EXCLUSIVE: MoviePass Ventures, the movie ticket service’s indie film finance arm, announced tonight that it is taking an equity stake in Kevin Connolly’s Gotti, which stars John Travolta as the infamous New York City mobster and boss of the Gambino crime family, John Gotti. As Deadline announced two weeks ago, Vertical Entertainment is releasing Gotti on June 15 wide with Sunrider Productions.
The Gotti deal reps MoviePass Ventures’ second independent film rights deal, following its co-acquisition of this year’s Sundance Film Festival title American Animals with The Orchard earlier this year. American Animals opens theatrically on June 1.
MoviePass Ventures provides the movie ticket service with some skin in the game when it comes to a film’s release with a greater share in a pic’s box office. In return, MoviePass guarantees a distributor that its 3M subscribers show up on opening weekend. By utilizing the MoviePass marketing platform to drive traffic to the theater, MoviePass Ventures hopes to capture additional revenue from downstream windows, including other forms of international, domestic, and streaming distribution in addition to merchandising, music and other ancillary rights. Deadline understands from some insiders that MoviePass is apt to hammer out more deals like this down the road. This particular deal is worth around low seven figures.
The Gotti deal was led by Ted Farnsworth and Zac Bright on behalf of MoviePass Ventures along with Tom Ara of Greenberg Traurig, LLP and Randall Emmett and George Furla of Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films. Emmett-Furla are here at CinemaCon with their Mark Wahlberg headliner/Peter Berg-directed feature Mile 22 which STXfilms is releasing on Aug. 3.
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“Gotti is precisely the type of film we established MoviePass Ventures to support,” exclaimed Mitch Lowe, CEO of MoviePass. “We are helping boost traffic to these theaters for people to see these great films. This is an ambitious movie for which we’re thrilled to offer exclusive opportunities, such as exclusive tickets to the U.S. premiere event, word of mouth screenings and other Gotti related events, to our nationwide subscriber base.”
“Acquiring a stake in Gotti is exciting for MoviePass Ventures, because we’ve learned that a large impact in the box office equates to an even larger, positive impact on downstream revenue such as theatrical domestic and international distribution rights, streaming rights, DVD rights, transactional rights (Itunes), on-demand, and foreign movie rights” said Ted Farnsworth, Chairman/CEO of MoviePass’ parent company Helios and Matheson. “Now MoviePass and MoviePass Ventures have the ability to participate in all of these potential revenue streams.”
Back in December, Gotti filmmakers exercised a buy-back clause with Lionsgate Premiere ten days before the pic’s day-and-date VOD release as they wanted the movie to be released wide under a new distributor. Gotti is produced by Emmett, Furla, Mark Fiore, and Michael Frosch. In addition to Travolta as John Gotti, Kelly Preston stars as Victoria Gotti, as well as Stacy Keach, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Spencer Lofranco, William DeMeo, Leo Rossi, and Victor Gojcaj.
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