Company: Millennium Films/ Nu Image Entertainment
Title: Chairman and CEO
How he’s leading: In a homevid biz where myriad new delivery platforms get most of the ink these days, no one in the independent realm is producing more movies than Lerner.
In fact, he’s up to 20 films a year, including higher-profile theatrical pics like the Nicolas Cage starrer “The Wicker Man,” Irwin Winkler’s “Home of the Brave” and the upcoming “Lonely Hearts,” starring John Travolta, James Gandolfini and Salma Hayek.
However, bolstered by robust foreign presales, Lerner continues to annually produce about a dozen genre films, most just for the homevid sector, featuring the likes of Steven Segal, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Wesley Snipes, with production budgets in the $10 million-$12 million range– attributes that stand out in the direct-to-DVD biz.
“No one in this business has produced more video titles the last three years running than Avi, bar none,” notes David Sobieraj, Nu Image’s domestic video and TV prexy.
Lerner, meanwhile, is anxious to fill new channels.
He just signed a deal with Morgan Freeman’s ClickStar to make “Lonely Hearts” available for download just a few weeks after its theatrical bow.
POV: “We get most of our money from foreign buyers, so when one of our films comes to America and it doesn’t go theatrical, that’s still good enough,” Lerner says. “We can still get a pretty good number from DVD sales.”
Homevid Leader Report: