CEO Bill Block is officially leaving QED International as his exit strategy clearly came last fall when he and PalmStar Media Capital CEO Kevin Frakes joined with Raj Singh’s Merced Capital L.P. to launch Merced Media, a new development, production and financing vehicle they said will invest $500 million in a three-to-five-year program of pictures that focus on wide releases.
The question remains about what kind of going concern QED will be, as Deadline has previously speculated. There are now only two or three employees left in the actual offices of QED, which will be relocating out of their 1800 Hollywood Blvd digs. Sources say Block actually took up new offices in December under the Merced Media moniker. QED began laying people off last April, three weeks after the disappointing box office bow of the Arnold Schwarzenegger-starrer Sabotage, ($17.5M global box office).
Media Content Capital had previously made an eight-figure investment in QED, becoming a prime shareholder in 2012 which allowed QED to pay minimum guarantees to acquire offshore rights to completed films. While at QED, Block packaged and sold a number of pictures including the currently in production Dirty Grandpa, the critically acclaimed Fury starring Brad Pitt which did well internationally ($126M to domestic’s $85.8M), and the Barry Levinson-directed Rock The Kasbah, a film that stars Bill Murray and is skedded for a November release.
Block will continue to work on two other QED productions, Birth Of The Dragon and Yellowstone Falls.