Shout! Acquires EuropaCorp. Titles
Shout! Factory has picked up U.S. rights to the EuropaCorp. films, The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adèle Blanc-Sec, directed by Luc Besson, and A Monster In Paris by Bibo Bergeron. Shout will roll the films out on a cross-platform release including home entertainment, VOD, SVOD and television. The César-winning Adèle Blanc-Sec is an adaptation of the Jacques Tardi comic book series and was released in France in 2010. Louise Bourgoin and Mathieu Amalric star. Shark Tale director Bergeron’s Monster is a CG-animated adventure based on his own original story about an inventor, his best friend and a monkey who inadvertently create a monster with a talent for music. Vanessa Paradis, Sean Lennon, Adam Goldberg, Danny Huston, Bob Balaban, Catherine O’Hara and Jay Harrington form the voice cast.
Scott Free London Lines Up ‘The Fishing Fleet’
Ridley Scott’s Scott Free London has acquired film rights to the Anne de Courcy novel The Fishing Fleet. The company will develop the project as a feature with Scott Free’s Liza Marshall producing. The book is a social history of husband hunting by young British women in India. The deal was negotiated by Blake Friedmann’s Conrad Williams and Carlo Dusi for Scott Free London.
British Newspaper Editors Back Press Reforms
The editors of every major British newspaper have backed the majority of Lord Justice Leveson’s proposals for the reorganization of press self-governance, but not those for statutory intervention. James Harding, editor of the News Corp.-owned Times of London, chaired a meeting Wednesday at which the industry backed 40 of the Leveson Report’s 47 proposals for creating a new self-regulatory body. But they resisted items suggesting a role for communications regulator Ofcom or any other statutorily-appointed auditor. Attendees included the Daily Mail editor-in-chief Paul Dacre, Alan Rusbridger of the Guardian, Tony Gallagher from the Daily Telegraph, Dominic Mohan from the Sun and Lionel Barber from the Financial Times. – Joe Utichi
Will Australia’s Ten Network Go Private?
Are the four biggest shareholders who control 43% of the stock of Ten Network Holdings planning to take the company private? BBY Limited analyst Mark McDonnell thinks that’s on the cards after Ten revealed it’s raising $A230 million ($241 million), mostly to repay U.S. debt, by issuing shares priced at 20c, a 38.5% discount on Monday’s closing price. That’s the second share issue in six months. McDonnell disputed Ten chairman Lachlan Murdoch’s defense of the move as “prudent,” instead labelling it as “excessive” and a massive dilution. McDonnell tells Deadline he thinks major shareholders Murdoch, Bruce Gordon, Gina Rinehart and James Packer are deliberately driving down the share price. “The raising is consistent with a de-listing objective by insiders” and renders the shares below investment grade, he said. – Don Groves.
Cineworld Snaps Up Picturehouse
Publicly listed UK exhibition chain Cineworld Group has acquired City Screen Group, aka Picturehouse, and its distribution arm Picturehouse Entertainment. Picturehouse is Britain’s leading independent movie theater chain with 60 screens at 21 locations. Cineworld, which has 80 sites, paid £47.3M in cash for the company whose primary shareholders were Arts Alliance, managing director Lyn Goleby and Albion Venture Capital Trust. Picturehouse will continue to operate as a separate business entity within the Cineworld Group.
Tinopolis Adds Firecracker Films To Company Portfolio
Hell’s Kitchen producer Tinopolis has acquired Firecracker Films Limited. This is the second acquisition for the UK indie this week, following its purchase of Passion Distribution. Firecracker is a factual entertainment producer whose titles include TLC’s Big Fat American Gypsy Weddings, National Geographic’s Family Guns and BBC3’s Unsafe Sex In the City. The company’s management and creative team will remain in place. CEO Mark Soldinger and other senior executives will become shareholders in Tinopolis.
More Layoffs at News Corp’s Australian Unit
News Limited is laying off 60 production staffers as it moves to a new multi-platform publishing system known as Eidos Methode while continuing to outsource sub-editing duties to New Zealand-based Pagemasters. That brings the number of retrenchments at the Australian company this year to more than 500, according to the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance. The company has shed staff, created seven-day news desks at its mastheads and is progressively introducing paywalls for its flagship papers under reforms instituted by CEO Kim Williams.- Don Groves.