Tit for tat: As Sony Pictures Entertainment establishes its first production outpost in Germany, German investors have responded by pouring money into a Sony-based production company.
Germany’s Nova Entertainment has inked with Mike Medavoy and Arnold Messer’s Phoenix Pictures to fully finance nine Phoenix titles over the next three years.
According to Nova founder Reginald Puhl, the deal could avail Phoenix of $460 million to $500 million in production financing over the period.
Nova will executive produce three Phoenix projects a year in the $25 million-to-$75 million budget range. The German company will retain no rights to the films or ownership of the negatives, but it will benefit from the distribution revenues.
Phoenix has an all-rights output deal with Pioneer in Japan and a pay- and free-TV rights deal across Europe with Canal Plus, while Sony handles all other rights and territories worldwide.
The projects will be taken principally from Phoenix’s development slate, although Nova’s creative input is expected to be “significant.”
Nova and German realty and finance firm Hanseatische Anlage Treuhand Intl. (HAT) are raising the money together from groups of German private investors.
“This is a production service agreement where we stand to benefit from Phoenix’s people and their distribution agreements,” says Nova founder Puhl.