BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Relativity Studios and Storyoscopic Films jointly announced today they have entered into a strategic partnership for Storyoscopic to produce and finance approximately five or more projects per year with upwards of 200 million dollars in production funding. The joint venture will utilize Relativity’s vast international output deals and its domestic distribution arm (Relativity Europa Distribution). Relativity Europa, dubbed “RED” was an entity created in 2010 by Relativity on the heels of Relativity’s purchase of Overture from John Malone’s Liberty Media. In 2014, EuropaCorp purchased 50% of RED for a reported 130 million dollars.
Storyoscopic’s founders, George Lee and Marcus Englefield, and entertainment industry veteran Brent Baum will act as a core part of Relativity’s future slate and production team. As part of this deal, Storyoscopic brings with it a significant slate of family friendly branded entertainment and global development titles that resonate both in the U.S. and China. Storyoscopic also has close ties to the capital markets and has successfully raised debt and equity on both project and company levels.
This partnership is part of Relativity’s shift in its core production business to focus on financing, producing and distributing movies which fall into global family fare, branded feature films or films which boarder China and the United States. Relativity believes there is a fundamental change in the overall content and advertising world, which is leading to this new direction.
A spokesperson for the studio said, “This is a time of incredible change in our industry and in the surrounding industries. The shifts in advertising, technology and media have caused us to rethink and reanalyze our entire slate and how we do business in general. It is critical that we remain nimble and are able to make pivots like this.”
Through Storyoscopic and this announced joint venture, Relativity has in post-production the animated feature Animal Crackers, directed by Scott Sava, which will be finished by the end of this year and is voiced by an all-star cast including Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Sylvester Stallone, Danny DeVito, Sir Ian McKellen, Raven-Symone, Patrick Warburton and Gilbert Gottfried.
“This film is the perfect example of bringing together a global brand with a family friendly film so that a major brand and a feature film work together in attracting an audience,” said a Relativity spokesperson.
With over $200 million invested in the partnership, the additional projects that are expected to start production immediately include; the CG Ice Moon Rising, directed by David Twohy (The Chronicles of Riddick), written by Rita Augustine and produced by Sriram Das, Steve Chicorel, Brent Baum, George Lee and Marcus Englefield; The Loyal Order of Snowmen, from writers Ron J. Friedman and Steve Bencich (Open Season, Chicken Little) based on their and illustrator Attaboy’s children's book of the same title; and the live action family film currently titled Save the Panda from writer/director Steve Bencich about a socially awkward young boy who tries to stop kidnappers from stealing a panda at the zoo during a class field trip.Relativity intends to start production on a number of its sequels including November Man 2, Act of Valor 2, Immortals 2 and Earth to Echo 2.
Storyoscopic and Relativity also have a number of television projects in development including the epic series, Holoscape from the creators of Star Trek, Roddenberry Entertainment and in association with Jump Creative.
“Roddenberry is a well-recognized global brand, and being able to expand on the legacy they have built with Star Trek is truly exciting,” said a Relativity spokeperson."Storyoscopic Films has strived to create compelling stories for a global market, that resonate with both an Eastern and Western audience. Having such an enthusiastic and knowledgeable distribution and production partner in the amazing team at Relativity only makes the task easier. We now truly have the platform to bridge East and West," said Storyoscopic's George Lee.