BETHESDA, Md., July 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Privately held RLJ Companies,
LLC ("RLJ") controlled by Robert L. Johnson, founder of BET and owner of
the NBA Charlotte Bobcats, today announced that it has entered into a new
venture with The Weinstein Company ("TWC") to create a film company that
will produce titles in the African-American family comedy genre. The
announcement was made jointly today by Robert L. Johnson and Bob and Harvey
Weinstein, co-chairmen of The Weinstein Company.
RLJ will launch Our Stories Films ("Our Stories") shortly and the firm
will be headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in New York City. Our
Stories titles will be theatrically distributed by The Weinstein Company's
Dimension Films and on DVD by Genius Products, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board:
GNPI). Under the agreement, TWC will have an equity stake in the venture.
Robert L. Johnson will run Our Stories and will control the decisions to
produce, acquire and finance film projects. JP Morgan Chase has committed
to financing the venture with up to $175 million under terms to be
"We are thrilled to partner with Harvey and Bob Weinstein to fulfill
this vision," stated Robert L. Johnson, Chairman of Our Stories Films,
"Never before has an African-American had 'green light authority' at a
studio combined with this quality of financing and a distribution partner
that has a proven track record in successful urban films."
Bob and Harvey Weinstein stated, "We are proud to be behind this
venture and are confident in Bob Johnson's taste and his ability to
identify projects that will be successful. We are committed to releasing a
slate of films focused in the African-American family genre and to working
with Our Stories to launch their exciting new brand."
John W. Miller, Managing Director of JP Morgan Chase, stated, "This is
a project that is long overdue in Hollywood and we are honored to be a part
of making it happen. We could not be more excited about working with Bob
Johnson, a partner who clearly understands the financial realities of the
film business, and what it takes to market urban-based consumers."
The company has begun assembling a topflight management team to be
announced in the near future.
About The RLJ Companies
The RLJ Companies ("RLJ"), founded by Robert L. Johnson, founder and
former CEO and Chairman of Black Entertainment Television owns or holds
majority interests in a diverse portfolio of companies in the financial
services/asset management, real estate, hospitality, professional sports,
film production, gaming and recording industries. An innovative business
network, The RLJ Companies seeks to target undiscovered or underserved
markets, then exercise solid management and achieve exceptional results.
RLJ is located in Bethesda, Maryland, and currently has operations in New
York and San Francisco.
About The Weinstein Company and Dimension Films
Bob and Harvey Weinstein launched The Weinstein Company, a multi-media
company, on October 1st, 2005. Dimension Films, the genre label that began
at Miramax, is also included under The Weinstein Company banner.
The Weinstein Company and Dimension Films have released the sexy
psychological thriller "Derailed," starring Jennifer Aniston and Clive
Owen; "Wolf Creek," the terrifying Australian horror film; "Hoodwinked," a
tremendously successful CGI animated family film; "Lucky Number Slevin,"
starring Bruce Willis, Josh Hartnett, Lucy Liu, and Academy Award winners
Morgan Freeman, and Sir Ben Kingsley; "Scary Movie 4," the record breaking
latest installment in the hugely successful and hilarious horror-parody
series; "The Matador," starring Pierce Brosnan; "Transamerica," starring
Golden Globe winner Felicity Huffman; and "Mrs. Henderson Presents,"
starring Academy Award winner Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins.
Upcoming releases from TWC include "Clerks II," a new film from Kevin
Smith; "Breaking & Entering," written and directed by Anthony Minghella and
starring Jude Law, Juliette Binoche, Robin Wright Penn and Vera Farmiga;
"Factory Girl," starring Sienna Miller; "Bobby," the highly anticipated
film from Emilio Estevez that stars an incredible ensemble cast; and
"Killshot," a film from Academy Award winning director John Madden starring
Diane Lane, Mickey Rourke and Rosario Dawson.
In 1994, Bob Weinstein founded Dimension Films, a film label committed
to producing highly commercial science fiction, thriller, action, urban,
and horror genre films. The company's successful slate of releases include
the "Scary Movie" franchise, Wes Craven's "Scream" trilogy, Robert
Rodriguez's "Spy Kids" trilogy, "Bad Santa," "Halloween: H2O," "The Crow,"
Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's "From Dusk Till Dawn," Wes
Craven's "Cursed," and Robert Rodriguez's "Sin City" franchise.
Upcoming films from Dimension include "Pulse," a remake of a Japanese
horror film starring Kristen Bell and Ian Somerhalder; "School for
Scoundrels," a comedy from director Todd Phillips ("Old School") starring
Jon Heder ("Napoleon Dynamite") and Billy Bob Thornton ("Bad Santa,"
"Monster's Ball"); "Black Christmas" a remake of the 1970's cult horror
classic of the same name, which stars Michelle Trachtenberg, Lacey Chabert,
Oliver Hudson, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead; "Superhero Movie" a spoof on
the latest trend of comic-book inspired films from director David Zucker; a
big screen adaptation of "Welcome Back, Kotter," starring Ice Cube; and
"Sin City 2," the second installment in the franchise based on the
electrifying graphic novels from Frank Miller, which will be co-directed by
Robert Rodriguez and Miller.
About JP Morgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services
firm with assets of $1.3 trillion and operations in more than 50 countries.
Under the JPMorgan and Chase brands, the firm serves millions of
consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent
corporate, institutional and government clients.
For The RLJ Companies:
Contact: (202) 965-2810 O
(716) 316-0918 M
For The Weinstein Company:
Contact: (646) 862-3825
SOURCE The RLJ Companies