As their No. 1 opener Think Like A Man Too raked in $29.2M last weekend, exec producers and longtime business partners Will Packer and Rob Hardy quietly axed their Rainforest Films banner. “The two of us have been friends for over 20 years and will continue to support each other personally and professionally,” they said in a statement to Deadline. “Our respective personal careers have taken us in different directions, and we have decided it is necessary to dissolve Rainforest Films.”
The pair co-founded Rainforest 20 years ago and put it on the map with erotic thriller Trois, which Hardy directed and Packer produced. The self-distributed indie grossed $1.1M upon release in 2000 and launched a specialty shingle for the duo, who went on to produce 17 more features targeted toward African-American audiences. Some of those Rainforest titles went on to become modest-to-major studio-distributed hits, including specialty pic The Gospel ($15M), Stomp The Yard ($75M worldwide), This Christmas ($49M) Obsessed ($73M), Takers ($69M), and Think Like A Man ($96M).
More recently, Rainforest’s Universal-distributed buddy cop flick Ride Along scored $153M while remake About Last Night took in $49M for Screen Gems. Those will be the final Rainforest productions as Packer segues into the eponymous production banner he launched last year with a three-year first-look deal with Universal.
The Packer-produced sequel Think Like A Man Too, upcoming September thriller No Good Deed, and Ride Along 2 will fall under new shingle Will Packer Productions. Hardy is involved as exec producer in Think Like A Man Too and No Good Deed but recently has been directing episodes of Criminal Minds, Bones, The Vampire Diaries, and The Originals.
No further word from Packer or Hardy on why they’ve called it quits on the hitmaking Rainforest banner, which was dissolved last month in a shareholders majority vote. Packer’s upcoming projects include comedy Girl Trip, with Best Man’s Holiday‘s Malcolm Lee attached to direct, and Ride Along 2 which will reunite Packer with Ride Along helmer Tim Story. EurWeb first reported the news.