Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios has bought independent film distributor Freestyle Releasing for an undisclosed price.
An informed source said the deal was for high eight figures.
Freestyle, co-founded by Mark Borde and the late Susan Jackson, scored its biggest success last year with the religious drama “God’s Not Dead,” with a domestic box office gross of over $62 million. Other notable recent fatih-based releases include “Left Behind” with nearly $20 million and “Do You Believe” with $14 milllion.
Its most recent theatrical release is the faith-based high school football film “Woodlawn,” which has grossed $5 million at U.S. 1,553 sites in its first week.
“We could not be more excited to have Byron Allen add Freestyle Releasing to his ever-growing media empire,” said Borde. “We’ve had numerous offers over the years, but now we’ve finally found the perfect buyer who shares our vision for distribution expansion on all platforms: theatrical motion pictures, broadcast syndication, cable television, VOD, and digital content. Our future just got much brighter.”
Allen indicated that the current management team would remain in place: “Freestyle has a great management team, and with their unique output deal with Netflix, the company is very valuable and well-positioned to grab greater theatrical box office market share, and we will maximize this opportunity.”
Entertainment Studios owns eight 24-hour HD cable networks including Pets.TV, Comedy.TV and Recipe.TV. It also produces, distributes and sells advertising for 38 TV programs.
Freestyle, founded in 2003, specializes in offering service deals under which producers agree to pay an upfront fee and a percentage of the boxoffice in exchange for Freestyle releasing the film into theaters. Producers retain the rights to their films under such deals.