As STXfilms settles into its bright new international headquarters on London’s The Strand, the company has set the first slate of titles it will distribute in the UK. Under the leadership of David Kosse, President of STXinternational, the divison has quickly stepped up in the past six months to take rights to a roster of ambitious pictures from established and emerging talent which it will release in the coming year — all as offshore expansion continues apace.
The first batch of films includes Andy Serkis’ Breathe with Andrew Garfield; the Nancy Meyers-produced Home Again starring Reese Witherspoon; Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River; Gerard Butler-starrer Den Of Thieves; the recently set Adrift from Baltasar Kormakur with Shailene Woodley; as well as the Untitled Nash Edgerton Project, starring Charlize Theron, David Oyelowo, Thandie Newton, Joel Edgerton and Sharlto Copley; and the upcoming The Irishman from Martin Scorsese which reteams Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.
STX announced itself as a major global player when it took international rights to the latter film in a $50M deal struck during a heated bidding war at the Cannes Film Festival last May. Since then, the company has made significant progress.
Kosse has made key hires for the London offices which now include 11 staff. Among them are Andy Leyshon who joined from Universal this summer to serve as UK Managing Director, and Llewellyn Radley who is now Head of Marketing. It’s expected that Kosse will bring on an acquisitions exec in the coming months.
After pulling together this first UK slate and moving into the new HQ a few weeks ago, the company is “poised to accelerate our worldwide acquisitions, sales and international distribution,” Kosse says.
He tells me, “Films that come through the main STX slate will be supplemented with two-to-three films we take international rights on and work through our sales organization, and two-to-three UK-only acquisitions.”
The recent acquisition of Home Again marks a renewed collaboration for Kosse and Nancy Meyers who worked together on films including The Holiday and It’s Complicated while he was President of International at Universal. Meyers’ daughter Hallie Meyers-Shyer is directing with Witherspoon as a separated mother of two whose new life in Los Angeles is overturned when she decides to take in three young, charismatic guys who become part of her unconventional family.
Adrift is also a reteam for Kosse and director Kormakur with whom he has a strong relationship. Kosse was instrumental in getting Everest made while at Universal and recently served as exec producer on Kormakur’s Icelandic thriller, The Oath. STXinternational is introducing the hot-ticket survival-at-sea story Adrift to buyers here at the EFM.
STXfilms Chairman Adam Fogelson said today, “David and his team have already hit the ground running to establish a formidable presence for STX in the UK and abroad. This is a significant first step in building up our international distribution and sales infrastructure, and we’re proud to be affiliated with these outstanding filmmakers.”
STX Entertainment COO Tom McGrath, added, “We are fortunate to have someone of David’s business acumen and creative taste leading the charge as we expand our business in Europe and beyond.”