×

Cutting Edge Tunes Up Shingle Aimed at Music-Themed Pics (EXCLUSIVE)

Cutting Edge Group, which has invested in more than 200 films, is forming the Cutting Edge Originals banner to develop and produce music-themed feature films.

“Cutting Edge Originals is about great stories that will depend on great music,” said CEG topper Philip Moross. “This model was perfected by Robert Stigwood with ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and ‘Grease,’ and we’re aiming just as high.”

The production shingle is launching at Cannes with producer-financier James Gibb and Tara Moross, CEG’s current head of business development, as co-toppers.

Five-year-old CEG has invested in “The King’s Speech,” “Drive,” “Looper” and “End of Watch” in exchange for music publishing rights.

It handles scoring, clearances and music supervision in a film, then recoups from soundtrack and sheet-music sales; licensing and royalties from international ticket sales and TV deals; and rights in TV commercials.

Earlier this year, CEG raised $100 million in equity as part of a strategy to become the world’s predominant vertically-integrated film music services company and then acquired film-TV soundtrack label Varese Sarabande Records.

The template for Cutting Edge Originals grew out of British comedy-musical “Unfinished Song,” starring Terence Stamp, Gemma Arterton and Vanessa Redgrave, produced by Philip Moross and Ken Marshall. “Song” has grossed $3 million in the U.K. since its February opening and will be released by the Weinstein Co. in the U.S. on June 21.

Moross told Variety that music-themed films such as “The Bodyguard,” “The Commitments” and “Pitch Perfect” had convinced him that audiences will support such fare — and noted that the soundtracks offer a second generator of revenues.

“Pitch Perfect” was a surprise success last year with more than $100 million in global box office for Universal, which has started work on a sequel.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Weinstein Can Get a Fair Trial in Manhattan, Says D.A.

    The Manhattan District Attorney’s office argued on Friday that Harvey Weinstein can get a fair trial in Manhattan, and blamed the producer’s defense team for much of the pre-trial publicity in the case. Weinstein’s attorneys have asked an appellate court to transfer the case — which is set to begin on Sept. 9 — to [...]

  • Leonardo DiCaprio Madonna

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna Call for Action on Amazon Wildfires

    As wildfires rage at an alarming rate in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest, celebrities are using their platforms to bring awareness to the deforestation’s impact and to call for action. In the past week, stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna, Cara Delevingne and Ariana Grande have taken to Instagram to express their frustration with the lack of [...]

  • 'The Durrells' TV Show

    Greece Sweetens Production Incentives as Struggling Country's Economy Rebounds

    It’s taken the better part of a decade for Greece to show signs of recovery from the crippling crisis that almost pushed it out of the Eurozone. Now, with the economy slowly on the mend, the government is doubling down on efforts to jump-start the local film industry, giving a dramatic overhaul to the incentive [...]

  • Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group announced it has entered a partnership with the music streaming and discovery service Audiomack, marking the platform’s first licensing deal with a major label. According to the announcement, the two companies will work together on content concepts and explore ways to break emerging artists, connecting music fans with rising talent before they [...]

  • Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on

    Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on ‘Brilliant’ Album and Campaign

    Two days after Taylor Swift fired off the latest salvo in her battle with Scooter Braun, the manager congratulated the singer on the campaign around her “brilliant” new album, “Lover,” which arrived last night. The message came after Swift said she will be re-recording songs from her first six albums, which are now owned by [...]

  • David Koch Obit

    David Koch, Libertarian Activist and Billionaire Philanthropist, Dies at 79

    David Koch, brother of Charles Koch and one of the owners of Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in the U.S., has died at 79. According to the New York Times, Charles Koch announced the news of his brother’s death in a statement. Though he did not attribute to David’s death to a particular cause, [...]

  • Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing

    Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing From Usher, Adam Lambert

    A Beverly Hills real estate agent has been arrested on charges of stealing from the homes of celebrities, including Usher, Adam Lambert and “Real Housewives” star Dorit Kemsley. Jason Emil Yaselli, 32, is accused of encouraging an accomplice, Benjamin Ackerman, to enter homes during open houses in order to steal from them. Ackerman allegedly sold [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content