Billionaire hi-tech entrepreneur Roger Marino is the latest rich guy to be lured by Hollywood.
Marino is teaming with director-producer Michael Corrente to launch Revere Pictures. He’ll personally bankroll the venture — producing three to five films per year, with budgets between $5 million and $20 million.
While many film financiers lose their shirts or bail out, the myth and glamour of Hollywood has seduced a new wave of entrepreneurs, including FedEx founder Fred Smith, who has put his money into production company Alcon; former Money Store owner Mark Turtletaub, who committed $25 million to develop projects with Deep River partner David Friendly; and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
Marino, who launched high-tech venture EMC Corp. with Dick Egan and owns two pro hockey teams, says he knows risk when he sees it.
“When the Boston Globe wrote an article about all the money I’d lost (on the Pittsburgh Penguins and the AHL’s Worcester Ice Cats), I said I was thinking of getting in the film industry, because I’d heard you could lose a lot of money there, too. I was half-kidding, but immediately I got sent 17 scripts, and I decided to finance one of them.”
Marino put up the entire $5 million budget on 2000’s “Ciao, America,” a film by Frank and Joe Ciota. The duo then put him together with Corrente (“Outside Providence”).
“Roger and I both come from blue-collar neighborhoods … we both love movies, and have a responsible plan,” says Corrente.