After more than two months of negotiations, Relativity Media has closed a deal to buy Rogue Pictures from Universal Pictures for roughly $150 million.
Move bolsters Relativity's library, adding some 30 titles, including Rogue's debut pic "Unleashed" and summer horror hit "The Strangers," which earned $53 million. Relativity's new assets also include more than 30 Rogue projects in various stages of development, such as a "Strangers" sequel, which has a finished script. Relativity will inherit a number of producing deals as well, including those with Wes Craven and Intrepid.
A source familiar with the deal dubbed the $150 million sale price a bargain, adding that in a better economy, the consistently profitable genre label could have fetched perhaps more than double that sum. But Universal also comes out of the deal a winner, taking a lump cash payment now and retaining a distribution stake in future Rogue films. As part of the deal, Universal will continue to release Rogue titles for most of the world and collect a discounted distribution fee of roughly 10%, which is less than the standard rate of 12% but more than the 8% that companies like Marvel and DreamWorks Animation pay.
Today's announcement comes on the heels of Relativity's landmark equity partnership with Universal (announced earlier this fall) where Relativity will fund a substantial part of Universal's upcoming slate until 2015.
Founded in 2004 by David Linde and James Schamus, Rogue Pictures is devoted to producing high-quality suspense, action, thriller, comedy and urban entertainment with mainstream appeal and franchise potential. Past hits include: The Strangers, Waist Deep, The Hitcher, Balls of Fury, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Dave Chapelle's Block Party, Unleashed, Doomsday, Fearless, and Assault on Precinct 13.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Relativity Media Buys Rogue Pictures
Sounds like a promising deal for Universal. They still get distribution rights to Rogue films in most of the world and Relativity Media helps fund the films. This is also a major coup for Relativity Media since Rogue Pictures has been generating nothing, but profit from some of their latest films and I have a feeling that Rogue is going to become alot more valuable in the future.