Signature Entertainment announces they have acquired UK rights to SXSW Audience Award Winner, The Peanut Butter Falcon from Little Miss Sunshine producer Albert
Described by Variety as “an odyssey” and The Hollywood Reporter as “an awakening”, The Peanut Butter Falcon is a modern Mark Twain-esque adventure starring Shia LaBeouf (American Honey, Fury) as a small time outlaw turned unlikely coach who joins forces with Zak, a young man with Down Syndrome on the run from the nursing home with the dream of becoming a professional wrestler with Dakota Johnson (Susperia, Fifty Shades of Grey) as Zak’s loving, but stubborn, carer.
From writer/director duo Tyler Nilson and Michael Shwartz the film also stars
Jon Bernthal (Baby Driver, Fury), Thomas Hayden Church (Sideways), Bruce Dern (Nebraksa), John Hawkes (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and introducing Zack Gottsagen as Zack.
Commenting on the acquisition Signature’s Elizabeth Williams says “We are delighted to be the UK home for this charming and beautifully made movie. The Peanut Butter Falcon is on many “must watch” lists of the year following its break-out launch at SXSW earlier this year and we will be giving the film the profile and love it deserves when it hits UK cinemas later this year. ”
The Peanut Butter Falcon will be receiving its US release on August 9th by Roadside Attractions.
Signature Entertainment acquired the UK rights from international sales outfit Endeavor Content and will be releasing the film in UK cinemas later this year.
[Originally published on The Hollywood Reporter]
The company has released more than 600 titles in the U.K. since 2011.
Signature Entertainment, one of the U.K.’s largest independent distributors, has been bought by FFI Holdings, the parent company of Hollywood completion guarantees specialist Film Finances.
The deal is worth an upfront payment of $5 million, followed by four annual payments based on underlying earnings.
Since it was founded in 2011, Signature has released more than 600 titles, including Jungle, starring Daniel Radcliffe; Wakefield, starring Bryan Cranston; Shia LaBeouf’s Man Down; and Aftermath, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Its upcoming slate includes David Tennant’s Bad Samaritan; the comedy Ideal Home, starring Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd; and Jon Hamm’s political thriller Beirut.
The acquisition expands FFI’s operations, which also includes entertainment risk insurance and a range of postproduction services. It also has a documentary collaboration with Imax and Warner Bros., with the film Pandas having been released in the U.S.
“I and the whole Signature team are excited about joining the FFI family and the abundance of opportunities now open to Signature to further accelerate the growth of the company,” CEO Marc Goldberg said Thursday in a statement. “We will continue to bring the best independent content to our partners whilst continuing to look at original opportunities and new ways of working in the ever-changing global marketplace.”
Added FFI CEO Steven Ransohoff: “We are delighted to bring Signature Entertainment under the FFI banner. We look forward to working with Marc Goldberg and his team as they expand their distribution business, which is especially well poised in the streaming arena. Signature will afford us excellent opportunities to expand the reach of the rest of FFI’s platform into a new captive distribution channel.”
[Originally published on Screen Daily]
UK distributor Signature Entertainment is teaming up with horror film festival FrightFest to re-launch distribution label FrightFest Presents.
The partnership will see Signature release titles curated by FrightFest. The festival previously held a two-year partnership with the now closed releasing outfit Icon Film Distribution.
The agreement will see make a selection of FrightFest-endorsed films available across physical, digital and TV/SVoD platforms in the UK and Ireland through Signature’s partners.
Paul McEvoy, co-director of FrightFest commented, “[Signature] have always passionately supported FrightFest and understood our mission to open up new audiences to horror and fantasy, a genre which already has a clear, devoted and dedicated fan base.”
“[FrightFest’s] combination of their expert knowledge and contacts in the genre and our outstanding commercial relationships makes this a winning partnership,” added Signature COO Jon Bourdillon.
It was announced last week that Signature had been bought for $5m by bonding company Film Finances Inc.
Bond villain Dave Bautista, “Imperium” star Daniel Radcliffe, British gangster actor Craig Fairbrass and Hollywood legend Wesley Snipes all toasted Signature Entertainment’s fifth year in business last night at the Ham Yard Hotel in London.
Bautista joined the party via a video phone link up from his home in Florida to reminisce about Signature’s latest film project “Final Score” in which he plays a former soldier who has to rescue a football crowd including the daughter of a dead comrade from massacre by a ruthless gang of heavily armed criminals demanding ransom.
Filmed at West Ham’s former ground Upton Park before its demolition, Bautista said starring alongside Pierce Brosnan was, “Amazing, I have a bit of a man crush on Pierce. There was absolutely no reason not to fall in love with that guy; he’s a movie star, he’s smart, so talented but as a person I was amazed at how down-to-earth he was.
“I learned a lot from him and I will never forget that his last words to me were, ‘Be brave, be bold’, and I just loved that!”
Interviewed by Signature owner and CEO Marc Goldberg, a die-hard West Ham fan, Bautista also declared he would follow the club “till the day I die”.
Snipes said hello to the assembled retailers, suppliers and staff on behalf of the Precision Pictures release “Final Recall”, a sci-fi actioner about alien invasion and mass abduction, in which he stars alongside RJ Mitte from “Breaking Bad”.
Radcliffe expressed his “great pleasure” in working with Signature on “Imperium” — a digital bestseller — and on his next project, “Jungle”, in which he battles to escape the Bolivian jungle after getting lost.
Craig Fairbrass shared his experiences of working on the latest instalment in the “Rise of the Footsoldier” franchise — “Footsoldier: The Beginning”, which also stars Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder and veteran actor Larry Lamb.
“We finished filming two days ago after five weeks of completely relentless brutality. I have never punched, stabbed, kicked or shot so many people in one film! But, trust me, it delivers. It is on par, if not better, than the first one,” he said.
Fairbrass also paid tribute to the producer behind the franchise: “Carnaby do gangster films in this country like no other people. Every day, I couldn’t believe the footage we were getting.”
“Rise of the Footsoldier Part II” was released on Boxing Day last year and has since gone on to sell 350,000 physical and digital copies, according to Head of Marketing Claire Loewenthal: “It shows the true hunger from the ‘Footsoldier’ audience.”
Loewenthal provided a whistle-stop tour of the 2017 slate, picking out highlights such as Signature’s first major production, “The Hatton Garden Job”, which is set for release in Q2 to mark the second anniversary of the heist that dominated the headlines.?Boasting an all-star British cast of Phil Daniels, Larry Lamb, Matthew Goode, Joely Richardson, Stephen Moyer, David Calder and Clive Russell, Loewenthal said: “The film is funny, gritty, fast-paced and stylish but not only that it represents four veterans of crime and their last chance at the big time.”
She also picked out potential bestsellers in horror “The Void”, war movie “Operation Chromite” with Liam Neeson, plus fast-paced action movie “Southern Fury” — with “Entourage” star Adrian Grenier, Nicolas Cage and John Cusack — and Arnold Schwarzenegger-starrer “Aftermath”. The latter two films come from Signature’s new partnership with production powerhouse Emmett Furla (“Silence”, “Lone Survivor”, “Rambo”).
Loewenthal described Shia LeBeouf’s role in “Man Down” as a “powerhouse performance” in a film set in a post-apocalyptic America in which a former marine searches for his son, accompanied by his best friend and a survivor. With a starry cast that includes Gary Oldman, Kate Mara and Jai Courtney, she said the recently released trailer has had more than 5 million hits.
Further highlights to come included wilderness survival drama “6 Below” with Josh Hartnett and Mira Sorvino and another genetic mutation sci-fi epic in “The Titan” starring with “Avatar” star Sam Worthington, Taylor Schilling, Tom Wilkinson and Agyness Deyn.
From Precision Pictures, National Account Manager James James highlighted releases such as Robert Englund horror “Midnight Man”, which will hit the festival circuit next year, thriller “Extortion” with Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips”) and Danny Glover, and its own production “King Arthur: Excalibur Rising”, which is set for March 2017.
“Precision are experts in releasing in the fantasy genre; ‘Viking Legacy’ itself, alongside our second release ‘Dragon Warriors’, has gone on to achieve 35,000 units to date in the marketplace,” noted Javes.
“The mediaeval fantasy genre remains very popular within the market and next year will see a huge theatrical release [“King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”] set to hit our screens and with our epic battle scenes and strong visual content throughout we are hoping to capitalise on this fantastic opportunity.”
Precision also has a modern-day western on its slate to take advantage of a resurgence in the genre led by the likes of “The Hateful Eight”, “The Magnificent Seven” and “Bone Tomahawk”, and with Idris Elba-starrer “The Dark Tower” to come.
“Outlaws and Angels” stars Luke Wilson, Chad Michael Murray and Clint’s daughter Francesca Eastwood. It was well-received at Sundance by critics, according to Javes.
Source: www.cueentertainment.com – Sam Andrew
Five years on since he founded Signature Entertainment in the spring of 2011, owner and CEO Marc Goldberg remains driven to succeed in a business that he admits faces serious challenges but also has exciting opportunities for those who embrace change.
Goldberg was speaking at Signature’s now annual pre-Christmas party at the Ham Yard Hotel in London in which the distributor gives customers a glimpse of what is to come and an update on its progress as a business.
It is a measure of how far the company has come that the message was delivered with a degree of pizzazz reminiscent of the boom days of DVD when distributors recognised that they were in the entertainment business and that they had to drag people’s eyes up from the bottom line to look at the stars that made the industry shine.
Pacing the stage after a live link up with Dave Bautista, the star of Signature’s upcoming big budget action movie “Final Score”, Goldberg revealed his love for a business that has moved from humble beginnings in the UK home entertainment sector into theatrical releasing, US distribution and now production.
“We remain extremely passionate about what we do, we are driven by our success and want to continue to have that success and share that success with everyone in the room,” he said.
Goldberg also reflected on a year in which production had “probably become more than just an experiment”. Signature’s foray into filmmaking has included fantasy genre product such as “Viking Legacy” and “King Arthur: Excalibur Rising”, as well as British thrillers “The Hatton Garden Job”, and “Footsoldier: The Beginning”.
He singled out, in particular, “Final Score”, which also stars Pierce Brosnan in an action movie about a gang of criminals who attack a football stadium in a bid to force payment of a huge ransom.
With producers Wayne Godfrey and Robert Jones, Goldberg said the idea was to “to develop a big budget, white knuckle ride action movie” using West Ham’s soon-to-be demolished Upton Park ground as a backdrop.
“We set out to put together a movie on a ticking clock because, obviously, the stadium was no longer going to be there after the summer. And, in eight months, we were able to put the idea into writing, find a very talented director, who was able to bring the movie to life, as well as raise a lot of money, and the simple task of finding some A list cast to be available in a very short window… And we seem to have pulled it off! It has been a remarkable journey,” he said.
“‘Final Score’ has been a huge passion project for me and the company and my fellow co-producers and everyone involved in the team. I can’t wait to bring it to you all next year.”
His obvious enthusiasm, however, was tempered by a couple of serious issues facing what he described as an “ever-evolving” market.
“The fact that Brexit happened doesn’t help companies like ours; we do buy our films in dollars, which, I am sure you can imagine, doesn’t help. It was a bit of a shock,” he said.
“I think the piracy in this country is highly underestimated. I am sure all of you in this room know someone who watches content for nothing and that really doesn’t help any of us. The hope is that there are plans in place that can help us as an industry make that better as the years go on.
“The DVD market is obviously something that is challenging; the physical market is in decline but, with all that said, it is still a billion pound market that we want to grow our share in.”
Goldberg suggested there was still much to be excited about, hinting at the scale of his ambitions for Signature.
“I feel, as a company, that we are at the forefront of the business. We can establish ourselves even further as an enterprising, British-owned film distribution company that can embrace the change in the ways the consumer is watching content,” he said.
“There’s never been more clamour for eyeballsand it is now for us to really deliver this type of content — and more — to many of our customers in the room and beyond around the world.”
With a new production project set to be announced in the New Year, Goldberg remarked that it had been a “quite genuinely an amazing five years” since he went to the Cannes Film Festival with “little experience and very little money and little in the way of contacts”.
“I saw a gap in the market for a new, innovative film distribution company that could take advantage of the way the marketplace was,” he said.
“I found in the back catalogue in the deepest, darkest basement in the Palais, a half-animated, half-live action, semi-well known fairy tale called ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’, which was the first title I bought, and brought to the market. Fortunately,?we sold over 200,000 units of that title and that really was the start of Signature. Sometimes I pinch myself that five years later I was standing in Upton Park about to push a button to blow the stadium up alongside Pierce Brosnan!”
Source: www.cueentertainment.com – Sam Andrew