Village Roadshow Pictures cosies up to Sony
The Hollywood film funding arm of Village Roadshow is negotiating a co-funding deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The deal will run alongside Village Roadshow Pictures’ long-standing arrangement to co-finance films with Warner Bros.
The Sony alliance will involve VRP taking a stake of 25%-50% in an unspecified number of films, according to Variety which broke the story.
The first four films covered by the pact are Antoine Fuqua’s The Equalizer starring Denzel Washington, Chloe Grace Moretz and Melissa Leo; Will Gluck’s Annie remake featuring Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne and Cameron Diaz; Louis Leterrier’s spy comedy Grimsby starring Sacha Baron Cohen and Mark Strong; and Goosebumps, Rob Letterman’s adaptation of the R.L. Stine novel, with Jack Black and Amy Ryan.
The Equalizer, Annie and Grimsby are listed on Roadshow Films' latest release schedule.
It is not surprising that VRP looked for an additional partner in Hollywood after James Packer and Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment together with Dune Entertainment made a commitment to invest up to $US450 million in WB’s entire production slate.
That deal started with Gravity and included The LEGO Movie. In March The Hollywood Reporter reported that RatPac will co-finance the sequel to The LEGO Movie after WB decided not to offer VRP a stake.
The VRP/WB relationship seems as strong as ever, unaffected by the Sony deal. VRP is co-producing 12 films with WB including Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper starring Bradley Cooper; Edge of Tomorrow with Tom Cruise; the Wachowski siblings’ Jupiter Ascending; David Dobkin's The Judge starring Robert Downey Jr.; Ron Howard’s historical adventure Heart of the Sea with Chris Hemsworth; George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road; Knights, Guy Ritchie’s reboot of the King Arthur legend; David Yates' live-action Tarzan with a cast headed by Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz and Samuel L Jackson; and Brad Peyton's San Andreas, an action thriller starring Dwayne Johnson which is shooting in Queensland.
According to Variety, a key part of the Sony deal is that the studio will retain most territories internationally, with a few including Australia handled by Village Roadshow.
In 2012 Village Roadshow extended its relationship with WB through 2017, which included $1.125 billion in debt equity to fund multiple projects.