Annapurna and MGM Expand Theatrical Distribution Venture By Launching United Artists Releasing

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Annapurna and MGM announced on Tuesday that they are expanding their existing theatrical distribution joint venture, branding the collaboration as United Artists Releasing.

The expansion of the Annapurna and MGM’s collaboration, which began in December 2017, marks the return of the United Artists banner. United Artists opened its doors for the first time 100 years ago on Feb. 5 and went on to become one of the most iconic movie studios in history.

“I could not be more excited to have the opportunity to expand this releasing venture under the iconic banner that is United Artists. Annapurna was founded with a very similar intent as the original [United Artists] in 1919 – to provide a home for artists and their creations in hopes of moving our culture forward,” said Annapurna founder and CEO Megan Ellison in a statement. “With the major corporations continuing to consolidate, I believe it is important to have an independent option to provide a sanctuary where we can bring forth transparency, dedication, and fair treatment for all the films we have and will continue to love and service. Our team is comprised of not only the most talented executives in the business but also true lovers of film and to take on this initiative with MGM is as exciting as it is promising.”

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In the last 12 months, the joint venture has distributed eight films from MGM and Annapurna, including “Creed II,” which has grossed $202.5 million at the box office worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo, and was the highest grossing live-action Thanksgiving opener ever. The two companies have also distributed the Academy Award-nominated “Vice” ($53.5 million) and “If Beale Street Could Talk” ($13.3 million).

The newly-created United Artists Releasing will be bolstered by the addition of the distribution team from Orion Pictures, which MGM relaunched in 2017. The addition of Orion Pictures will enable the distribution teams to navigate under one umbrella to enhance film strategies across tent pole features, lower-budgeted genre films, and auteur-driven awards fare.

After the release of “The Prodigy” this April, Orion Pictures’ theatrical releases will also distribute through United Artists Releasing. Orion Pictures’ marketing and creative teams will remain intact under John Hegeman at MGM.

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In 2020, the 25th installment of the long-running James Bond franchise, produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, will also be distributed in the U.S. by United Artists Releasing.

United Artists Releasing intends to work with MGM, Annapurna and with third-party filmmakers – offering an alternative distribution option outside the studio system, the companies said.

“We are excited to evolve our partnership and are honored to carry out projects under United Artists’ remarkable legacy established over the last 100 years,” said Jonathan Glickman, MGM’s president of the Worldwide Motion Picture Group, in a statement. “Most notably, we are thrilled to welcome the Bond franchise home to United Artists, with the release of Bond 25 next year. The United Artists brand is a natural fit, as our joint venture was founded around the same principle as its namesake: to help filmmakers maintain financial and artistic control over the marketing and distribution of their diverse slate of films. The venture’s forward-thinking strategic marketing and distribution team will continue to pursue that mission as we expand the partnership.”

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The joint venture will be overseen by a board of directors consisting of equal representation from MGM and Annapurna. David Kaminow, president of marketing and Erik Lomis, president of distribution, and newly-appointed United Artists Releasing COO Pam Kunath, who previously held roles at Sony and Screen Gems, will manage the joint venture.

Senior members of Annapurna’s theatrical releasing team will also join United Artists Releasing, including publicity president, Adriene Bowles, president of creative advertising, Michael Pavlic, and executive vice president and head of media, Anne Yoo. Kevin Wilson, who heads the team at Orion Pictures, will assume the role of general sales manager of United Artists Releasing, reporting to Lomis.

United Artists Releasing will expand into a new office space centrally located between both MGM and Annapurna in the heart of West Hollywood. United Artists Releasing staff located in New York will continue to work out of Annapurna’s Manhattan offices, located in SoHo.

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United Artists Releasing has a diverse slate of films on deck for 2019, including “Fighting with My Family,” directed by Stephen Merchant and starring Dwayne Johnson, Richard Linklater’s “Where’d You Go Bernadette,” the stop motion animated feature film LAIKA’s “Missing Link,” “Child’s Play,” a contemporary version of the iconic horror classic, “The Hustle,” starring Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway, “Booksmart” directed by Olivia Wilde and the animated feature “The Addams Family,” featuring a voice cast that includes Oscar Isaac and Charlize Theron and directed by Conrad Vernon.

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Barbara Broccoli And ‘Wonder Woman’ Casting Director Lucinda Syson To Receive CSA’s First UK Artios Awards

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Bond producer Barbara Broccoli and Wonder Woman and Blade Runner 2049 casting director Lucina Syson are to receive Casting Society of America (CSA) Artios Awards at an event in London co-hosted by The British Independent Film Awards (BIFA).
The Artios …

MGM’s Third-Quarter Profit Far Below Last Year’s Mark

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MGM Holdings on Thursday reported revenue for the third quarter that was improved compared with the same period a year ago, but the company’s net income fell far short of last year’s mark.

In a filling on its investor relations website, MGM, which is a privately held company, said that revenue for the quarter ending Sept. 30 hit $380.2 million, up from $267.7 million during the same quarter last year.

The company’s net income, however, was $25.3 million, which was a decline compared with the $114.2 million in profits the company reported last year.

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MGM did not offer any details or explanation behind its earnings in its filing on Thursday. During the company’s third-quarter conference call with executives, however, which was previously recorded and posted later on Thursday, MGM Chief Financial Officer Kenneth Kay said that the quarter’s results reflect “the investments we are making in long-term growth and value creation.”

He went on to say that the company’s net income reflected “A $56 million income tax benefit, which consisted of non-recurring benefits related to certain income exclusions and incremental deductions for prior years.”

MGM’s revenue, according to Chief Operating Officer Chris Brearton, was driven, primarily, by the monetization of an increasing volume of “unique and differentiating” TV content.

MGM reported that TV licensing revenue for filmed content was $110.2 million for the three-month period, an increase of $23.3 million compared to $86.9 million a year ago. And home entertainment revenue was $21.8 million, an increase of $4.9 million compared to $16.9 million during the same three-month period a year ago. Worldwide theatrical revenue for film content was $5.3 million, an increase of $2.4 million compared with $2.9 million a year ago.

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“With regard to our film business, we couldn’t be more excited about the creative direction of the next installment of our treasured evergreen franchise Bond 25… We look forward to commencing production in early 2019,” Brearton said during the conference call. “As for recently released films, the theatrical box office for ‘Operation Finale’ and ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web,’ which we co-financed with Sony under performed our expectations.”

MGM’s “Operation Finale” has earned $17.6 million at the box office since opening Aug. 29. The film had a $24 million production budget, according to Box Office Mojo. And “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” opened to $7.8 million last week and had a $43 million production budget, according to Box Office Mojo.

Later this month, MGM’s Orion Pictures will debut a holiday zombie musical “Anna and the Apocalypse” as the banner’s first acquisition since relaunching.

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In the film, a zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven at Christmas, and Anna and her high school friends must fight, sing and slash their way to survival.

“Anna and the Apocalypse” stars Ella Hunt, Mark Benton and Paul Kaye, along with a group of new talent: Malcom Cumming, Ben Wiggins, Sarah Swire, Christopher Leveaux and Marli Su.

The zombie musical premiered at the Fantastic Fest earlier this year, where it was met with critical acclaim. It also screened at Sitges Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Midnight X-Treme Feature Length Film.

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Chris Evans Blasts Piers Morgan for Dad-Shaming ‘Emasculated’ Daniel Craig Over Carrying His Baby

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

How’s this for a crossover: Captain America just defended James Bond.

Piers Morgan took umbrage with Daniel Craig’s parenting skills, tweeting a photo of Craig carrying his daughter, Ella, on his chest in a baby carrier, writing “Oh 007.. not you as well?!!! #papoose #emasculatedBond.” Then Chris Evans, much like the star-spangled hero he’s portrayed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, stepped in and defended Craig.

“You really have to be so uncertain of your own masculinity to concern yourself with how another man carries his child,” Evans tweeted. “Any man who wastes time quantifying masculinity is terrified on the inside.”

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Morgan then fired back: “Captain America wouldn’t wear a papoose.” (For those unaware, Papoose is a British term for baby carrier).

Wearing a papoose doesn’t mean you ‘care’ more about your kids..

— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 15, 2018

You really have to be so uncertain of your own masculinity to concern yourself with how another man carries his child. Any man who wastes time quantifying masculinity is terrified on the inside.

— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) October 16, 2018

Captain America wouldn’t wear a papoose.

— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 16, 2018

It appears Morgan’s issue with the papoose is that the men aren’t actually physically holding the baby, the straps are. Big difference, per Morgan.

Why couldn’t he use his arms, like every other generation of dads?

— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 16, 2018

Yes Henry, once again you are. There’s nothing wrong in carrying or caring for your child. I did it with all four of mine. My ire is directed solely at the papoose.

— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 16, 2018

Carrying a baby is harder work, but worth it for the unashamedly masculine joy of NOT wearing a papoose.

— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 15, 2018

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