Todd Black and Jason Blumenthal’s Black and Blu Entertainment, which was formed after both execs departed Mandalay Entertainment in April, has set up a three-year, first-look non-exclusive production pact with Sony Pictures.
In a separate deal, the company is arranging outside financing with New York-based Ice Capital, which could provide as much as $20 million in equity financing for development and potentially more for production.
In addition to bringing projects to Sony to fully finance, Black and Blu also hopes to acquire material on its own.
“We’re ecstatic to have Todd and Jason be part of the Sony family,” said Amy Pascal, prexy of Columbia Pictures. “Todd has made some great movies as a producer, from ‘Family Plan’ to ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer.’ ”
Black said the team certainly will explore genre projects in the horror or thriller vein as well as character-based dramas and comic franchise pics. “We’re a very writer-driven production company,” Black said.
Black and Blumenthal were the principal team at Mandalay behind the teen horror hit “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and its upcoming sequel “I Still Know.”
Black was former president of production at Mandalay while Blumenthal was a senior VP of production. The pair also worked with other Mandalay execs on “Donnie Brasco,” “Seven Years in Tibet,” “Wild Things” and “Dance With Me,” the last of which Black had also been attached to as a producer with Randa Haines before he came to Mandalay.
The partnership between Black and Blumenthal is the culmination of more than a decade together. Blumenthal began working as an intern for Black in the production deal Black had with Joe Wizan more than 10 years ago.
He later followed Black to his production pact with Haines at 20th Century Fox and then to Mandalay three years ago.
“We’re good together,” said Blumenthal. “Todd always treated me as a partner. The day I walked in as an intern, I said to him that one day it was going to be Black and Blu. Now, it is.”
The deal with Ice Capital involves “securitization” of projects through the ownership of intellectual properties. On the development side, it will allow Black and Blu to purchase properties outright that could allow the production company greater participation.
However, Black made clear that the main objective for Black and Blu is to produce pics for Sony.
Black has a solid relationship with Sony prexy and chief operating officer John Calley dating back to when Calley was running United Artists. Black produced UA’s “A Family Thing,” starring Robert Duvall, James Earl Jones and Billy Bob Thornton.