New York-based SBK Records Group has created a film division in conjunction with Universal Pictures and is expected to launch it with an action pic featuring rapper Vanilla Ice.
Charles Koppelman, a partner in the group, which includes SBK Records, SBK Management and SBK Record Prods., confirmed the formation of SBK Pictures, but said he could not confirm the Universal link. At presstime, Universal had not announced a deal.
Koppelman said other artists in the SBK fold may also be involved in film projects through the new division.
Vanilla Ice’s SBK Records debut, “To The Extreme,” has sold over 7 million copies since its September release. Vanilla Ice makes his film debut in a cameo role in the forthcoming “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” sequel.
Boosted by Wilson Phillips
Record arm of SBK numbers among its successes the 4 million-selling debut album by Wilson Phillips and the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” soundtrack.
SBK was formed in 1986 when principals Stephen Swid, Martin Bandier and Koppelman bought CBS Songs, the publishing arm of CBS Records, for $125 million. Thorn-EMI bought SBK Entertainment World from the shareholders in 1989 for $337 million, with the SBK record company created for Bandier and Koppelman as part of the deal.
Company had a previous stake in the film business with SBK Films, which was merged into Cinecom Entertainment Group after SBK acquired a minority stake in that firm.
Cinecom was recently acquired by Nelson Holdings Intl. of Toronto, which is chaired by Swid, who cashed out when SBK Publishing was sold.