Alchemy Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Protection

Troubled independent distributor Alchemy has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware.

The move had been expected since last week when reports emerged that the company was taking steps to liquidate its assets.

In its filing, the company said it has $50 million to $100 million in liabilities and $10 million to $50 million in assets. The petition also said Alchemy has between 200 and 999 creditors.

The company recently launched a series of cuts in its work force, leaving Alchemy with about 25 employees. It was the second series of staff reductions this year. Alchemy co-president Kelly Summers left the Los Angeles-based company recently.

The company, formerly known as Millennium Entertainment, relaunched itself as Alchemy early last year  and was an aggressive buyer at film festivals. It announced in July that it had acquired ANconnect and Anderson Digital and formed a strategic alliance with ARC Entertainment to act as aggregator for Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Sam’s Club with 50 new content partners.

In December, 2015, CEO Bill Lee stepped down and the company promoted Summers and Scott Guthrie to the posts of co-presidents.

Alchemy’s best domestic box performer has been “Meet the Patels” with $1.7 million. Kristen Wiig’s “Welcome to Me” took in only $609,000 in the U.S., and Gaspar Noé’s sex-infused “Love” grossed just $249,000. “Madame Bovary,” starring Mia Wasikowska, managed only $44,000 in the U.S.

Alchemy bought U.S. rights to Yorgos Lanthimos’ dark comedy “The Lobster” at Cannes last year. When Alchemy was hit by financial problems earlier this year, A24 bought the rights and has seen nearly $7 million in domestic grosses for “The Lobster” since its May 13 release.

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