QED International Layoffs Following Box Office Blunder ‘Sabotage’

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 6:16pm PDT

qedQED International has laid off five employees (which includes support staff and a junior lawyer) three weeks after the disastrous opening of Sabotage, directed by David Ayer and led by aging action star Arnold Schwarzenegger. Sabotage-Movie-HD-ImagesThe bloody pic flopped and is hanging on by its fingernails in the Box office Top 20 — it’s No. 18 in its third weekend — having grossed a mere $10M. John Hegeman, president of worldwide marketing, is still on board as he helps prepare the debut of the next Ayer-directed film, Fury, which has some star power in Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf and audience favorite Michael Pena. QED slapped down $1M to buy the WWII spec from Ayer over a year ago; it will bow in November. One insider said that QED is reallocating resources for development spending. To that point, today QED purchased Yellowstone Falls, a 52-page spec script by Dan Kunka, winning what was said to be a heated bidding war. The film, which will be produced by Kevin Misher and QED President Bill Block, is about a mother wolf who must battle to save her cubs after being separated from her mate following an apocalyptic event. The film will have nearly no dialogue and few actors. Sounds a little like Disneynature’s Bears — with mutated humans thrown in. Read More »

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QED Pays $1 Million For David Ayer WWII Spec Script ‘Fury’

By | Wednesday February 13, 2013 @ 6:07pm PST
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: In what amounts to the biggest spec deal so far this year, Bill Block‘s QED International has paid $1 million for Fury, a WWII spec script by End Of Watch writer/director David Ayer. Ayer will direct, and QED will produce with John Lesher and his Le Grisbi Productions banner. Ethan Smith, Block and Lesher are producing and they are eyeing a fall production start. QED is selling foreign.

The action takes place in 1945 as the Nazi regime collapses and the five man crew of an American tank called Fury battles a desperate German army. Ayer and QED reteam after the action thriller Ten, which Ayer directed and which stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington and Mireille Enos. Open Road will release it next January. Lesher produced Ayer’s End Of Watch.

Describing his project, Ayer said his goal is to “bring a fresh execution to the genre. What these men went through is worthy of a complex, honest portrayal. This will have incredible, visceral action and complex rich characters. I plan to bring tank combat to life in a way that lands with a modern audience.” Read More »

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QED Taps Vet John Hegeman To Run Worldwide Marketing And Acquisitions: Sundance

By | Wednesday January 16, 2013 @ 10:01am PST
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Former New Regency marketing chief John Hegeman has been appointed by QED International CEO Bill Block to be its president of Worldwide Marketing and Acquisitions. It is a newly created position for QED, and comes as the company completes the David Ayer-directed Ten with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the John Turturro-directed Fading Gigolo with Woody Allen, and the Mac Carter fright film Haunt. Hegeman is a producer on the latter and was part of the Artisan gang that turned The Blair Witch Project into a word-of-mouth phenomenon. Block and Hegeman first worked together at Artisan during that period. Hegeman will brave the teen temperatures at Sundance looking for new talent this week and next. Read More »

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QED Gets Into Script Game, Hires Nick Reimond To Steer Development Push

By | Thursday November 29, 2012 @ 4:16pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: QED International is committing to spend serious coin on scripts and pitches that it hopes will translate into features with global appeal. QED CEO Bill Block has hired Nick Reimond to steer that effort as VP of Development and Production.

QED is getting started quickly, wrapping up deals for two spec scripts: the Zina Zaflow-scripted romantic comedy 52 Percent, and Leave, a thriller scripted by Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari.

Reimond comes to QED from Scott Rudin Productions and before that spent three years at Maguire Entertainment/Material Pictures. He started at Michael De Luca Productions. Reimond will be tasked with bringing in projects as Block intends to make QED a prolific buyer of material at a time when development spending is drying up all over town. Read More »

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QED To Produce, Finance Fright Film ‘Haunt’

By | Monday August 27, 2012 @ 12:55pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: QED International has committed to produce, finance and handle international sales for Haunt, an original horror film that Mac Carter will direct from a script by Andrew Barrer. A family that moves into a new home with … Read More »

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QED Sets Ex-Morgan Creek Exec Daniel Diamond As Intl Prexy

By | Tuesday August 21, 2012 @ 11:19am PDT
Mike Fleming

LOS ANGELES, August 21, 2012 – QED international has appointed Daniel Diamond as President of International, it was announced today by QED International CEO Bill Block. Diamond comes to QED International from Morgan Creek Prods. where he served as President of International Distribution.

Diamond’s appointment is part of an operational expansion of QED as it heads into the Toronto Intl. Film Festival and AFM with a robust film slate including TEN, directed by David Ayres and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger; FADING GIGOLO, directed by John Turturro and starring Turturro and Woody Allen; and ELYSIUM, directed by Neil Blomkamp and starring Matt Damon. Earlier this year, Media Content Capital made an eight-figure investment in QED International.

“We’re committed to bringing the best films to our international partners, and heading into the fall markets, we’re better equipped than ever to deliver on that promise,” said Block. “Daniel will add significantly to our global fire power. His shrewd understanding of the changing rights business and his exceptional relationships in every market will allow us to achieve better market penetration globally, and we’re thrilled he can join us as we gear up for Toronto and AFM.”

Read More »

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Bill Block’s QED Gets Cash Infusion From Media Content Capital; Cannes

By | Wednesday May 16, 2012 @ 1:20am PDT
Mike Fleming

Media Content Capital has made an 8-figure investment and will become a shareholder of QED International, the financing and sales company run by Bill Block. The funds will be used to ramp up development, sales and financing operations as QED … Read More »

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‘I, Alex Cross’ Sparks Producers’ Lawsuit Over Claims Of Credit By Rivals

Producers of Summit Entertainment’s upcoming release I, Alex Cross, directed by Rob Cohen with Tyler Perry stepping into the role created by Morgan Freeman, have filed suit against other producers who claim they should receive compensation and screen credit for the movie. Bill Block and Paul Hanson are partners in QED, which produced the project that Summit has acquired for distribution. QED claims in the suit that prolonged negotiations that began in 2008 with potential producers Jan Korbelin and Marina Grasic (who with Mark Lindsay have launched Cargo Entertainment) and their company Visitor Pictures failed to come to an agreement on Visitor’s involvement with the development of I, Alex Cross. QED claims it drafted and redrafted multiple memorandums of understanding for Visitor’s involvement that were all rejected and no agreement was reached or signed. In 2009, QED says it formally notified Visitor that all previous offers were withdrawn. QED asserts that development of the movie proceeded without Visitor, who “indeed sought to have no involvement,” according to the suit.

Now that principal photography on I, Alex Cross has finished and the movie is expected to be released next year, QED claims that Visitor has resurfaced and is demanding compensation and screen credit, probably in preparation for legal action of their own. QED and other plaintiffs Suejack Inc and JPB Businesses are seeking a court ruling in the case to remove the “cloud” cast over I, Alex Cross by Visitor’s claims before the movie is released. Read More »

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Arnold Set For QED Action Film ‘Black Sands’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to star in Black Sands, an action film that will be directed by Scott Waugh and Mike McCoy. Financed by Bill Block’s QED, the film will begin production April 1, 2012. In the script that … Read More »

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Brian De Palma To Direct QED’s ‘Key Man’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: QED International and Safehouse Pictures have set Brian De Palma to direct the Joby Harold-scripted thriller The Key Man. That film was recently set for U.S. distribution with Tom Ortenberg’s Open Road Films and will … Read More »

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Open Road Films Lands Joby Harold Thriller ‘The Key Man’

EXCLUSIVE: Open Road Films — the new distribution company created by exhibitors AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment — just snagged U.S. rights to The Key Man, a thriller written by Joby Harold. QED International is financing the movie, about a single father … Read More »

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Summit Captures U.S. Rights To James Patterson’s Alex Cross Reboot With Tyler Perry And Matthew Fox

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment has acquired domestic distribution rights to I, Alex Cross, the reboot of the James Patterson franchise. Tyler Perry stars as the title character, with Rob Cohen directing. Lost‘s Matthew Fox was just set to play Michael Sullivan, a psycho serial killer who viciously murders Cross’s wife when the detective thwarts his earlier attempt to commit a murder.  The drama becomes a mano a mano battle between cop and the killer who is one of the most memorable villains in Patterson’s novels. Ed Burns will play Cross’s partner Tommy Kane.

Three distributors chased the picture. One was Lionsgate, which has the long relationship on all the hit films that Perry has directed and starred in. But Summit Entertainment had an “in” as well: Summit co-chairman/CEO Rob Friedman. Friedman, former Vice Chairman and COO at Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group, had an active hand in Paramount’s release of the first two Alex Cross films, Kiss the Girls and Along Came A Spider, which starred Morgan Freeman. He personally oversaw the acquisition and has a relationship with the author. Read More »

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3RD UPDATE: Sony Pictures Snaps Up Neill Blomkamp’s ‘Elysium’; Matt Damon And Jodie Foster Set To Star

By | Wednesday January 19, 2011 @ 4:04pm PST
Mike Fleming

3RD UPDATE: Sony Pictures has now decided to go it alone on Neill Blomkamp’s new scifi pic Elysium for worldwide distribution. So there is no Universal Pictures’ involvement, as the studio declined to take part. MRC put the … Read More »

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