Endgame Entertainment announced Thursday the creation of Endgame Releasing, to provide as much as $500 million in funding for marketing and distribution of four to six wide release movies per year through major studios.
Endgame, a Los Angeles-based production financier led by CEO James D. Stern and President, Douglas E. Hansen, plans to provide P & A of at least $20 million per movie for pictures that will be released on a minimum of 1,800 screens in North America.
Endgame said in its announcement that it has invested $150 million of equity with Octopus Investments of London, which will provide the mezzanine debt for the approximately $120 million annual outlay to fund the new business activity. A consortium of banks led by Comerica and Union Bank are said to be providing a revolving senior debt facility to support the new venture as well.
One of the first movies to tap into the fund will be Looper, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt, written and directed by Ram Johnson. Endgame is producing the science fiction action movie (with Ron Bergman Productions) and now Endgame Releasing will co-finance the marketing costs with Film District, with Sony’s Tri-Star Pictures handling the 2012 release. FilmNation Entertainment is handling foreign sales.
“With studios reducing the size of their slates and seeking P&A funding for a variety of reasons, we feel there is no better time to offer an alternative funding source for domestic marketing costs,” said Hansen.
“This model provides studios with additional films for distribution without the need for additional capital, which will better utilize existing overhead and therefore enhance studio returns,” said Ed Fellows of Octopus Investments.