×

Lionsgate taps Sacchi to head even-lower budget films arm

Operation targets pics under $2.5 million

Lionsgate has signaled strong support for its micro-budget feature division with longtime production exec John Sacchi tapped to head the operation.

The studio is aiming to replicate the success of Paramount Insurge, formed in the wake of the outsize success of producer Jason Blum’s “Paramormal Activity.” Insurge’s “The Devil Inside” grossed more than $100 million worldwide last year at a cost of only $1 million.

Sacchi has a long track record in supervising Lionsgate films with exec producer credits on “My Bloody Valentine,” “Punisher: War Zone” and “The Possession,” which grossed nearly $80 million last year. He oversaw the studio’s Arnold Schwarzenegger actioner “The Last Stand,” which opens Friday.

The micro-budget arm is understood to be seeking horror and comedy projects with a pricetag of up to $2.5 million.

Lionsgate has long specialized in low-budget genre fare such as the “Saw” franchise, produced by Twisted Pictures. The original “Saw” cost $1.2 million and led to six sequels that generated nearly $800 million in worldwide grosses.

Popular on Variety

Lionsgate had already been developing micro-budget projects in recent years. It shed the “minimajor” label during 2012 thanks to its purchase of Summit and a stellar box office performance highlighted by “The Hunger Games” and the final “Twilight” film. Lionsgate execs see considerable promise in another young-adult franchise “Divergent,” set for release in March 2014.

More Film

  • Police guard the scenery in front

    Mass Shooting in Germany Raises Security Concerns for Berlin Film Festival

    A mass shooting in the West German city of Hanau has raised security concerns for the Berlin Film Festival, which kicks off on Thursday. Local media reports late Wednesday indicate that several people are dead following a shooting. Eight people are believed to have been killed while five others are injured. An unknown assailant is [...]

  • Foto: ©2019 TOM TRAMBOWProjekt: „Lassie Come

    Global Screen Sells 'Lassie Come Home' to More Than 44 Countries (EXCLUSIVE)

    Munich-based world sales company Global Screen has pre-sold the new adaptation of Eric Knight novel’s “Lassie Come Home,” whose canine character was first brought to the big screen more than 75 years ago, to more than 44 countries. Territories include Italy (Lucky Red), France (Mediawan Rights), Scandinavia (Angel Scandinavia), Israel (Film House), CIS (Volga Film), [...]

  • Paramount Players

    Paramount Players Loses Executives Matt Dines, Ali Bell

    Paramount Players has lost two of its executives, with Matt Dines and Ali Bell leaving their posts as executive vice presidents of development and production. A spokesman for Paramount told Variety that there are no plans to shutter the three-year-old division in the wake of the departures. Wyck Godfrey, Paramount’s motion pictures group president, remains [...]

  • Anya Taylor Joy Emma Premiere

    Anya Taylor-Joy on Playing Jane Austen's Clever, Callous Protagonist in 'Emma'

    It was an evening of elegance at the Los Angeles premiere of Focus Features’ “Emma” on Tuesday night. The red carpet was lined with pastel floral arrangements at the DGA Theater, priming visitors to be transported to the ornate pageantry of Georgian-era England, as depicted in this new adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic tale. Anya [...]

  • Tom Holland Chris Pratt Onward Premiere

    Tom Holland and Chris Pratt Show Off Real-Life Bond at Pixar's 'Onward' Premiere

    Pixar’s new movie “Onward” marks a reunion of sorts for Tom Holland and Chris Pratt. The two actors, who both have ties to Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe and most recently teamed in “Avengers: Endgame” as Spider-Man and Star-Lord, play brothers in the animated fantasy adventure. Their friendship has become a highlight of “Onward’s” promotional tour [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content