Del Prete exits top post from film unit

Odd Lot Entertainment comes to Cannes with a major change at the top. Longtime Odd Lot Entertainment topper Deborah Del Prete has resigned her post after 23 years.

Del Prete has launched Coronet Films, which will have a multiyear first-look deal with Odd Lot. Gigi Pritzker remains as Odd Lot’s CEO, steering the finance and production company with chief operating officer Bill Lischak and exec veep of production and development Linda McDonough. Brian O’Shea runs Odd Lot Intl.

Odd Lot is at Cannes selling the John Cameron Mitchell-directed “Rabbit Hole” with Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart, and is holding market screenings for the Jeff Bridges-Justin Timberlake drama “The Open Road.” Odd Lot is also developing a Dean Parisot-directed remake of “The Lavender Hill Mob.”

Sources said that the proximity of Del Prete’s exit to the underperformance of the Frank Miller-directed “The Spirit” was not coincidental, but Pritzker denied it was the sole reason. Odd Lot co-financed that film, and estimates are that Pritzker lost tens of millions of dollars. She and Del Prete also moved off an early plan to re-team with Miller on a new version of “Buck Rogers.”

While that kind of exposure is the downside of the current emergence of high net-worth individuals as film financiers, Pritzker denied her exposure was anywhere near that or that the episode dampened her resolve or her enthusiasm for finding another film with Miller.

“Frank was a fantastic partner, and while everybody was disappointed the film didn’t perform better, it wasn’t the end of the world,” Pritzker said. “You always try to mitigate risk, but this is a very mercurial business and you take a swing and sometimes you don’t hit it. At the end of the day, we’ll be OK. Certainly, when things don’t go as planned, it presents an opportunity for people to step back and think about where you are going. Deborah and I have been together for 23 years, and we’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy many triumphs, but we had the desire to go in different directions. We are friends as well as partners and we will continue to do projects together.”

During their tenure, Odd Lot produced such films as “The Wedding Planner” and “Green Street Hooligans,” bought and operated the Coronet Theater in L.A. and produced plays that include “Million Dollar Quartet.”

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