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‘Spotlight’ Producer Open Road Teams With MadRiver

Open Road Films and MadRiver Pictures have unveiled a nonexclusive production alliance for all of Open Road Films’ own productions over the coming years.

The news comes following the release of Open Road’s “Spotlight,” which was co-produced with Participant Media and has grossed $38 million in the U.S. since its Nov. 6 release. Open Road’s other notable titles include Jake Gyllenhaal’s “Nightcrawler”; Bill Murray vehicle”Rock the Kasbah”; “Triple 9,” starring Kate Winslet, Aaron Paul, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Casey Affleck; and Oliver Stone’s biopic “Snowden,” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley.

Under the deal, MadRiver and topper Marc Butan will work with Open Road’s team to help source and oversee production of Open Road Films’ in-house productions. Two to four films a year are expected to be produced through the deal, with each film getting a wide domestic release via Open Road.

Open Road will have a first-look on acquiring the U.S. distribution rights on MadRiver films. The foreign sales on MadRiver productions will be handled by MadRiver’s new international sales arm run by Kimberly Fox while foreign sales on Open Road’s in-house productions will continue to be handled by Open Road International and partner FilmNation.

“We have a long-standing relationship with Marc Butan and great respect for his depth of expertise in film production,” said Open Road chief Tom Ortenberg. “Having MadRiver Pictures as our partner is a feather in our cap and we are thrilled to be working with them.”

Variety reported from the Berlin Film Festival on Feb. 13 that MadRiver Pictures and Reliance Entertainment’s Riverstone Pictures had agreed to finance, develop and produce a slate of movies in the $15 million-$50 million range with a goal of making two to four director- and star-driven films per year. Nine-month-old MadRiver revealed that Fox would head a new international sales arm.

MadRiver’s upcoming slate includes “Triple 9,” which opens Friday, and James Gray’s “The Lost City of Z,” starring Charlie Hunnam. The company is in pre-production on Peter Landesman’s “Felt,” starring Liam Neeson.

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