Paramount has extended its deal with David Ellison's Skydance Productions, ensuring that the financier and producer of "Star Trek Into Darkness" and ‘World War Z" will continue to support the studio’s films until 2018. It will make three to four films a year, supplying $200 to $250 million in financing in total.
The studio first signed a deal with Skydance in 2010 after Ellison, the son of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, raised $350 million to co-finance films.
The first film produced under the partnership was the Coen Brothers' "True Grit," and Skydance has since become the studio’s most significant financing partner. It financed and produced four of the studio’s biggest films this year – "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," "Star Trek Into Darkness," "World War Z" and "Jack Ryan."
The first three of those have grossed $1.24 billion thus far at the box office while "Jack Ryan" opens Christmas Day.
Other studios pursued Skydance as a potential partner, but the company decided to stick with Paramount. The majority of major Hollywood studios, including Warner Bros., Fox and Universal, have at least one co-financier and producer.
"Over the past three years Brad Grey, Rob Moore, and Adam Goodman have generously integrated Skydance into their amazing Paramount team," Ellison said in a statement. "Extending our relationship with Paramount is the ideal creative fit to expand our business and produce elevated event entertainment for a worldwide audience."
As with the relationship between Warner Bros. and its former partner Legendary, Skydance can choose which films it wants to help finance and produce. In turn, Paramount has the option of financing and distribution any of Skydance’s movies before any other studio can get involved.
"Our partnership with David and Skydance has been tremendously successful," Paramount Chairman and CEO Brad Grey said in a statement. "We are very pleased to extend our relationship and look forward to many more successful years ahead."
The next announced film on Skydance’s plate is a reboot of "The Terminator," which the company is co-financing and co-producing with Paramount and Annapurna Pictures, the production company of Ellison’s sister Megan.