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Distributor Alchemy Likely to File for Bankruptcy Protection

Troubled independent distributor Alchemy is likely to file for bankruptcy protection as early as this week, according to an informed source.

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.

Additionally, Alchemy co-president Kelly Summers left the Los Angeles-based company recently.

The company, formerly known as Millennium Entertainment, relaunched itself as Alchemy in January 2015 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, including Bagdasarian Productions and DreamWorks Animation’s nontheatrical and classics divisions.

In December, 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 Noe’s sex-infused “Love” grossed just $249,000. “Madame Bovary,” starring Mia Wasikowska, managed only $44,000 in the U.S.

Millenium had been an aggressive buyer at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, acquiring U.S. rights to Yorgos Lanthimos’ dark comedy “The Lobster.” 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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