Sony Pictures, not to be outdone by this year’s flurry of slate financing deals by rival studios, is zeroing in on a pact with Blue Anchor Entertainment for as much as $350 million with potential for even more credit, an individual familiar with the talks told TheWrap.
The studio is the last among the majors — all of whom but Disney have been eager to share risk — to shore up its slate-financing arrangements for the coming years.
Blue Anchor is a Beverly Hills-based partnership led by John LaViolette, a partner at the Bloom Hergott lawfirm, and producer Joseph M. Singer (“Dr. Doolittle” and “Dante’s Peak,” among others). Sony was anxious to replenish its $500 million capital deal with Relativity Media, which expired in 2011 – and the pressure was definitely on in the wake of similar arrangements that closed in recent months at studios across town.
>>> In January, 20th Century Fox sealed its $400 million, five-year deal to replace its deal with Dune Capital Management. Most of the money will be supplied by Chicago-based Magnetar Capital and will be used in large part to fund the next two “Avatar” films.
>>> In July, Paramount and backer David Ellison, through his Skydance banner, in July extended their deal — first forged in 2010 — through 2018. The extension added as much as $250 million to the original $350 million pact.
>>> Also in July, Universal Pictures and Legendary Entertainment announced their own five-year financing partnership, ending Legendary’s eight-year association with Warner Bros.
>>> Late last month, Warner Bros. announced its replacement for Legendary: Dune and RatPac Entertainment, which will co-finance up to 75 movies with WB over the next few years – a deal valued at around $450 million.
Disney is content to finance its own film slate — as it always has been.