EXCLUSIVE: Word from inside the beleaguered Global Road is that layoffs loom this week, as early as tomorrow, this after lenders led by Bank of America took control of the company last week. Sources said a bankruptcy filing will become clear by tomorrow, but filing might take a little longer to materialize. Lead bank BOA and other lenders are the ones pushing for layoffs to stop the bleeding, this after the weekend opener A.X.L. grossed under $3 million for the weekend. The company’s exposure to launch the film was in the $10 million range, sources said.
The layoffs will be concentrated on the domestic theatrical production, distribution and marketing. It doesn’t sound like there will be a lot of severance. This adds to the ongoing effort to allow filmmakers to try and shop their projects elsewhere.
It is a depressing development as the start of fall festival season, where independent distributors set up the competition for the coming awards season. But Donald Tang’s venture — comprised of IMG Global and Open Road — never had a chance because numerous fundraising road shows failed to hook investors, making it impossible to live up to the billion dollar boasts at Berlin six months ago. Most of the senior staffs of IMG Global and Open Road exited, and their positions were re-staffed with promises of a bright future that never materialized. I was told last week that about 110 employees are there now. Unclear how widespread the layoffs will be, but I’m told the bloodshed will be severe, but could be segregated since the IMG library brings in a reliable revenue stream. Stay tuned.
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