BREAKING: Open Road Films has made a first look distribution agreement to release select IM Global titles in the U.S. Open Road CEO made Tom Ortenberg and IM Global CEO Stuart Ford made the deal. This comes after the two companies worked together on the hit A Haunted House last January. The sequel comes in March.
“Stuart Ford and his partners at Reliance Entertainment have built a formidable business and reputation with great projects under their belt and many more in the pipeline,” stated Ortenberg. “We’ve had success together on A Haunted House and are looking forward to more great things in the future.”
Said Ford, “Open Road has established itself as a pre-eminent mini-major in the U.S. distribution arena and it will be a privilege for many of our forthcoming releases to be handled by Tom Ortenberg and his team.”
EXCLUSIVE: In a move that positions it for expected future movie business growth in Asia, IM Global‘s Pan-Asian rights buying arm Apsara Distribution has closed an output deal with Buena Vista International. The multi-year and multiple-picture pact covers Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Despite its outsized population numbers, the region has traditionally accounted for a small percentage of a pre-sale business model for a variety of reasons, including a paucity of screens. That is changing quickly and will continue to do so for the next decade, and IM Global CEO Stuart Ford felt it was time to create a stronger distribution infrastructure that is more like a major studio. Read More »
IM Global will fully fund Hummingbird, an action drama that will mark the directing debut of Eastern Promises scribe Steven Knight. Jason Statham will play a damaged ex-Special Forces soldier trapped in London’s criminal underworld, but he becomes an avenging angel when he is able to assume another identity. Shooting will begin in London early next year. Paul Webster and Tracey Seaward are producing. The film is budgeted at $20 million. “We had a great experience making Safe with Jason and we’re excited to team him with a director/producer team as sophisticated as Steven, Paul and Tracey,” said IM Global CEO Stuart Ford. The film has already sold in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavia and Australia.
Madonna, the pop singer-turned-director, will be in Berlin this Saturday to present footage from her W.E. to overseas distributors. Sales agent IM Global will be screening clips to around 200 invited guests but has held back from making any pre-sales until now. This is a tactic which IM Global used successfully before with A Single Man. “We think distributors are going to get a huge buzz out of the quality of what they will see,” IM Global CEO Stuart Ford tells me. “Sometimes there’s no substitute for letting the footage and the filmmaker speak for themselves.” W.E. stars Abbie Cornish as a modern-day New Yorker obsessed with the royal love story between Britain’s King Edward VII (James D’Arcy) and American divorcee Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough). The pic is still in post and will be for several months.
Lionsgate has acquired US distribution rights for three films backed by Stuart Ford’s IM Global. Each film has a one word title and falls into the hard core action genre. The first in the deal is Safe, a $30 million film that stars Jason Statham and is directed by Boaz Yakin, who wrote the action/thriller. The deal also included Dredd, the 3D adaptation of Judge Dredd that Deadline told you about last Cannes. Pete Travis is directing an Alex Garland script and Karl Urban plays Judge Dredd. The third film in the deal is Protection, a Simon West-directed action thriller that stars Dwayne Johnson. IM Global has been stepping it up since selling a majority stake to Reliance Big, and hiring former CAA independent sales agent Brian Kavanaugh Jones to launch Automatik, IM Global’s production joint venture with Alliance Pictures.