Par, Cinevisions co-finance 3 pix

Investment to buoy thriller, actioner, comedy

Paramount Pictures has concluded a co-financing deal with Peter Hoffman and Graham Bradstreet’s Cinevisions Ice on three of its upcoming high-profile pics: “The General’s Daughter,” “Double Jeopardy” and “The Out-of-Towners.”

The insurance-backed deal is the third that Cinevisions has handled for Par. Sources indicated that, as previously, Cinevisions had put the pics through London-based broker C.E. Heath.

In recent years Par has brought in outside financing on virtually all of its productions, in order to mitigate the skyrocketing cost and risk of feature filmmaking.

From Paramount’s point of view, the advantage of the insurance-backed deals over more traditional split-rights deals is that they give investors an equity stake in films only, rather than splitting off international distribution rights.

Among the 15 or so other pics that Cinevisions has leveraged for Par are “Event Horizon,” “The Magic Hour,” “Face/Off,” “In and Out” and “The Truman Show.”

The specific details of the latest arrangement were not available, but premiums on insurance deals are usually between 3% and 6% of the amount insured.

Varied genres

Military thriller “Daughter,” which stars John Travolta and Madeline Stowe, is directed by Simon West (“Con Air”). Pic, produced by Mace Neufeld, is now shooting, and is skedded for release in 1999.

Actioner “Jeopardy,” which Tommy Lee Jones and Ashley Judd topline, is also in production, under Bruce Beresford’s helm. Pic is slated for release some time next year.

Comedy remake “Towners” is the only completed pic on the slate. The Goldie Hawn/Steve Martin starrer, about a Midwestern couple on a disastrous trip to the big city, comes out in early 1999.

Par is splitting distribution rights with Hoffman on two other pics, “Toddlers,” starring Eddie Murphy, and “Rules of Engagement,” starring Jones. Par engages in similar split rights arrangements with Mutual Film Co., Lakeshore Entertainment and Mandalay Pictures.

Last week Hoffman, whose production banner Seven Arts Pictures has a first-look deal with Par, established an international sales company, Seven Arts Intl., together with Canadian investor Jay Firestone (Daily Variety, Sept. 25).

Pic and media financing partnership Cinevisions, which Hoffman and Bradstreet formalized in May 1997, is run separately from the Seven Arts companies.

(Martin Peers in New York contributed to this story.)

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