FilmNation, Relativity near distribution pact

Deal expected to be finalized prior to Berlin fest

Relativity Media is in final negotiations with FilmNation Entertainment for an exclusive multi-year deal under which Glen Basner’s FilmNation will oversee foreign sales and distribution of Relativity titles.

Deal will cover Relativity titles produced inhouse, with FilmNation servicing Relativity’s existing output deals. The pact’s expected to be finalized prior to next month’s Berlin Film Festival, with details to be disclosed in coming weeks along with the films under the partnership.

The companies made the announcement Thursday, noting they are currently collaborating on the upcoming Relativity/Universal release of James Cameron’s “Sanctum,” with FilmNation handling international sales. “Sanctum,” which opens Feb. 4, follows a team of underwater cave divers on an expedition to the largest and least accessible cave system on Earth.

Relativity has moved to transform itself into a full-fledged studio. It expanded into distribution six months ago by taking over Overture’s distrib operation and announced last week that it had struck an exclusive long-term deal with Technicolor to provide a wide range of services for production and digital distribution on Relativity titles.

Relativity has “Season of the Witch” currently in release, and its lineup includes “Take Me Home Tonight” on March 4, “Limitless” on March 18 and the as-yet-untitled David R. Ellis 3D shark thriller on Sept. 2.

Basner founded FilmNation in 2008. It’s handling international sales on “The King’s Speech,” “Hungry Rabbit Jumps,” Pedro Almodovar’s “La piel que habito” (The Skin I Live In), “Looper,” “The Oranges,” “Midnight’s Children,” “Under the Skin” and Terrence Malick’s untitled love story starring Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem and Rachel McAdams.

FilmNation is the exclusive international sales agent for Media Rights Capital, Samuels Media Group and Greenestreet Films and has a nonexclusive multipicture deal with Endgame Entertainment.

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