Universal Pictures' production deal with Imagine Entertainment is about to run even longer. The longest-standing production pact in Universal's 100-year history has been extended through 2016, it was announced Tuesday.
The new deal replaces the current agreement, which was due to expire next year. However, it is a first-look deal -- not an exclusive arrangement, as per the previous agreement.
Imagine was founded by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer in 1986. Through its partnership with Universal, the production company and studio have produced roughly 50 films, including the Oscar-winners "A Beautiful Mind" and 1995's "Apollo 13." In 2011, they collaborated for "The Dilemma," "Cowboys & Aliens" and "Tower Heist."
Projects in the works include "364"; the sci-fi film "Amnesty"; a remake of the 1970 Universal movie "Colossus"; the adult comedy "Sick Day"; the thriller "The Parsifal Mosaic"; and the drama "Lowriders."
Imagine's feature-film division has been involved with more than 60 productions, although some of them have been distributed by Touchstone, 20th Century Fox, Paramount and other companies. Imagine’s library has grossed more than $13 billion.
Karen Kehela Sherwood serves as Imagine's co-chair, along with Grazer and Howard. Kim Roth is the president of production, and Michael Rosenberg is the president of the company's entertainment division.
Imagine employees were informed of the renewed deal on Tuesday afternoon, TheWrap has learned.
“The studio has been our home for decades. We are proud of our history with Universal and really look forward to making successful and memorable movies with our long time partners,” Grazer and Howard said in a statement.
“Ron and Brian have not only been our dear friends over the many years we’ve been at Universal, they’ve also been great partners,” Universal Chairman Adam Fogelson and Co-Chairman Donna Langley said in a joint statement. “Together, our companies have enjoyed making some of the most popular titles of the past two decades. This pact will allow us to continue to foster this invaluable relationship and build upon our shared history of success.”