Apollo launches 2nd fund for U.S. TV

Aims to raise $200 mil through next year

BERLIN — Private German film fund Apollo Media has launched its second fund this year, after the first quickly reached its E70 million ($93 million) target due to investor interest in its focus on U.S. TV projects.

ApolloProMovie 2, launched Monday, aims to raise $200 million through next year.

Apollo bankrolled TNT’s “The Librarian: Quest for the Spear,” which pulled impressive ratings Stateside and has sold well abroad, including to RTL in Germany and TF1 in France.

“Television production offers less risk to investors,” said Michael Moersch, a sales exec with Apollo parent Chorus. “The overhead costs for TV productions also are considerably lower, and while earnings may be somewhat lower, television production is more stable.”

Upcoming Apollo productions include ESPN’s sports drama “Four Minute Mile”; Greenestreet Films’ psychological thriller “Abraham’s Daughter”; and Southern Star’s “The Alice” — an Australian comedy set in Alice Springs that’s described as “Crocodile Dundee” meets “Cheers.”

Before focusing on TV, Apollo backed bigscreen projects including Kevin Reynolds’ “Tristan & Isolde,” Peter Hyams’ “A Sound of Thunder” and Niki Caro’s “Whale Rider.”

While investors are excited about the prospects for TV success, they appear to be growing weary of the more nebulous outlook for theatrical productions.

Earlier this month, Deutsche Capital Management shelved its new IMF 4 fund, saying doubt about the economic opportunities and tax benefits of film funds and general misgivings about the capital market had put off investors and fund distributors.

IMF focuses on theatrical productions, bankrolling “Alexander” and “The Aviator” as well as the upcoming “Basic Instinct 2.”

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