Net Worth: $650 million
Source of Wealth: Entertainment
Hollywood has been called a jungle, but Arnold Milchan, principal owner of New Regency Productions Inc., is well-prepared: He’s a veteran of the Israeli Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War.
Milchan, who has produced “JFK,” “Heat,” “L.A. Confidential” and “City of Angels,” began his career in the entertainment industry in his early 30s when he produced “Black Joy.” He made a splash in television with the ABC miniseries “Masada” in 1981, which was co-produced by Oscar-winning director Sydney Pollack. Two years later, Milchan made his Hollywood debut with another Oscar-winning director, Martin Scorsese, on “King of Comedy.”
Debt-free New Regency, which makes about seven films a year, is held by Monarch BV, a Dutch holding company. Besides Milchan, other investors include Australian media mogul Kerry Packer, South Korean electronics giant Samsung and German media chief Leo Kirch.
Until last year, New Regency was a major supplier of movies for Warner Bros., but that relationship, which produced 36 films, ends June 30. The partnership soured when Warner Bros. didn’t back Milchan’s bid to buy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. Under a new alliance, Fox bought a 20 percent stake in Monarch worth $200 million.
Milchan, who also has interests in chemical companies, high-tech firms and agriculture, recently acquired the worldwide television rights to the Corel WTA Tour of women’s professional tennis tournaments. The key will be Milchan’s ability to convince worldwide broadcast and cable executives who want his films to also buy his tennis package.