Ashok Amritraj is expanding his fiefdom by taking over National Geographic Films and what's left of a $100 million film fund with Abu Dhabi's Imagenation.
As TheWrap reported Wednesday, National Geographic Films is being shut down.
The money-losing studio has brought in a scant $1.7 million in revenue this year, with five films in release, including “The Last Lion,” “The First Grader” and “Life in a Day.”
The company is being folded into Amritaj's Hyde Park Entertainment, the companies announced Thursday. Hyde Park will be the managing partner, and the joint venture will develop feature films, documentaries and television series.
"We like Hyde Park's approach to the business, their growth and success in Asia, and the fact that Ashok and his team are already working closely with our partner, Image Nation," said Tim Kelly, president of National Geographic Society. "This partnership makes sense from all angles, and by folding our current feature film effort into this new venture, we will be able to pursue bigger, more ambitious projects and expand into growing markets like India and China."
Hyde Park’s chairman, Amritraj, said in a statement, “Hyde Park and National Geographic have enjoyed a close relationship with Image Nation over the years, and by aligning the two brands, we create a dynamic venture that will deliver high-quality entertainment to audiences around the world.”
Amritraj will serve as CEO of the new Nat Geo/IN/Hyde Park venture, with current National Geographic Feature Film President Daniel Battsek transitioning to a new role as a consultant. Hyde Park International will be the worldwide sales representative for the entity’s feature film slate.