×

Canton Co., WB on ticket with Germany’s Senator

Partners to produce four to six pix annually

In a deal that includes a five-year renewal for the Canton Co.’s first-look pact at Warner Bros. Pictures, producer Mark Canton has formed a joint-venture production and financing outfit with German entertainment and exhibition company Senator.

The joint venture, in which Senator holds the majority stake, will develop and finance four to six titles annually, with Warners serving as a co-financing and distribution partner on a first-look basis.

Insiders said Senator holds 51% of the new company, with Canton retaining 49% as well as gross participation in the joint venture’s projects. Films will be jointly greenlit by Senator, Canton and, on those projects in which the studio participates, Warners. In those cases, the studio will distribute worldwide, with Senator retaining exclusive distribution rights in Germany, China, Eastern Europe and other foreign territories.

“We’re very excited about this new arrangement,” Warners president and chief operating officer Alan Horn said. “This is one of those unique win-win situations — it expands our relationship with Mark, giving him more creative autonomy than in a traditional production deal, while enhancing our relationship with an important European partner.”

Said Canton: “This allows me to play to my capacity. We’re a fully funded company with a great deal of independence, (but) we couldn’t have done it without the enthusiastic support of Barry (Meyer), Alan (Horn) and Lorenzo (di Bonaventura), who have afforded us the opportunity to strike a deal that will pay substantial dividends to us all.”

In the pipeline

Later this year, the Canton Co. will roll out the Val Kilmer starrer “Red Planet,” which the company co-financed with Village Roadshow, and “Get Carter,” which was backed by Franchise Pictures. Also upcoming is another Canton/Franchise co-production, “Angel Eyes,” starring Jennifer Lopez.

In development at the Canton Co. are “Revelation,” a co-production with Jersey Films that stars Danny DeVito; “Taking Lives,” a co-production with Village Roadshow, with Tony Scott attached to direct; “Bad Cop — Worse Cop,” a live-action/animation pic to be directed by Brian Levant, based on Warner Bros.’ Looney Tunes character the Tasmanian Devil; “Top Ten,” an action thriller that Bel-Air will co-produce; “7th Portal,” for Stan Lee Media; and “Bonjour Homicide,” for French helmer Luc Besson to direct.

This is Senator Entertainment’s second U.S. pact in recent months, after its output deal with Joe Roth’s Revolution Studios.

Broader reach

Deal confirms a new direction for the German producer behind such local pics as Dietrich biopic “Marlene,” “Comedian Harmonists” and last year’s Berlinale opener “Aimee & Jaguar.” Since going public in February 1999, Senator, which is listed on Germany’s Neuer Markt exchange, has been on a rapid international expansion course.

Senator also has a London-based production and sales house, Amberlon Pictures, and a joint venture with partners Eric Plescow and Leon De Winter. Also, it has a 14-picture co-financing deal with the U.K.’s FilmFour.

In addition, Senator recently found a new stomping ground in the German exhibition sector, taking a 25% stake in leading multiplex operator CinemaxX, which holds 10% in rival group Ufa, giving it a strong foothold in Europe.

Brokering the deal were William Morris Agency president and co-CEO Jim Wiatt and WMA Independent co-head Rena Ronson. Jake Bloom and Steven Brookman and Bloom, Hergott, Diemer and Cook repped Canton Co., with Senator handled by Craig Jacobson and Tom McGuire of Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman & Warren.

More Film

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Leaders Approve Proposal for New Film-TV Contract

    The SAG-AFTRA national board has approved proposals for a successor deal to its master contract covering feature film and primetime television — a key step in the upcoming negotiations cycle with companies. The board approved the package Saturday with the performers union declining to reveal any specifics — its usual policy. The board established the wages [...]

  • Cameron Crowe, David Crosby, A.J. Eaton.

    Cameron Crowe on Why He Loved Leaving David Crosby Doc on a CSNY Question Mark

    David Crosby may or may not have stuck a joint in Cameron Crowe’s mouth the first time he ever met the future filmmaker, when Crosby was peaking with Crosby Stills Nash & Young and his interviewer was a precocious 15-year-old Rolling Stone correspondent. As Crowe said to Jimmy Kimmel the other night, “I remember it [...]

  • Mokalik

    Nigeria’s Kunle Afolayan: African Audiences Shouldn’t Be ‘Second-Class’

    DURBAN–A young boy from a middle-class home gets an unconventional schooling in the ways of the world when he’s forced to apprentice at a mechanic’s workshop in a rough-and-tumble section of Lagos. “Mokalik” is the latest feature from Kunle Afolayan, a leading figure in the wave of filmmakers revitalizing the Nigerian film industry. The film [...]

  • Alicia Rodis photographed by Alicia Rodis

    SAG-AFTRA Moves to Standardize Guidelines for Intimacy Coordinators

    SAG-AFTRA is moving to standardize guidelines for intimacy coordinators as part of an effort to establish policies for union members when their work involves nudity and simulated sex. “Our goal is to normalize and promote the use of intimacy coordinators within our industry,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “Intimacy coordinators provide an important safety net for [...]

  • The Lion King

    Box Office: 'The Lion King' Roars Overseas With Mighty $269 Million

    Disney’s “The Lion King” certainly felt the love this weekend, generating $269 million at the international box office. Director Jon Favreau’s remake of the classic Disney cartoon now holds the eighth-biggest debut of all time overseas, and that’s not including the film’s early opening in China last weekend. Combined with a stellar $185 million start [...]

  • Scarlett JohanssonMarvel Studios panel, Comic-Con International,

    Scarlett Johansson Reveals What We'll Learn About Black Widow in Stand-Alone Movie

    Scarlett Johansson can finally talk about her upcoming “Black Widow” movie. While she can’t divulge spoilers, she let out a big sigh of relief after the film was officially announced on Saturday during the Marvel Studios presentation at Comic-Con. “I feel like a weight has been lifted,” the Oscar nominee told Variety. “Black Widow” is [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content