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MGM Teams With Annapurna for Joint Distribution Deal

Plan does not include release of the next James Bond movie

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Annapurna Pictures have formed a new joint venture for theatrical distribution in the U.S., the companies announced on Tuesday.

As part of the agreement, MGM and Annapurna have formed a releasing entity called Mirror that will handle third-party films as well as the two companies’ own productions and acquisitions.

The deal does not include distribution of MGM’s upcoming 25th installment in the James Bond franchise, whose distribution partner will be announced at a later date.

Franchise producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli are expected to have a big say in distribution plans for what’s expected to be the final film starring Daniel Craig as the British superspy.

Under the MGM-Annapurna deal, each studio will retain creative control over their individual feature projects, while Annapurna’s marketing and distribution team will oversee the campaigns for all MGM titles.

MGM expects to release six to eight films annually through Mirror, beginning with Eli Roth’s “Death Wish” remake starring Bruce Willis, which is due out March 2.

Other 2018 MGM releases include a musical version of “Valley Girl” (June 29); WWE star Paige’s biopic “Fighting With My Family” (Sept. 14); and “Creed 2” (Nov. 21), released in partnership with Warner Bros.

MGM’s will also continue to release several of its films through existing studio partners, including Alicia Vikander’s “Tomb Raider” reboot through Warner Bros. (March 16); the animated “Sherlock Gnomes” through Paramount (March 23); and a remake of “Overboard” through Pantelion Films (April 20).

For its part, Annapurna plans to release four to six films of its own next year including Richard Linklater’s “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” Barry Jenkins’ James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk” and Adam McKay’s untitled Dick Cheney biopic starring Christian Bale.

“This efficient distribution model enables us to retain more distribution rights to our feature film releases and create additional revenue opportunities for MGM,” MGM chairman and CEO Gary Barber said in a statement.

Megan Ellison, Annapurna’s founder and CEO, added her own statement: “MGM’s distinguished legacy and library of films has made them a pillar in the industry and I couldn’t be more proud and confident in our team’s ability to collaborate on the distribution of their upcoming slate.”