Partners with equity investors, third-party producers, studios

Endgame Entertainment is launching an ambitious marketing venture dubbed Endgame Releasing to partner with equity investors, third-party producers and studios to provide P&A funding for wide-release films.

Endgame made the announcement Thursday during the second day of the American Film Market.

Endgame’s production of Rian Johnson’s sci-fier “Looper,” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt will take advantage of Endgame Releasing by co-financing marketing costs with FilmDistrict for its release next year through Sony’s Tri-Star Pictures. Endgame president Douglas Hansen told Variety he expects more titles will be announced by the end of the year.

Hansen said Endgame, which has its own equity financing, began exploring starting the fund two years ago as studios began tightening costs and focusing largely on tentpoles and franchises. Key component of the fund is that it offers a variety of financing options, he added.

Endgame said the marketing and distribution funding (also known as prints & advertising) will be for $20-plus million for films released on a minimum of 1,800 screens. Endgame said it expects to finance the release of four to six films per year totaling $400 million to $500 million in P&A investments over the next four years.

Endgame disclosed that it’s invested the equity portion of the $150 million revolving financing facility with London-based Octopus Investments providing the mezzanine debt and a consortium of banks lead by Comerica and Union Bank providing a revolving senior debt facility.

The company touted Endgame Releasing, which is aimed at pics released by major studios and major independent distributors, as providing films and film makers with the benefits of studio-level marketing and distribution support along with giving producers greater financial control and participation in marketing process.

“The non-exclusive, multi-picture model will allow for a diverse portfolio of projects and an opportunistic approach to investments, matching each film with the right distributor and release date,” it said.

It also said that Endgame can help to complete a financing package which would provide an effective green-light for projects in pre-production while also providing P&A for completed films of independent financiers as well as for studios.

“With studios reducing the size of their slates and seeking P&A funding for a variety of reasons, we feel there is no better time to offer an alternative funding source for domestic marketing costs,” Hansen said in a statememt. “We believe that Endgame Releasing is a unique, financially viable model that will benefit producers, investors, filmmakers and studios alike.”

Endgame, which has been operating since 2003 under the leadership of CEO James D. Stern and Hansen, has been involved with producing and financing two dozen titles including “An Education,” “Every Little Step,” “The Brothers Bloom,” “I’m Not There,” “Hotel Rwanda,” “Lord of War,” “White Noise” and “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.”

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