China As Holy Grail & Headache: How It’s Influencing Hollywood Strategy – Deadline Disruptors
China's breakneck box-office growth may have ground to a sputter in 2016, but one need only look at the recent success of The Fate Of The Furious for proof there is still gas in the market. Last month, F8 crossed 2.43 billion RMB to become the No. 1 import ever in the market. As of Sunday, it has climbed to 2.662 billion RMB ($386.7 million).
That performance reflects what has become a source of excitement and consternation for Hollywood. In the five years since it paved… Read
How Megan Ellison Turned Annapurna Into A Powerful Mini-Major — Deadline Disruptors
In only a few short years, Megan Ellison—who started up Annapurna in 2011—has taken a small, vibrant, indie production company and methodically turned it into an impressive mini-major. Those in town are comparing Annapurna to the heyday of Harvey and Bob Weinstein's Miramax, which dominated the '90s, but a more appropriate analogy might be Orion Pictures, the prestige indie outfit of the '80s.
Ellison is financing, acquiring and producing high-quality fare with… Read
Jacques Audiard’s ‘The Sisters Brothers’ To Annapurna With Strong Group Of Acting Talent
Annapurna will co-produce and co-finance award-winning filmmaker Jacques Audiard's The Sisters Brothers with Why Not Productions, and Megan Ellison’s indie also has domestic distribution rights for the film. Page 114 also is on board as a producer.
The film is Audiard's follow-up to his Palme d'Or-winning Dheepan, which premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. It also will be his first shot completely in English. John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, and… Read
How Agencies Became So Vital To The Indie Film Ecosystem — Deadline Disruptors
When the major talent agencies—CAA, WMA & Endeavor (now WME) and UTA—started indie film departments, the idea was to help big clients get their passion—some called them vanity—projects made. That seems like a million years ago. These departments have become such prolific generators that they have become the life blood of independent films, especially the mid-budget segment of films for grown-ups that studios orphaned as they covet global tent poles and micro-budget genre… Read
Micah Green: Former CAA Agent Takes Entrepreneurial Leap With Dan Friedkin — Deadline Disruptors
After co-heading the CAA Film Finance and Sales Group with Roeg Sutherland for over a decade, Micah Green shocked the indie film community by leaving to form a venture with entrepreneur Dan Friedkin, backer of producer/financier Imperative Entertainment. Long considered one of the brightest agents piecing together independent films, Green joined Friedkin in a business that so far doesn't have a name or a stated structure.
Even though the new venture is still somewhat… Read
Relativity Bankruptcy: Court Staves Off Chapter 7 For Now After Lawyer Claims Prospect Of Investors
In a hearing this morning in New York bankruptcy court, arguments were heard whether to proceed with moving from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 (liquidation). The result: A new hearing was set for August after lawyers for Ryan Kavanaugh said that there were prospects of possible equity investors and they were also anticipating monies coming from the Netflix deal on two films.
A Relativity lawyer who was piped in via speakerphone said they had concluded deals with certain… Read
How Jason Blum Honed His Micro-Budget Blockbuster Formula — Deadline Disruptors
Blumhouse principal Jason Blum has turned low-cost, high-gross genre films into such a reliable hit formula that Universal staked him to a decade-long deal to serve as a silo offsetting the studio's blockbusters and Illumination Entertainment family films. The payoff: since last fall, the blockbusters Get Out, Split, The Purge: Election Year and a Ouija sequel, which collectively grossed $664 million worldwide on a budget of $27.5 million.
Even though the first indelible… Read
Joe & Anthony Russo Multi-Task ‘Avengers’ Sequels With New Production Venture — Deadline Disruptors
Joe and Anthony Russo are currently overseeing back-to-back sequels to The Avengers that will consume most of 2017, with Infinity War, bowing first on May 4th, 2018. After they finish what amounts to their fourth Marvel superhero blockbuster—counting two Captain America installments that set up the Avengers films―the Cleveland-born siblings will go full speed on building a funded production company, where they will direct films and empower like-minded talent.
The venture… Read
Lakeshore Renews Credit Facility: $250M Over 5 Years
Lakeshore Entertainment Group has closed the latest iteration of its revolving credit facility with its capital partners, extending their agreement for five more years with a $250 million committment. The deal provides financing for Lakeshore's film production slate and P&A activities, its nascent TV arm and ongoing corporate capital.
Lakeshore also said it has renewed three transactions with private equity firm Vine Alternative Investments, which recommitted its… Read
Village Roadshow Sells Controlling Interest To Vine And Falcon; Top Execs Remain In Place
Village Roadshow Entertainment Group has sold a controlling interest — more than 51% — of the 20-year-old company to current financial partners Vine Alternative Investments and Falcon Investment Advisors with the CEO of Vine, Jim Moore, taking on the chairmanship role. The deal is described by VREG as Vine and Falcon becoming “a strategic shareholder.”
Graham Burke, co-chairman and co-CEO of parent company Village Roadshow Limited, will continue as chairman of Village… Read
Italy’s Media Regulator Orders Vivendi To Cut Stake In Either Mediaset Or Telecom Italia
Italy's communications regulator Agcom has ordered Vincent Bolloré's French media group Vivendi to cut its stake in either Mediaset or Telecom Italia, ruling that building large stakes in both companies violates the country's antitrust laws.
At present, Vivendi is the biggest single shareholder in Italy's main telecoms firm Telecom Italia, with a 24% stake, and recently built up a 28.8% stake in Italy's biggest private broadcaster Mediaset.
The ruling, which was issued on… Read
Google Ventures Hires First Entertainment, Media Advisor In Craig Kornblau
EXCLUSIVE: Google Ventures, the venture capital arm of Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s Alphabet, Inc., has just hired its first advisor in the entertainment and media space. The company known only now as GV was founded in 2009 and has since invested in about 300 companies, including Uber and Nest and now it has tapped Craig Kornblau to help them with strategy and look for opportunities in this space. He will not only be working with GV’s entire portfolio, but… Read