×

Open Road CEO on Tang Media Sale: ‘The Best Is Yet to Come’

Open Road’s sale to Tang Media Partners will allow the indie studio behind “Spotlight” and “End of Watch” to expand the number of films it releases, CEO Tom Ortenberg told Variety.

The studio is doing an average of eight movies a year, but with the fresh capital it expects to receive from its new owner, Open Road will increase its output to between 10 to 12 films. The company has carved out a niche for itself making mid-budget films, but Ortenberg said he also expects to “be taking a couple of bigger swings,” which presumably will come with a higher price tag.

“Overall, our mission to provide quality midsize theatrical releases remains the same,” Ortenberg said shortly after the deal was formalized.

Open Road had been co-owned by AMC and Regal, the country’s two largest theater chains, but the partners had been looking to sell the company for months. They will remain involved, however, through a long-term marketing partnership. Tang Media Partners is a Chinese company that has been actively buying up television and film companies — last year it purchased IM Global.

As part of the pact, Ortenberg singed a new long-term contract to remain at the company, which he cites as “evidence of my enthusiasm.” He thinks Open Road may use the new capital to add to its staff of 47 and praised Tang Media Partners as a “passionate and enthusiastic partner.”

Despite Ortenberg’s optimism, the Open Road sale comes at a rough time for movie companies, particularly ones that aren’t part of larger media conglomerates. In recent months indie players such as Relativity Media, Alchemy, and Broad Green have closed down or dramatically scaled back their operations, and ticket sales have taken a sharp nosedive. Domestic revenues are down 3% for the year and the summer box office is off more than 10%.

“I think the challenges facing all theatrical motion picture companies is the same as ever,” said Ortenberg. “It’s all about the movies. When we do the right movies and market them and distribute them on a cost-efficient basis, we win.”

He predicts that Open Road may be responsible for some of these winners in the coming months when it releases a sequel to “The Nut Job,” the Johnny Depp thriller “Labyrinth,” and “Marshall,” an upcoming biopic about Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

“The best is yet to come,” said Ortenberg.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • AI Technology David Beckham

    How AI Tech Is Changing Dubbing, Making Stars Like David Beckham Multilingual

    David Beckham does not speak Arabic, Hindi or Mandarin. But when the soccer legend starred in a PSA for malaria awareness this spring, he effortlessly switched among these and six other languages, thanks to cutting-edge technology that could soon change how Hollywood localizes its movies and TV shows. The PSA in question was produced with technology [...]

  • Adam Driver appears in The Report

    'The Report' Trailer: Adam Driver Investigates Post-9/11 Interrogation Tactics

    Adam Driver is in pursuit of the truth in Amazon Studio’s first look at “The Report,” a tense political drama about the CIA’s use of torture. The film focuses on Senate staffer Daniel Jones (Driver), who begins to investigate the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program, a group created in the aftermath of 9/11. As he [...]

  • Fox Searchlight Buys 'The Personal History

    Fox Searchlight Buys 'The Personal History of David Copperfield'

    Fox Searchlight has acquired North American rights to “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” Armando Iannucci’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel of the same name. The deal comes in advance of the film’s Toronto International Film Festival bow on Sept. 5, as well as its BFI London Film Festival premiere on Oct. 2. The studio [...]

  • on day 3 of the London

    Barbara Broccoli, Richard Curtis, Passion Pictures Team on Paralympics Documentary

    Oscar-winning British production company Passion Pictures is teaming up with James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli and filmmaker Richard Curtis on a new feature documentary about the Paralympic Games. The project, currently titled “Harder Than You Think,” brings together Passion’s John Battsek with producer Greg Nugent of HTYT Films, with Broccoli and Curtis both serving as [...]

  • Tribeca Film Insitute's PitchNY Program Now

    Tribeca Film Institute's PitchNY Program Kicks Off (EXCLUSIVE)

    College students and recent alumni in New York can apply to the 4th annual PitchNY program, an effort to help young, diverse directors, producers and writers fine-tune their pitching skills, as well as to connect them with entertainment industry professionals who will serve as mentors. On Thursday, Tribeca Film Institute, The New York State Governor’s [...]

  • La-camarista

    ‘The Chambermaid’ Cleans Up in the U.S.

    SANTIAGO, Chile — Call it the “Roma” effect but Mexican newcomer Lila Aviles’ engaging portrait of a hotel servant, “The Chambermaid” (“La Camarista”) has found outstanding reception in the U.S. and in multiple territories, giving hope to other arthouse films from Latin America and elsewhere that seek distribution in “fortress America.” “‘Roma’ was a beautiful, brawny and [...]

  • Beograd 20.03.2012 Milutin Petrovic, reditelj, scenarista,

    Lost Script by ABC Studios Editor Turned Into Movie and Series 'Bad Blood'

    An ambitious new Serbian feature film and 10-part television series set in the Ottoman Empire of the 19th century has emerged from a long lost script by a former editor at ABC Studios in New York City. Belgrade-based This and That Productions is producing “Bad Blood,” based on the works of renowned Serbian writer Borisav [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content