Relativity Bankruptcy: ‘Collide’ Backers Ask Judge To Scrap Distribution Deal

Last month it seemed that British director Eran Creevy’s hot title Collide, previously known as Autobahn, had extricated itself from Relativity. But a filing in the studio’s bankruptcy case indicates that isn’t entirely free just yet.

IM Global Film Fund just filed a motion asking U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Michael Wiles to formally scrap its October 17, 2014 distribution agreement with Relativity as of September 30 — and not wait until someone steps up to buy the company. It asked for the matter to be considered at an omnibus hearing scheduled for September 24.

Over the last few weeks IM Global has been actively shopping the movie to other distributors.  But according to the filing, it is listed among the assets Relativity proposes to sell to a group of creditors known as Stalking Horse Bidders who have offered $250 million for the company — or someone else if a higher bid emerges.

The problem is that the film starring  Nicholas Hoult, Felicity Jones and Anthony Hopkins was supposed to be released in the U.S. on October 20. But Relativity Media has “done nothing to market or prepare for a Wide Release” by then and does “not have the financial resources to honor [its] Wide Release obligations,” IM Global says.

“Too much time has passed and [IM Global] needs to find an alternative distributor now,” it adds.

IM Global says it “cannot wait” for a sale to Stalking Horse or someone else to be consumated. Relativity would not change hands until October 20, under the court’s current timetable for a deal.

If Collide misses its October 20 release target then “Millions of dollars are at stake and contractual obligations with third parties are at risk.”

The film cost about $29.2 million to produce. The motion says that Relativity was supposed to spend “at least” $24.5 million to market the film through its opening weekend, and an additional $500,000 afterward.

Trailers “should have already been shown in movie theaters across the country, posters of the Film promoting it that should have been in movie theaters, the creation of key art, and advertising that should already have been placed in publications.”

IM Global adds that it also must appear on more than 2,000 U.S. screens. That’s “an essential economic and business driver to releasing the Film overseas.”

About $9 million of Collide’s collateral value “may be entirely lost” if it isn’t released by the end of October “or as near that date as possible.”

The filing adds that IM Global “has to pay a production loan with an outstanding balance due of approximately $17 million.” The U.S. and overseas releases “are intertwined as the foreign release dates are customarily held back/delayed to the United States release date.”

If the plans stall, then pirates may get their hands on the film “thus severely damaging the profitability of the Film.”

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