Killer Films, the indie film stalwart of Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler, has sold a 50% equity stake to New York-based venture capital fund GC Corp.
Principals say the cash injection will lead to a dramatic change in the kinds of projects the company does while keeping the Killer brand intact. Vachon and Koffler’s shingle has been responsible for such indie darlings as “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Far From Heaven” and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”
GC’s Joseph Grinkorn and Adi Cohen will join Killer’s board, along with former ThinkFilm senior veep Randy Manis, who has been tapped as the shingle’s CEO.
Vachon confirmed that they are looking at much bigger canvases for future projects.”The average Killer movie has been anywhere between $6 million to $15 million,” Cohen said. “We’ll seek to increase those budgets to $40 million to $50 million.”
Cohen wouldn’t comment on the buyout’s amount, only describing it as “significant.” He said GC is capitalized north of $100 million. His partner Grinkorn is a real estate and mortgage banking investor.
“Killer will be the platform through which GC Corporation does all our movie business,” said Joseph Grinkorn. “Studio work is definitely the goal, but Killer will also not stop doing smaller indie movies.”
“In these times, this is a gift,” Koffler said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to turn a corner.”
The announcement comes weeks after Killer inked a deal with GC to co-produce “William the Conqueror” (Daily Variety, Oct. 27), a big-budget, period actioner that is out to directors. Cohen said GC has committed coin for half of “William’s” budget.
Cohen said he and Grinkorn are committed to a five-year business plan with Killer. “We want Killer to compete,” he said.
“Killer is an undervalued asset,” Manis said. “We’re repositioning it by bringing in a proper infrastructure and development funds to move to the next level. It’ll take us some time to ramp up, but nothing will be too big for Killer.”
Manis helped orchestrate the deal with CAA. His history with Vachon and Koffler goes back to Killer’s deal with ThinkFilm, where Manis was a senior veep.
“The deal with ThinkFilm had its ups and downs,” said Vachon, “but one of the best things was a meeting of the minds with Randy.”
TV producer John Wells will remain involved at Killer as an exec producer on future projects.