Leading indie Italian film companies Eagle Pictures and Leone Film Group have inked a pact that will see the two companies jointly release the next two instalments in the Divergent series Allegiant and Ascendant, Keanu Reeves action sequel John Wick 2 and Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge starring Andrew Garfield. The two companies will split equally costs and revenues associated with the release of the four films.
The pact will also see Eagle handle distribution on all future Leone Film Group titles, as well as home entertainment distribution of all future Leone titles, excluding the projects already tied into state broadcaster Rai, such as Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. Eagle and Leone will also retain the possibility of collaborating on future Leone films, notably some of the projects coming through Leone’s output deals with Lionsgate and Dreamworks.
Tarak Ben Ammar’s Eagle Pictures is the only Italian indie to have output deals across all platforms in Italy, with a free-to-air deal with Mediaset, a pay TV deal with Sky and an SVOD deal with new entrant Netflix. Leone also has its own arrangement with Netflix as well as a good relationship with the likes of Rai.
The agreement leaves a formidable partnership at the heart of Italy’s indie film biz and a genuine rival to the studios in the country. Italy is one of Western Europe’s major territories and also one of its most challenging. Leone was originally founded by spaghetti western auteur Sergio Leone. It is now run by his children Andrea and Raffaella. It floated late 2013 on the Milan stock market and is currently trading at $2.75, almost half of the $5 a share it launched at.