Hollywood Marketing Go-To Cimarron Group Shuts Down Amid Financial Ruin

Studios had used the marketing and strategy company for hundreds of films

Cimarron Group, whose 33-year history of handling movie marketing and strategy has touched hundreds of Hollywood’s biggest studio films, is closing its doors after an 11th-hour attempt at financial restructuring, the company announced Monday.

"It is with much regret that I announce the closing of Cimarron Group," CEO Bob Farina said in a statement. "I want to thank the incredible executive team and staff that has served this agency with their creativity and dedication. Over the past thirty-three years, our clients have meant everything to us and we appreciate all of them beyond measure."

The company failed to pay employees last week and laid off a number of employees Monday – but it wasn’t enough to keep the lights on at Cimarron’s cavernous office building on Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. (The company also has offices in Singapore and Italy, but closed its Beijing office in April after less than a year in operation).

Also read: Hollywood Studios' Message to Executives: Embrace Digital or Die 

Cimarron was one of Hollywood’s go-to shops for outsourcing trailers, TV spots, posters, social-media campaigns and just about everything else involved with theatrical marketing. Though the company's website lists a modest collection of recent campaigns — they boast worldwide theatrical for DreamWorks Animation's "The Croods" and Blue Sky Studios' "Epic," for instance — it quietly did 360-degree campaigns and a la carte work on much larger projects through the years.  

And it was more than just billboards and trailer-cutting: Advancements in pre-production sentiment analytics had the shop regularly preparing materials that influenced greenlight decisions on major studio tentpoles in recent years.

The company’s financial collapse had been telegraphed for months: Cimarron was accused this summer of reneging on payments to performers repped by SAG-AFTRA, which ordered members to stop working with the company until they were paid; and Cimarron acknowledged its money woes last week when it began its restructuring attempt.

It wasn't enough — and now studios are inevitably looking for other places to wrap up theatrical marketing work that was in progress at Cimarron.