Sony Closing $350M in New Slate Financing, Rounds Out Majors’ Risk-Sharing Deals

Slate deal with Blue Anchor comes in the wake of several similar pacts

Sony Pictures, not to be outdone by this year’s flurry of slate financing deals by rival studios, is zeroing in on a pact with Blue Anchor Entertainment for as much as $350 million with potential for even more credit, an individual familiar with the talks told TheWrap.

The studio is the last among the majors — all of whom but Disney have been eager to share risk — to shore up its slate-financing arrangements for the coming years.

Blue Anchor is a Beverly Hills-based partnership led by John LaViolette, a partner at the Bloom Hergott lawfirm, and producer Joseph M. Singer (“Dr. Doolittle” and “Dante’s Peak,” among others). Sony was anxious to replenish its $500 million capital deal with Relativity Media, which expired in 2011 – and the pressure was definitely on in the wake of similar arrangements that closed in recent months at studios across town.

They include:

>>> In January, 20th Century Fox sealed its $400 million, five-year deal to replace its deal with Dune Capital Management. Most of the money will be supplied by Chicago-based Magnetar Capital and will be used in large part to fund the next two “Avatar” films.

>>> In July, Paramount and backer David Ellison, through his Skydance banner, in July extended their deal — first forged in 2010 — through 2018. The extension added as much as $250 million to the original $350 million pact.

>>> Also in July, Universal Pictures and Legendary Entertainment announced their own five-year financing partnership, ending Legendary’s eight-year association with Warner Bros.

>>> Late last month, Warner Bros. announced its replacement for Legendary: Dune and RatPac Entertainment, which will co-finance up to 75 movies with WB over the next few years – a deal valued at around $450 million.

Disney is content to finance its own film slate — as it always has been.