EXCLUSIVE: Entertainment One has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Diana, the Oliver Hirschbiegel-directed drama about a secret love affair that Princess Diana had shortly before her tragic death. With Naomi Watts as the princess, this was one of the higher-profile pictures shopped at the Cannes Film Festival and eOne bought the rights from Embankment Films and Ecosse Films. eOne will also distribute with major releases in the UK, Canada and Spain with the U.S. film coming in Oscar season later this year.
Hirschbiegel helmed the Oscar-nominated Downfall, and screenwriter Stephen Jeffreys wrote The Libertine. Watts, coming off an Oscar nom for The Impossible, stars with Naveen Andrews (best known for ABC’s Lost and The English Patient) in this drama about Diana’s covert love affair with Dr. Hasnat Khan, a Pakistani heart surgeon. This happened in the last two years of her life, before she met Dodi Fayed, and the need for privacy led to her meeting her lover in disguises. This gave her a sense of living an anonymous life, but her incredible worldwide fame became an issue. The film is produced by Ecosse Films’ Robert Bernstein and Douglas Rae. READ MORE »
The Weinstein Company, TF1 DA and eOne will partner on Suite Française, the Michelle Williams, Matthias Schoenaerts and Kristin Scott Thomas drama directed by Saul Dibb. TWC will handle U.S. rights, along with distribution rights in Latin America, Australia, Russia and Germany. Production starts in June on the 1940s-set film that’s based on Irene Nemirovsky’s novel about a young woman who lives with her controlling mother-in-law in Nazi-occupied France and ends up falling for a German officer. The 15M euro film will shoot in Belgium and Paris. Read More »
After working as a consultant to Entertainment One Films US, Ryan Markowitz has been hired in the newly-created position of VP theatrical sales and distribution. Based in New York, Markowitz has managed releases for eOne titles including A … Read More »
New Zealand Scales Everest Movie ‘Beyond The Edge’
Not to be confused with Sony Pictures’ Doug Liman-directed Everest, New Zealand’s General Film Corporation has announced the start of shooting on Beyond The Edge, a 3D feature about Sir Edmund Hillary’s 1953 ascent of Mt Everest. Local actors Chad Moffitt and Sonam Sherpa will play Hillary and his sherpa Tenzing Norgay for director Leanne Pooley. Matthew Metcalfe is producing and Rialto will release in New Zealand and Australia. Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King production designer Grant Major; cinematographer Richard Bluck, second unit on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and costume designer Barbara Darragh are all aboard. Altitude Film Sales has international rights. Completion is expected in September. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Jason Blum‘s Blumhouse Productions is moving forward on its third micro-budget franchise with Sinister 2, the sequel to last year’s horror pic that grossed more than $87M worldwide off of a $3M budget. The move to build the Sinister franchise follows in the footsteps of Blumhouse’s successes with the Paranormal Activity and Insidious series of ultra-low-budget genre hits.
I understand that all of the major behind-the-scenes players are back for Sinister 2, including creators Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill. They wrote the original, which Derrickson also directed. Thinking is that they’ll write the sequel, and I hear director conversations are in the works. Blum will produce as will Derrickson. (Blumhouse and Derrickson are also working on a screen adaptation of Stephen King novella The Breathing Method.)
The original Sinister starred Ethan Hawke as a true crime novelist who discovers a box of mysterious, disturbing home movies that plunge his family into a supernatural nightmare. Cast and story for the sequel are being kept under wraps. Read More »
Entertainment One has pacted with Jamie Campbell and Joel Wilson’s Eleven Film to develop scripted projects for the UK and international markets. The company produces documentary, current affairs, comedy and drama programs and is currently in development on … Read More »
Entertainment One has steadily been detailing a new executive structure following its takeover of rival Canadian giant Alliance Films in a $230M deal that was completed last month. Execs were quickly named for the UK and Spain operations and the latest announcement concerns its operations closer to home where eOne and Alliance have significant overlap. Here’s the release:
Montréal/Toronto/London – February 11, 2013 – Entertainment One (“eOne” or “the Group”) announces the Group’s Canadian Film leadership team, following its acquisition of Alliance Films announced January 9, 2013.
Patrice Théroux, who leads eOne’s global Film business, today confirms that David Reckziegel, will continue to oversee all North American Film operations, including the combined Canadian group, as President, eOne Films North America.
The Company also announces that Bryan Gliserman and Noah Segal will oversee eOne Films Canada, including the former Alliance Films teams, as Co-Presidents.
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With eOne‘s $230M acquisition of rival Canadian giant Alliance Films completed earlier this month, the executive structure in the UK, where the companies overlapped, is coming into somewhat clearer focus. On the eve of the European Film Market in Berlin, eOne today said that Alliance SVP Worldwide Acquisitions and Productions, Robert Walak, is leaving the company to pursue other ventures. The well-liked London-based exec had been at Alliance since 2003 and oversaw the acquisitions of such important titles as The Twilight Saga series in Spain and The King’s Speech and The Woman In Black for the UK. Also leaving is Jon Bourdillon, who headed up home entertainment at eOne. He will be replaced by Ken McMahon of Alliance subsidiary Momentum. Read More »
BREAKING: In a low seven-figure deal for U.S. rights, eOne acquired the Jim Mickle-directed We Are What We Are, which premiered last Friday at the Library Center Theatre in the Park City At Midnight section. The plot: a devastating storm … Read More »
Now that its takeover of rival Alliance Films is complete, eOne has announced exec appointments for the UK and Spanish arms of the company. Alex Hamilton has been named managing director in the UK … Read More »
Entertainment One has reported a drop in adjusted pre-tax profits for the six months ended September 30 with earnings down to $14M from $29.9M in the same period last year. The producer-distributor said underlying EBITDA of $21.3M was down from last year’s $37.5M, primarily due to the timing of increased investment, which drove P&A costs up 30% in the first half. Revenues were up to $350.39M compared to $325.11M in 2011 and operating cash flow in the first half was up 59% to $96.59M. The Canada-based company confirmed in September that it would acquire rival Alliance Films for $230M in a long-brewing deal. Today, eOne says funding for the acquisition has been secured and that the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in early 2013. Also in September, the company announced a multi-year offshore output deal with DreamWorks. Read More »
Entertainment One Films has acquired North American distribution rights to Twice Born in a deal with Wild Bunch. The film, directed by Sergio Castellitto and starring Penelope Cruz and Emile Hirsch, premiered at the Toronto … Read More »
UPDATE, 11:32 PM PT: eOne has confirmed its new output deal with DreamWorks. Press release follows below.
PREVIOUS…BREAKING…4:52 PM PT: I’m told that DreamWorks will shortly be announcing that it has made a four-year output agreement with eOne, with that company releasing DreamWorks product in the UK and Benelux. The arrangement begins with Starbuck, which stars Vince Vaughn and shoots in October. This will be the first of several deals after DreamWorks aligned with Mister Smith in an effort to be more hands on in arranging distribution in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Disney distributes in North America, Latin America, Asia, Russia and Australia. DreamWorks partner Stacey Snider was at the Toronto Film Festival, and I believe one of her missions was to meet potential distribution partners. This deal was put in place by Mister Smith’s David Garrett and DreamWorks COO Jeff Small.
Now, Reliance fully finances all of DreamWorks films, but this offshore effort will result in advances on films. While DreamWorks reupped its financing deal with Reliance that would cover three to five movies each year, getting offshore advances should allow DreamWorks the cash flow to make more films if Snider and partner Steven Spielberg choose to do so. It also gives them a more hands-on relationship in the foreign releases of their films, which can only help performance. Upcoming DreamWorks films include the Steven Spielberg-directed Robopocalypse with Chris Hemsworth starring (that isn’t part of this arrangement because the film’s foreign is being handled by Fox International) and an adaptation of the vidgame Need For Speed, among others. Read More »
A deal has been brewing for some time between the Canadian giants. In May, Deadline reported word was spreading about a hookup during the Cannes Film Festival, and eOne later confirmed it was in talks to buy rival Alliance. Today’s announcement comes just as the Toronto Film Festival is getting underway where both companies are handling a host of titles. The merger will create a group with reach across Canada, the UK, Benelux, Australia, the U.S. and Spain. EOne has The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 coming up and purchasing Alliance will give it Canadian rights to 11,000 titles including The Hunger Games. A deal is subject to regulatory approval. Here’s the press release on the proposed acquisition:
TORONTO, ONTARIO – Today the Board of Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO) (“eOne” or “the Group”) announces that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Alliance Films, a leading independent distributor of filmed entertainment products in Canada, the United Kingdom and Spain, from affiliates of GS Capital Partners and Investissement Québec for approximately CAD$225 million.
Read More »
BBC Hitches Wagon To Hitchcock Craze, Again
With Alfred Hitchcock hot right now, the BBC is doubling up on the action. It’s already co-producing The Girl with HBO, a look at the director’s obsessive relationship with The Birds star Tippi Hedren. Now, it’s producing a new take on The Lady Vanishes with a British cast that includes Upstairs Downstairs star Keeley Hawes, Spooks’ Gemma Jones and The Hour’s Julian Rhind-Tutt. The 90-minute psychological thriller is penned by Fiona Seres and is set to air at Christmas. Seres adapted the source novel The Wheel Spins, which Hitchcock filmed as The Lady Vanishes in 1938. Set in 1931, the story centers on Iris, a young socialite on vacation who leaves her friends to travel alone. But after fainting at the train station, she awakens in a dreamlike state where a woman who comforts her then vanishes. Tuppence Middleton (Spies Of Warsaw, Love Punch) and Tom Hughes (Cemetery Junction, Page Eight) lead the cast. The film is produced by BBC Drama Productions and Ann Tricklebank. Diarmuid Lawrence (Little Dorrit) is directing. Hitchcock’s Vertigo recently dislodged Citizen Kane as BFI Sight & Sound’s greatest movie of all time. In addition to The Girl with Sienna Miller and Toby Jones, another project based on the director’s life is Fox Searchlight’s Hitchcock, starring Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and Scarlett Johansson.
Entertainment One Lines Up South Korea Partner
United Entertainment Korea has made a deal to handle all eOne’s international home entertainment titles in South Korea. eOne Television International will continue to handle TV content in Korea and eOne Films International will continue to handle film sales. First titles to be released in theaters under the new partnership are Dragon Age and Mass Effect. eOne filmed entertainmenbt president Patrice Theroux said “it’s essential that we build strong partnerships with local industry leaders like UEK” as eOne expands globally. UEK handles home entertainment products for Sony Pictures, NBC Universal and 20th Century Fox. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Black Jack is coming to a TV near you. Entertainment One has acquired the worldwide rights to a television series based on the popular Japanese manga. The LA/Toronto-based indie studio, that produces ABC’s Rookie Blue and … Read More »
Independent studio Entertainment One Television has tapped Carrie Stein for the newly created position of EVP Global Production. She joins July 2 based in the company’s Los Angeles office and will report to eOne Television’s CEO John Morayniss. Stein … Read More »
Entertainment One confirmed today that the distributor has held negotiations about purchasing Alliance Films, as Deadline reported last week from the Cannes Film Festival. Both companies had remained publicly mum about the negotiations but eOne said today it … Read More »