Honing alternative business model
With fewer distribs acquiring festival product, domestic booking expert Mark Borde and international sales vet Susan Jackson joined forces in 2004 to create Freestyle Releasing.
Unlike the average service distrib, Freestyle has DVD and international distribution deals with Fox and Odd Lot Entertainment that their clients can tap. If a filmmaker runs short on P&A, Freestyle can work with them to secure ad funds.
Company has demonstrated finesse in luring the under-21 male crowd to such genre fare as Uwe Boll’s fantasy pic “In the Name of the King” ($4.8 million) and Korean monster import “Dragon Wars” ($11 million). Impressed with the duo’s talents, Yari Film Group formed a joint venture with Freestyle to book a bulk of its slate.
And while Freestyle may collect a fee to release films, that’s not to say that the company takes just any indie pic under its wing.
Says Borde, “We have to deliver quality films to our exhibitors in order to compete with the studios.”
B.O.: $19 million
TOP PIC: “Dragon Wars,” $11 million
TOPPERS: Mark Borde and Susan Jackson, co-prexies
“The Haunting of Molly Hartley” (Oct. 31)
“Nobel Son” (4th quarter)
“Delgo” (Dec. 12)