Roth shingle living in limbo land
Over the next two years, Revolution will release 13 pics — all of which are either completed or in various stages of production — via its distribution deal with Sony.But the future of Revolution beyond that is up in the air; the company has ceased developing films as it tries to figure out its future. Joe Roth founded the company in 2000, and his future production arrangement at Sony is currently being hammered out by Roth and Sony Pictures heads Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton. The decision to stop production was made in light of the fact that Revolution’s production and distribution pact with Sony ends at the end of this year and that by the end of 2007, Revolution will have released what will be the last film under its term agreement with financial partners Sony, Starz Encore Group and Fox Entertainment. According to that six-year deal, Revolution had to make at least 39 pics to be completed or started by December 2006 and released by the end of 2007. All told, Revolution will have made 47 pics. Remaining on the Revolution schedule are “Freedomland,” starring Julianne Moore and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Roth; “Benchwarmers,” starring Rob Schneider and Jon Heder; “Click,” with Adam Sandler; “Zoom,” starring Tim Allen and Courteney Cox; the Wayans brothers’ “Little Man”; the untitled Julie Taymor musical; “Rocky Balboa”; “No Place Like Home”; the horror pic “Wind Chill”; “Brothers Solomon,” starring Will Forte; “Next,” starring Nicolas Cage; and “Perfect Strangers,” with Bruce Willis and Halle Berry. The last film of the batch is expected to be announced next week. Observers speculate that Roth will have a slimmed down and less autonomous role at Sony in the future. Revolution has already undergone some shrinkage. Earlier this year, Revolution partners Todd Garner and Rob Moore exited the company. Garner is now an independent producer, and Moore is running marketing and distribution at Paramount. Under Sony’s contract with Revolution, Sony pays for almost half of the production cost on Revolution pics — which are greenlit by Roth — and all of marketing and distribution. In return, Sony receives a 12.5% distrib fee. That agreement worked well for Sony on early Revolution hits, such as “Maid in Manhattan,” “Black Hawk Down” and “XXX,” but as the shingle’s slate has become more uneven, with misfires such as last summer’s “XXX: State of the Union,” as well as “Gigli” and “Hollywood Homicide,” Sony has had to swallow costs. That tension was aggravated last year as Sony Pictures itself underperformed at the box office.