Amidst the turbulence that Relativity Media has experienced in Ryan Kavanaugh’s fight to hang on to the film and TV company–and the rumored lack of funds to pay for the marketing campaign–the studio has pushed its best chance for a hit, the Jared Hess-directed Masterminds, out of its late-summer slot. Its the third time it has rescheduled the release of the film. The company issued this statement today: “Relativity Studios has rescheduled the release of its next film Masterminds to October 9, 2015, to allow the company to focus on its recapitalization and give this film the proper attention and support it deserves.”
The PG-13 film stars Zach Galifianakis, Kristin Wiig, Jason Sudeikis and Owen Wilson and it is inspired by a true story about a group of bumbling robbers. Kavanaugh has been struggling to restructure debt that had come due, and a report in THR this week painted a rosy picture that had Kavanaugh securing a bailout from Catalyst Capital Group that included the purchase of his debt and a $170 million infusion of equity. Trouble is, nobody in the finance community believes that this Toronto-based company, with its track record of acquiring distressed assets, is any kind of long-term solution for Kavanaugh to try getting his company back on its feet. They don’t even believe Catalyst would put equity into the company. It manages a fund worth around $2.2 billion, and lost money on its investment in RHI. Would it risk itself on Relativity? Relativity’s decision to push what seems to be its best shot at a hit movie in a long time — success might well be predicated on a P&A spend — indicates that turbulence is far from over.
Here’s what Relativity faces on October 9. The previous weekend brings the Ridley Scott-directed The Martian with Matt Damon, and the distributor has been scheduled to open the Halle Berry starrer Kidnap on October 9 (presumably that would move). Also opening that Friday is the Joe Wright-directed Hugh Jackman starrer Pan and the Danny Boyle-directed Steve Jobs starring Michael Fassbender as the Apple genius. Also, Sony Pictures and TriStar opens the Robert Zemeckis-directed The Walk, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. That’s a lot of competition, but not a lot of madcap comedy.
The movie was one of those that Relativity was trying to find a partner on as word has been that they didn’t have enough in p&a to release the film themselves.
That said, here’s the trailer for Masterminds: