You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Village Roadshow Sells Controlling Stake

Vine Alternative Investments and Falcon Investment Advisor have acquired a controlling stake in Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, the maker of the “Sherlock Holmes” and “Matrix” films.

The production company said the transaction should be looked at less like a straight-out sale than the first stages of a new strategic plan that will enable them to expand their slate of films and allow them to move into television and other forms of content. The partners did not reveal any financial information about the deal or the size and structure of the investment.

“They are providing the capital to take our business to the next level,” said Greg Basser, CEO of Village Roadshow Entertainment Group.

The plan is for Village Roadshow to begin developing its own projects instead of just providing equity investments and production involvement on other studios’ films. It has a deal at Warner Bros., but also makes movies with other studios.

“They want us to bring them projects,” said Bruce Berman, chairman and CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures Entertainment, the holding company of Village Roadshow Pictures. “It’s not about owning more of the movie or about executing better in terms of quality control. We’re trying to enhance what we do, so we’re picking out exciting stories and being additive.”

Village Roadshow’s leaders said the company will continue to be involved in between six to ten movies annually, and could see the number of projects it backs increase as it ramps up its own in-house operations. The studio will hire additional staffers to help with its development and will look into a mixture of backing original scripts and snapping up rights to books and other types of intellectual property. The goal is to ultimately produce one or two films a year that have been gestated within the company.

Burke said that talks began several months ago. Vine and Falcon have been longtime stakeholders in the company dating back to 2015 as part of a $480 million recapitalization deal. Both firms have financial ties to the entertainment industry, having backed the likes of Legendary and EuropaCorp.

As part of the deal, Jim Moore, CEO of Vine, will assume the role of chairman of Village Roadshow Entertainment Group while Graham Burke, co-chairman and Co-CEO of Village Roadshow Limited, the company’s founding Australian parent, will continue in his role as chairman of Village Roadshow Pictures. The entertainment group’s executive team will remain in place with Basser and Berman continuing in their roles.

J.P. Morgan Chase and Rabobank International to provide the funding for Village Roadshow’s co-financing deal with Warner Bros., a pact that is slated to last 20 years.

The company’s upcoming films include Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One,” “Ocean’s Eight” with Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett, and “The Lego Ninjago Movie.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Love You Forever

    'Love You Forever' Heads for Valentine's Day Release

    Hong Kong’s Edko Films has set a February 2020 release for upcoming romantic drama “Love You Forever.” The film is directed by Yao Tingting, who previously made another nostalgic romance “Yesterday Once More,” which went on to enjoy a $27 million global success in 2016. Edko’s Bill Kong is named as producer. The new film [...]

  • The Irishman

    Film News Roundup: 'The Irishman' Wins Capri Film Festival Screenplay Award

    In today’s film news roundup, Steven Zaillian’s script for “The Irishman” wins an award, MGM hires a trio of marketing execs, MTV Documentary Films sets three new projects; and “The Caretaker of Lorne Field” is becoming a movie. AWARDS Steven Zaillian’s screenplay for Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” will receive the best original screenplay award at [...]

  • Saturday Fiction

    'Saturday Fiction' Yanked From China's Golden Rooster Film Festival on Eve of Debut

    Just a day before its scheduled China debut, director Lou Ye’s latest film, “Saturday Fiction,” has been pulled from its slot as the opener of the mainland’s Golden Rooster Film Festival because of unspecified “internal production problems,” according to Chinese film website Mtime. Speculation has been spreading online that it will also be yanked from [...]

  • DeVon Franklin

    DeVon Franklin Signs First-Look Deal at Paramount Pictures

    DeVon Franklin has signed a first-look producing deal at Paramount Pictures. Under his Franklin Entertainment banner, Franklin previously produced inspirational and faith-based films, including this year’s “Breakthrough,” starring Chrissy Metz, as well as “Miracles From Heaven,” with Jennifer Garner and Queen Latifah, and the animated film “The Star,” toplined by Zachary Levi, Gina Rodriguez, Oprah [...]

  • Harriet Movie BTS

    'Harriet' Costume Designer Paul Tazewell on How He Crafted Harriet Tubman's Look

    For many, Harriet Tubman’s journey is one we’re taught about in school. We know she’s a heroine, an abolitionist who led slaves to their freedom via the underground railroad. Unless you’ve read the books by Kate Clifford Larson or Beverly Lowry, “We didn’t receive the whole story,” says costume designer Paul Tazewell. Until now. Kasi [...]

  • Viacom HQ LA

    ViacomCBS Sets HR and Inclusion Chiefs

    ViacomCBS has named corporate heads of HR and inclusion as the companies prepare for the merger that is set to close early next month. The soon-to-combine Viacom and CBS have tapped Nielsen alum Nancy Phillips to serve as exec VP and chief people officer. Viacom alum Marva Smalls will serve as global head of inclusion, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content