BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., May 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Upstart film distribution company Aviron Pictures has announced the acquisition of U.S. distribution rights to a trio of films starring box office heavyweights such as Halle Berry, Alec Baldwin and Salma Hayek.
Respected industry veteran David Dinerstein will run the new distribution company which plans to release up to 8 wide release films per year. Dinerstein was joined by former Universal Pictures acquisitions executive Jason Resnick to help build out the Aviron Pictures slate. P&A funding for Aviron Pictures comes through Aviron Capital, a consortium of financiers including principal William Sadleir. Aviron Capital is an asset-backed senior lender with financing provided by BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager with over $5 trillion under management.
Aviron scooped up the U.S. rights to Kidnap, a suspense-thriller starring Academy Award winner Halle Berry and directed by Luis Prieto, for its first film of 2017. The film is an adrenaline-fueled story of a woman who will stop at nothing to save her kidnapped son. Kidnap will be released wide on August 4, 2017. Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Erik Howsam produced Kidnap, alongside Joey Tufaro, Gregory Chou, and Halle Berry and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas under Berry's 606 Films banner. Executive Producers are Bill Johnson, Jim Seibel, D.J. Gugenheim, Doris Pfardrescher, Mike Drake, Todd Trosclair and Knate Gwaltney. Gold Star Films and Caspian Media Capital financed the Knate Gwaltney-penned film, with CAA representing the sale.
"The executives at Aviron have been passionate, treated us as collaborators, and demonstrated real outside-of-the-box thinking," said producers di Bonaventura and Berry. "We know Kidnap is in very capable hands."
Aviron also made a preemptive strike to acquire the comedy Drunk Parents from writer/director Fred Wolf, whose credits include The House Bunny, Grown-Ups and Grown-Ups 2. Drunk Parents stars Alec Baldwin and Salma Hayek as a married couple that makes one bad decision during a night of heavy drinking that takes their lives on a hilarious downward spiral. The film co-stars Jim Gaffigan, Tony nominee Ben Platt and Joe Manganiello. Wolf co-wrote the screenplay with Peter Gaulke. Aviron will release Drunk Parents, which is currently in post-production, in the Fall of 2017. Bron Studios' Aaron L. Gilbert and Fortitude International's Robert Ogden Barnum produced the film, with Jason Cloth, Nadine de Barros and Daniel Wagner, and Jai Khanna serving as Executive Producers. CAA, WME and UTA co-repped the film's sale to Aviron Pictures.
Said Barnum, "We are thrilled to partner with Aviron Pictures. Aviron was very aggressive at tracking Drunk Parents and we were struck by their irreverent campaign ideas, which are perfect for this hysterical comedy."
Finally, at script stage, Aviron acquired the U.S. and Canadian distribution rights to an untitled horror film that is a reboot of 2008's terrifying The Strangers, which grossed $82M worldwide. Johannes Roberts, whose shark diving thriller 47 Meters Down starring Mandy Moore and Claire Holt hits theaters this summer, will direct from a script written by Bryan Bertino, who wrote and directed the original Strangers film, and Ben Ketai. The film follows a family whose road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park and hunker down for the night in a borrowed trailer after the power goes out. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test the family's every limit as they struggle to survive. Casting is underway for the U.S.-based shoot, and Aviron plans to release the film in 2018. The Fyzz Facility Pictures' Wayne Marc Godfrey, Robert Jones, Mark Lane and James Harris are producing. Intrepid Pictures' Trevor Macy, who produced 2008's The Strangers, will serve as Executive Producer. BLOOM is handling international sales.
"The Aviron team impressed us immensely with their savvy marketing strategy and enthusiasm for The Strangers," said Godfrey. "We look forward to this being the first of many films we release with them."
Said Dinerstein, "Our intent has always been to let the films speak for the company, so we are proud to announce this slate of diverse pictures. For the past several months, we've been quietly tracking productions as we've been finalizing our financing. We are looking for the highest quality product and will only make a move if we are true believers in a film's commercial potential theatrically and through all ancillary revenue opportunities. In that respect, our model is driven by creative execution and the potential for commercial excellence. We believe that these films squarely fit that bill."
Aviron Capital's financing deal with BlackRock provides the capital resources to enable Aviron Pictures to acquire and release 8 films a year, with product ranging from commercial wide releases to platformed specialty fare. "BlackRock recognizes that, in addition to the attractive, risk-adjusted, stable and uncorrelated returns in P&A financing, the alignment of interests present in Aviron's model is unique," said Aviron Capital's Sadleir.
Aviron will customize the distribution strategy for each of its films, and while it plans to implement traditional wide theatrical launches for the majority of its slate, Aviron will also explore new-media models on appropriate titles.
Aviron Pictures has also partnered with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment for the marketing, sales and distribution of the Blu-Ray, DVD, Electronic Sell-Through and Video-on-Demand releases of its theatrical films across the U.S. and Canada.
About Aviron Pictures
Aviron Pictures is an independently financed Los Angeles-based entertainment company specializing in the marketing and distribution of feature films in the U.S. and Canada. For additional information, please visit www.avironpictures.com.
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SOURCE Aviron Pictures