BERLIN — Writeoffs related to the troubled development of Intermedia’s “Me Again” — namely, a payout to Bruce Willis after his exit from the project in April — have left a dent in parent company Internationalmedia’s half-year results.
On Thursday, Internationalmedia posted a half-year net loss of e12.6 million ($14.2 million), up $3.5 million from last year, and revenues of $100.4 million.
Company’s gross profits of $14 million were eaten away by $11.8 million in project development costs, much of it going to a play-or-pay payment to Willis.
All about ‘Me’
Internationalmedia finance chief Andreas Konle told Daily Variety that the company still hoped to make “Me Again,” but he declined to comment on the $2.7 million lawsuit filed by actress Diane Lane, who was set to co-star, over her pay-or-play deal.
The sinking value of the U.S. dollar had a huge impact on Internationalmedia’s revenues, according to Konle. The rising euro resulted in a 5.7% decrease in sales.
“Without this unprecedented increase in the euro’s value, Internationalmedia’s revenues would be approximately $17 million higher, an increase of over 10% from the prior year,” company said.
The producer-distrib’s revenues in the first half of the year came primarily from minimum guarantees on theatrical releases “National Security,” “Dark Blue,” “The Life of David Gale” and “Basic.”
Cuts offset costs
Konle said the company had managed to offset costs through extensive cuts, including the establishment earlier this year of its IS Film Distribution joint venture with Summit, which greatly reduced overhead costs and helped buttress half-year figures. IS has reduced distribution costs by 84%.
Company is predicting its best-ever quarterly earnings when it books its share of the revenues from “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” in the third quarter. Pic has grossed more than $340 million worldwide.
It’s also expecting a strong financial performance later this year with the production starts of Oliver Stone’s “Alexander” and Martin Scorsese’s “Aviator,” which is lensing in Montreal. “Alexander,” which is set to start shooting Sept. 22 in Morocco, is targeted for a Thanksgiving release in 2004.
Harlin pic slated
Renny Harlin’s “Mindhunters” and E. Elias Merhige’s “Suspect Zero” are due out early next year.
Internationalmedia is expecting to be back in the black in 2003 with full-year revenues of between $360 million and $395 million.
“At the moment it isn’t easy for independent companies, so it will be quite an achievement after two years of losses,” said Konle.