Company aiming to boost production
Aiming to increase production, FilmNation Entertainment has obtained $50 million in additional capital via an equity-backed revolving credit facility with Bank Of America Merrill Lynch and Union Bank.
The announcement comes a week ahead of the opening of Cannes, where FilmNation is premiering a trio of titles — Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska” in competition, Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring” opening Un Certain Regard and J.C. Chandor’s “All Is Lost” (pictured) screening out of competition.
The five-year-old sales-financing-production company said the additional funds are in line with its long-term growth strategy. It noted that it recently acquired the majority of worldwide rights to David Michod’s “The Rover,” starring Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson, and is co-financing Nic Mathieu’s “Story of Your Life” with Lava Bear Films.
FilmNation pointed out in the announcement that the funds come at a time when major studios are devoting increasing resources to tentpole fare, giving it the ability to fill the void in the marketplace for mid-size budgeted films.
“As FilmNation evolves, we are committing a significant amount of our resources to content investment, and Bank of America and Union Bank’s support allows us to do that in an even greater way,” said FilmNation CEO Glen Basner. “This facility will further enable FilmNation to help filmmakers move their films from script to screen.”
At Cannes last year, FilmNation had two competition players — John Hillcoat’s Prohibition-era drama “Lawless” and Jeff Nichols’ “Mud,” which marked the company’s first foray into production. It also came onboard last year to Terrence Malick’s “To the Wonder,” which world-premiered in competition at Venice, and Rian Johnson’s Looper, which opened Toronto.
In the announcement Tuesday, FilmNation credited longstanding relationship with Bank of America’s Brian Stearns, Daniel Timmons and Sharad Bhatt as well as Union Bank’s Bryan LaCour, Anthony Beaudoin and Jason Feuerstein.
The revolving facility was negotiated by FilmNation’s Milan Popelka and Alison Cohen. The deal is planned to close within the next 30 days.
Besides “The Rover,” FilmNation’s sales slate includes: Jonathan Glazer’s “Under the Skin” with Scarlett Johansson; Terrence Malick’s “Knight of Cups” and an untitled project; Anton Corbijn’s “A Most Wanted Man.” starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Rachel McAdams; “Genius,” starring Colin Firth and Michael Fassbender; and the untitled Marc Lawrence romantic comedy starring Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei.
Aaron Ryder heads up FilmNation’s production arm.