Produced by Teddy Schwarzman’s Black Bear Pictures and Bristol Automotive, “The Imitation Game” has already grossed $250 million-plus worldwide, snagging eight Academy Award nominations and winning Graham Moore a best adapted screenplay Oscar.
Negotiated by Nate Bolotin and Aram Tertzakian of XYZ Films, Teddy Schwarzman of Black Bear Pictures, and Rob Carney of. FilmNation Entertainment, “The Imitation Game’s” international sales agent, deal is instructive in many ways.
It was brokered and signed at Los Cabos Festival, a festival which attracts a sufficient critical mass of high-caliber Hollywood execs – and puts many of them in the same hotel – to encourage dealing not only with Mexico – of which there was a considerable amount whose results look set to become clearer in upcoming months – but also between U.S. delegation itself.
The Abbolita deal links Schwarzman and FilmNation to Abbolita which announced at May’s Cannes Festival a distribution partnership with XYZ Films which will see it acquiring and distributing across a roster of territories including not only Vietnam but also Turkey, Portugal, Greece, Israel, South Africa, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand, India and the Philippines. Abbolita announced at Toronto it had picked up multiple territories on Jeremy Saulnier’s “Green Room,” “Brain on Fire,” “71” and “Pilgrimage.”
Abbolita deal allows XYZ Films, whose tentacles expand into financing, sales and an ever-heavier involvement in local production – as on New Zealand’s Oscar submission “The Dead Lands” – to also control its destiny in territories by having distribution outlets there.
Vietnam may not seem the most obvious country to acquisitions. The entry of IMAX in 2015 may help to fire up exhibition, however.
Run by Schwarzman, Black Bear is a boutique media company capable of producing films which figure among the select group of titles which sell out most of the world in one or a couple of major markets. “The Imitation Game2” was one, “Gold,” starring Matthew McConaughey, another top draw, at this year’s Berlin European Film Market.