Relativity Film Slate Unravels as Partners Seek to Terminate Deals

Sony Pictures among studios moving to revoke distributor’s rights amid internal chaos

Relativity Media’s film slate has been thrown into turmoil as successive partners are demanding rights back to their movies, in fear of the studio’s failure to meet distribution requirements, two individuals familiar with the matter told TheWrap.

Ryan Kavanaugh’s mini-major is seeing “a number of studios” looking to terminate deals, one insider said, to ensure proper theatrical rollout. The films on the line include “The Bronze” and “Jane Got a Gun” — joint ventures with Sony Pictures Worldwide and The Weinstein Company, respectively.

The company is facing an imminent decision to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy if it cannot raise the money to fulfill a $320 million debt obligation by the end of the month, TheWrap reported on Monday, allowing an orderly reorganization of finances through the courts.

Sundance darling “The Bronze” was pushed from a limited release in July to late October, while “Jane Got A Gun” remains on the schedule for September but is mired in doubt thanks to the internal race to resolve debt and equity structure, on top of back-and-forth lawsuits from a hostile P&A lender.

Relativity declined to comment on the matter. Sony Pictures and The Weinstein Company did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment.

“Jane,” which stars Natalie Portman and was produced by her Handsomecharlie Films, also counts producers in the Boies/Schiller Film Group, headed by power attorney David Boies and his children Mary and Alexander.

Relativity has previously conceded to financial difficulties affecting the distribution of its films — specifically in the case of the Kristen Wiig comedy “Masterminds,” pushed from August to October.

“Relativity Studios has rescheduled the release of its next film ‘Masterminds’ to October 9, 2015, to allow the company to focus on its recapitalization and give this film the proper attention and support it deserves,” a spokesperson told TheWrap in early July.

The company also shuffled the Halle Berry thriller “Kidnap” to 2016. Reps for those films did not immediately return requests for comment.

In regards to a Chapter 11 filing,  an individual close to the company said “it is not in the company’s interest or our lender’s interest to file for bankruptcy,” though it would halt the need to pay current vendors.

That individual said the studio will need to resolve the current crisis by the end of July, and that new wrinkles change the company’s financial situation on a daily basis.