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Millennium Films, West Coast Film Partners Enter $100M Co-Finance Pact

By | Saturday May 19, 2012 @ 10:16am PDT

CANNES (May 19, 2012) — Millennium Films has signed a $100 million co-financing/co-production agreement with West Coast Film Partners. The agreement runs for three years and calls for the parties to co-finance two to three wide-release feature films per year.

The first movie West Coast will co-finance and co-produce is “White House Taken,” directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Gerard Butler. It’s an action movie about a U.S. Secret Service agent who has fallen from grace – until the White House is attacked and taken over by a team of North Koreans armed with extraordinary technology. Everything the Pentagon throws at the problem fails. But our hero knows the building like nobody else, and is the last chance we have to save, not only the President, but the entire country.

The deal was put together by Millennium President Mark Gill and West Coast CEO Klay Shroedel.

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Nu Image-Millennium Appoints John Fremes

By | Friday February 10, 2012 @ 10:04am PST

International sales executive John Fremes has been named Head of International at indie production and sales group Nu Image/Millennium Films. He will report to company principals Avi Lerner and Trevor Short. Fremes will work in tandem with Mark Gill, who in June was named president of Nu Image’s production arm Millennium Films, and will oversee international sales, distribution and marketing of Millennium’s produced projects. Gill will manage development, financing and production of the company’s slate of eight to 10 projects annually. Fremes recently oversaw international sales, distribution and business affairs as president of worldwide distribution at Essential Entertainment, working on titles including Barney’s Version, The Expatriate and Defiance. Before that, he was president of Element Film International. Fremes founded Fusion International Sales Corp in 1999 and was founding president of Le Monde Entertainment Sales Corp, a division of Alliance Atlantis Communications.

Fremes is currently attending the Berlinale with Nu Image/Millennium’s project slate including Lovelace with Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard, The Iceman with Michael Shannon and Winona Ryder, Killing Season starring Robert De Niro and John Travolta and The Expendables 2 starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Jet Li.

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Toronto: Woody Harrelson Enters Oscar Race With Millennium’s $2 Million Deal For Cop Corruption Drama ‘Rampart’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Millennium Entertainment is putting Woody Harrelson into the Best Actor Oscar race this year, closing a $2 million U.S. rights acquisition of Rampart. That is the Oren Moverman-directed police corruption drama that Moverman wrote with L.A. Confidential author James Ellroy. The plan is to open in 20 cities and launch campaigns for Harrelson and for Moverman for Best Director and Screenplay. A deal for Canadian rights is expected to close shortly. Millennium Entertainment CEO Bill Lee made the deal, and Millennium Films’ Mark Gill will be a consultant on this and get to roll up his sleeves and wage an awards-season campaign for Harrelson, who drew raves at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival for his portrayal of a corrupt cop in a drama that also stars Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright, Ned Beatty, Ben Foster, Ice Cube, Anne Heche and Cynthia Nixon. The 1990s Los Angeles police family drama explores the dark soul and misadventures of an LAPD cop whose past finally catches up with him in a department-wide corruption scandal. Read More »

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Millennium Buying ‘Bernie’ With Jack Black

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: A deal is near for Millennium Entertainment to acquire U.S. distribution rights to the Los Angeles Film Festival opening-night pic Bernie. I’m told that it will be the first significant grab for former Film Department co-head Mark Gill since he took the reins of Avi Lerner’s company (UPDATE: reps for the company claim Gill was not involved, though he released Linklater’s Before Sunrise while running Warner Independent, and those reps said the deal was made by  Millennium Entertainment’s Bill Lee and Vincent Scordino). The minimum guarantee will be around $2 million with a P&A commitment of around $1 million and the deal should be done by Monday.

Inspired by a true story, the film stars Jack Black as the title character, an amiable funeral director who kills a rich widow (Shirley MacLaine) and creates a ruse that she’s still alive. Matthew McConaughey also stars in a film that’s directed by Richard Linklater. He directed Black in School of Rock and McConaughey in Dazed and Confused. Pic’s a coproduction between Mandalay Vision and Wind Dancer. Cinetic’s John Sloss and WME Global’s Graham Taylor are making the deal. Another deal is in the offing for Canada, putting the North American rights in the $3 million range. The deal certainly helps the LAFF as a showcase for acquisitions, which always helps a festival seem viable.

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Mark Gill New President Of Millennium Films

Exclusive: The Film Department Shutters

LOS ANGELES, CA — Former Miramax Films and Warner Independent president Mark Gill has been named President of Millennium Films. The company plans to produce and finance five to eight star-driven, wide-release films per year with budgets between $20 and $80 million.

Gill will work closely with Nu Image/Millennium Films toppers Avi Lerner and Trevor Short and development head Boaz Davidson, starting in July, with particular focus on development, packaging, production and marketing.

Gill has 25 years of film business experience and a production track record of more than $1 billion at the box office.

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The Film Department Withdraws IPO & Negotiates With Investors For $200M

By | Wednesday August 4, 2010 @ 10:30am PDT

Here’s the announcement from Mark Gill and Neil Sacker:

The Film Department announced today that it is in negotiation with investors who prefer to keep the company in private hands for $200 million in equity and debt that will be used to finance the production, acquisition and U.S. release of 5-10 films per year. As a result, the company has withdrawn its registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

6 AM: SEC filings show that Mark Gill’s and Neil Sacker’s The Film Department has cut the price of its expected IPO again — this time by more than half to $6 a share. Obviously, the reason for the public offering is to raise money for this production, finance, and international sales movie indie which also wants a domestic distribution arm. But this just may not be the right time economy-wise considering even powerhouse private equity firm KKR’s recent IPO was flat. The Film Department first filed for an IPO in December at between $12 to $14 a share price to raise $100M, and this is the 2nd time it has trimmed its share price. The problem now is that the cut-price IPO may not even cover The Film Department’s $25M of outstanding debt.

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