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Open Road Films, Marc Butan’s MadRiver Pictures Sign Production Deal

The non-exclusive alliance calls for Open Road to have a first-look on U.S. rights to MadRiver titles

Open Road Films and Marc Butan‘s MadRiver Pictures have signed a non-exclusive production alliance for all of Open Road’s own productions over the coming years, it was announced Monday by Butan and Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg.

Working in conjunction with Open Road’s team, Butan and MadRiver will help source and oversee production of Open Road’s in-house productions. Between two and four films a year are expected to be produced under the deal, with each film getting a wide domestic release via Open Road.

Separately, Open Road will have a first-look on acquiring the U.S. distribution rights to MadRiver films.

The foreign sales on MadRiver productions will be handled by MadRiver’s new international sales arm run by Kimberly Fox. Foreign sales on Open Road’s in-house productions will continue to be handled by Open Road International and partner FilmNation.

“We have a long-standing relationship with Marc Butan and great respect for his depth of expertise in film production,” Ortenberg said. “Having MadRiver Pictures as our partner is a feather in our cap and we are thrilled to be working with them.”

“We at MadRiver couldn’t be happier to be working with Tom, Elliott and the whole team at Open Road. In today’s independent marketplace, having a formal, ongoing relationship with a U.S. distributor of Open Road’s caliber is a huge win for us and the filmmakers we work with,” Butan added.

The deal was negotiated by Open Road’s Ortenberg and COO Elliott Kleinberg on behalf of Open Road, and by Butan on behalf of MadRiver.

MadRiver Pictures finances and produces from three to four director- and star-driven films per year in the $15-50 million budget range for global wide release. The company recently expanded its operations by launching an international sales arm, which saw Butan add Fox as a partner in the company. The international arm will handle sales and distribution on all MadRiver films, third-party projects and films from Vendian Entertainment, which has made a strategic investment in MadRiver and will provide equity financing to the company’s productions.

MadRiver’s upcoming slate includes John Hillocat’s star-studded crime film “Triple 9,” which Open Road releases on Feb. 26, as well as James Gray‘s “The Lost City of Z” starring Charlie Hunnam. The company is also in pre-production on Peter Landesman‘s “Felt” starring Liam Neeson.

Besides “Triple 9,” Open Road’s upcoming releases include Garry Marshall‘s “Mother’s Day” on April 29, Oliver Stone‘s “Snowden” on Sept. 16, the Miles Teller boxing movie “Bleed for This” and the Jamie Foxx thriller “Sleepless Night,” among other titles.