Disney may now market and distribute any future Indiana Jones movies, thanks to an agreement with Paramount, both the studios said Friday.
Disney would not comment on whether or not Friday’s agreement clears the way for Indiana Jones sequels, however an insider said it is the first step before any such discussion could take place.
Prior to the new agreement, Paramount, which distributed all four films in the adventure franchise, had an option to distribute any future sequels, an individual with knowledge of the pact told TheWrap. It only earned a distribution fee for its pains, but that money would have come out of any profits Disney would garner.
Instead of receiving a distribution fee in possible future Indiana Jones films, Paramount would get an undisclosed percentage of the profits. Whereas with the 2008 rollout of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” Paramount received a distribution fee of 12.5 percent of theatrical, home entertainment, and television revenue, the individual said.
When it purchased LucasFilm in 2012 for roughly $4 billion, Disney claimed that it had no immediate plans to exploit the Indiana Jones franchise with additional films or television properties.
This is not the first time that Disney has worked out an agreement to buy back distribution rights to valuable film franchises it has acquired. After buying Marvel in 2009 for more than $4 billion, the company spent an additional $115 million to buy back distribution of Marvel properties like “The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3” from Paramount.