be joining the team to help run the new business venture.

“We are thrilled to partner with Reese, Sarah, and the entire Hello Sunshine team. Hello Sunshine is a perfect fit for our vision of a new, next generation entertainment, technology, and commerce company,” Mayer and Staggs said in the statement. “We seek to empower creators with innovation, capital, and scale to inspire, entertain, and delight global audiences with engaging content, experiences, and products. Our platform will foster a uniquely creator-friendly culture that gives elite talent the resources they need to create and capitalize on their best, most inventive work. We look forward to backing Reese, Sarah, and their world-class team as they continue to produce and identify dynamic, engaging content for years to come.”

The Morning Show actress previously opened up about how the production company allowed her to “change things” in the entertainment industry.

“I see younger women in our industry and I want them to have a better experience,” the Whiskey in a Teacup author explained to CBS This Morning in May 2020. “I want to see that they have a beautiful idea of what the future could hold.”

Since its conception, Hello Sunshine has produced projects, including Gone Girl, Big Little Lies, Little Fires Everywhere and Wild. For Witherspoon, the hard work that she put in was worth it for the progress that paved the way for future storytellers.

“I will put in the hours and I bet on myself. I’m my own lottery ticket. I always think that, you know. If no one else shows up, I know I will show up and I know I will do the work,” she said at the time.

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Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine Media Company Sells, Valued at Nearly $1 Billion 

PEOPLE 02 August, 2021 - 12:04pm

The media company, founded by Witherspoon, has been valued at $900 million in a deal that had Tom Staggs and Kevin Mayer, with the backing of private equity company Blackstone, buying it, according to The Hollywood Reporter

Hello Sunshine has produced several major projects including Big Little Lies, The Morning Show and Little Fires Everywhere, all of which star Witherspoon. 

The actress owns the company alongside her husband Jim Toth and Seth Rodsky, as well as investors AT&T and Laurene Powell Jobs' Emerson Collective, THR reported. Witherspoon and the company's CEO Sarah Harden will continue to run the company and remain equity holders, as well as join the board of the new media company.

"Today marks a tremendous moment for Hello Sunshine. I started this company to change the way all women are seen in media. Over the past few years, we have watched our mission thrive through books, TV, film and social platforms," Witherspoon said in a statement obtained by The Wrap

She continued, "Today, we're taking a huge step forward by partnering with Blackstone, which will enable us to tell even more entertaining, impactful and illuminating stories about women's lives globally. I couldn't be more excited about what this means for our future. I am committed to continuing to create opportunity for filmmakers, authors and creators of all backgrounds and experiences to tell their stories in their own way, and to reach more audiences who will see that their stories matter."

"This is a unique time in our world where the intersection of art, commerce and media makes it possible for these creators to tell their stories and Hello Sunshine is here to put a spotlight on their amazing creation," Witherspoon said. "I am deeply proud of the team that got us to this incredible moment, and I'm thrilled to be working with Blackstone, Kevin, and Tom to grow a next generation media company. They are committed to helping our mission to empower women and the people who celebrate them. One story at a time."

Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine has predominantly adapted films and TV series based on books the actress has read. 

The company is currently working on an adaptation of Where the Crawdad's Sing and Legally Blonde 3 with Mindy Kaling and Dan Goor writing the script. 

Halo Infinite's weapon drills solve the series’ biggest learning curve

Yahoo Finance 02 August, 2021 - 11:30am

343 Industries version of a firing range makes trying new weapons extremely easy

Over the last weekend, I spent several hours checking out Halo Infinite in its first technical test. When I loaded up the preview on Friday, the first thing I did was drop into the game’s weapon drills to see the new and changed weapons.

These weapon drills allow me to go into the armory and pick one of the game’s multiple weapons. Then I select a difficulty, and Infinite spawns me into a customized practice box where the game blocks me from moving onto the field. When I pick up the weapon, bots spawn into the arena.

The bot pattern changes depending on the kind of weapon I’m using and my selected difficulty. The first phase of each test offers stationary bots, letting me get a feel for how each weapon fires under ideal conditions. The second trial has those same bots run in a straight line. And the final challenge caused the bots to run more like real players, acting a bit more unpredictably. I had around 30 seconds to defeat as many bots as I could, and I got awarded up to three stars per challenge on my performance.

Being my first experience with Halo Infinite, I was able to run through the game’s entire beta arsenal — it’s possible there may be more weapons at launch — and try them out. I got to see how 343 Industries changed the classic assault rifle, and also try out some of the new weapons like the Skewer — which shoots giant, Dracula-killing metal stakes from its maw.

The first time I ever played Halo 3 was after a day full of post-school rehearsals and activities. When I finally made it back to my childhood bedroom, I only had an hour to play. So I loaded up some Forge, dropped all the new weapons in one of the new maps, and ran around shooting at walls, just imagining how these weapons would fare against real players when I got home from school the next night.

Not knowing what to do with a power weapon is a tough feeling in a Halo game, because you’ll never know when you’ll get the chance to practice with it again. But because of the weapon drills, I was able to confidently run around in Halo Infinite and pick up the shotgun or the new Heatwave weapon because I’d prepared myself.

Halo Infinite isn’t the first multiplayer game with a firing range, but as a player who found creative ways to build their own firing range as a kid, I’m grateful for a chance to try out the game’s rarest weapons ahead of my match.

Every quest and map, collectible, and side quest

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