You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kinowelt buys Epsilon

Rights trader has output deals with Regency and Hyde Park

BERLIN — Producer-distrib Kinowelt said Thursday (Nov. 24) it had acquired former Kirch Media film licensing company Epsilon Motion Pictures, which this year provided Kinowelt with hit titles “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and “Million Dollar Baby.”

The Munich-based Epsilon as well as the Epsilon subsidiary in Zurich, Switzerland, were part of the assets of the insolvent Kirch Media, which went belly up in 2002.

Yet company has remained in operation in Zurich, where it has continued to finance and buy film rights. Epsilon has existing output deals with independent companies such as Regency and Hyde Park.

Kinowelt has acquired a number of films from Epsilon this year, including Demi Moore starrer “Half Light,” “Guess Who” with Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Reynolds’ medieval love story “Tristan & Isolde,” Harold Ramis’ “Ice Harvest” and “Dreamer” starring Kurt Russell.

“Epsilon perfectly complements Kinowelt’s areas of business,” said company founder Michael Koelmel. “The acquisition continues Kinowelt’s expansion strategy and further develops film production, the core of the Kinowelt Intl. division.”

“We want to strengthen this particular company pillar because it significantly raises the growth potential of the entire business,” Koelmel added.

Epsilon’s film rights include theatrical, DVD and TV.

Kinowelt and Kirch declined to provide financial details of the sale.

Deal is further evidence of Kinowelt’s improving health since its own insolvency in 2001. Koelmel and brother Rainer Koelmel bought back the core assets of the publicly listed Kinowelt Medien in 2003.

The reincarnated Kinowelt has had particularly strong success in the DVD market, but with the huge box office splash of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” company is expecting a major boost in theatrical distribution revenue this year.

Other recent releases have included “March of the Penguins,” Cannes winner “The Child” and horror pic “Saw.” “The Constant Gardner,” South African thriller “Drum” and “Saw 2” are among Kinowelt’s upcoming lineup.

In March, Kinowelt landed DVD and theatrical rights for the next seven years to 5,500 films and series from the Kirch Media library, including titles such as “La Strada,” “Fight Club” and “Bonanza.”

Company’s current catalog includes more than 9,000 titles.

More Film

  • Atlantics

    Emerging Talent From Gallic Cinema

    Variety is teaming with Unifrance, an agency that promotes French cinema around the world, to focus attention on four emerging talents in the French movie industry as part of Unifrance’s “New Faces of French Cinema” program. Here Variety profiles the rising filmmakers: Justine Triet, Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec, Hafsia Herzi and Mati Diop. Mati Diop Born to [...]

  • John Hannah Reunites With ‘The Mummy’

    John Hannah Reunites With ‘The Mummy’ Actors for Horror Pic ‘Lair’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    John Hannah, Corey Johnson and Oded Fehr will star in “Lair,” billed as a socially conscious horror movie about an LGBT family embroiled in one man’s attempt to prove the existence of the supernatural. The trio all appeared in the successful franchise “The Mummy,” and their new picture goes into production later this year. Katarina [...]

  • Loving Vincent Animation Oscars

    Adult Audience Animation: Cannes Panel Talks Big-Screen Strategy

    CANNES–A panel of leading animation industry executives gathered during the Cannes Film Market on Sunday to shed light on their strategies for the theatrical release of adult-oriented animated features. It was a timely conversation at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Five of the 28 animated projects in the Marché du Film are adult audience-focused, including [...]

  • Lea Drucker poses with the Best

    French Filmmaker Axelle Ropert Readies 'Petite Solange' With MK2 Films (EXCLUSIVE)

    French writer/director Axelle Ropert is set to direct “Petite Solange,” a film that will star Léa Drucker and Philippe Katerine, who won the best acting nods at this year’s Cesar Awards for their performances in “Custody” and “Sink or Swim,” respectively. MK2 films will handle international sales. Haut et Court has acquired rights for French [...]

  • Dutch FilmWorks Moves into International Sales

    Dutch Film Works Moves into International Sales (EXCLUSIVE)

    A major new international sales outfit is coming to market. Dutch Film Works (DFW), one of the largest movie distributors in the Benelux region, is moving into film and TV sales. DFW general manager Angela Pruijssers will spearhead the sales effort alongside Charlotte Henskens, who will join from Amsterdam-based Fortissimo Films, where she is director [...]

  • Gullane Taps The Match Factory, Bitters

    Gullane Taps Match Factory, Bitters End for Karim Ainouz’s ‘Neon River’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Gullane, the Brazilian producer of Marco Bellocchio’s Cannes competition player “The Traitor,” has linked with production partners for anticipated projects by two of Brazil’s highest-profile auteurs: Karim Ainouz and Fernando Coimbra. In further news, Luiz Bolognesi, writer-director of Annecy winner “Rio 2096,” is leading “Senna,” Gullane’s biggest movie project to date, a live-action biopic of [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Harvey Weinstein Feature Documentary ‘Untouchable’ Bought by Hulu (EXCLUSIVE)

    Hulu has snagged the U.S. rights to “Untouchable,” the feature doc about disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein, in a seven-figure deal, Variety has learned. The film, directed by Ursula Macfarlane, had its premiere at Sundance. It offers the inside track on the rise of Weinstein and his subsequent fall, amid allegations in the U.S. and Europe [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content