Ashok Amritraj's Hyde ParkEntertainment has signed a five-year, first-look production and distributiondeal with 20th Century Fox which incorporates co-financing, production anddistribution and includes a number of put pictures.
Fox will handle domestic distribution on all films under the deal,with Hyde Park retaining international rights and selling them through HydePark International under recently appointed president Lisa Wilson.
The deal will see Hyde Park fully financing films with budgetsunder $30m and co-financing films above that number.
The company's existing second-look deal with The Walt DisneyStudios remains in place for another three years; Hyde Park formerly had a dealwith MGM before it was acquired by a consortium led by Sony Pictures.
Amritraj (pictured) says that he expects Hyde Park to produce15-20 titles for Fox over the next five years, many of which will be derivedfrom its current development slate of about 25 to 30 projects. The company willcover its own development costs, except on those films for which Fox wants topartner.
The relationship puts Hyde Park alongside Arnon Milchan's RegencyEnterprises as a key supplier and co-financing partner to the studio.
Amritraj is chairman and CEO of the company and he has justextended president Jon Jashni's multi-year deal. Natexis Banques Populaires,through group manager Bennett Pozil, will continue to provide financing for thecompany's slate, while Hyde Park also has an ongoing relationship with UK fundmanager The Brass Hat Group which provides equity production funds in additionto Hyde Park's other sources of financing. Hyde Park has output deals in placewith Entertainment in the UK and Epsilon in Germany among others.
"Jim (Gianopulos), Tom (Rothman), Bob (Harper) and Hutch (Parker)are a great team and we look forward to being extremely aggressive indelivering to them the glossy, commercial studio fare that has always been theHyde Park trademark," said Amritraj in a statement. "Flexibility is key intoday's marketplace and our goal is to have our menu of production andfinancing options position Hyde Park in the community as an obvious home fortalent."
"Ashok has a deep understanding of material, talent and themarketplace and will be an important asset to the studio. We welcome him andHyde Park to our Fox family," said Jim Gianopulos, co-chairman of Fox FilmedEntertainment (FFE).
"Ashok is one of the mostprolific producers in the business. We look forward to Hyde Park providing uswith a diverse slate of pictures," added Tom Rothman, co-chairman of FFE.
Hyde Park has two films receiving their world premieres at Torontoin September - Shopgirl starring Steve Martin and Claire Danes which Disney is releasingdomestically and Dreamer starring Dakota Fanning and Kurt Russell which DreamWorks ishandling domestically. They are both scheduled to open on Oct 21.
Meanwhile the company is in pre-production on three films - Premonition to be directed by Mennan Yapo (Soundless), Monkeyface starring Richard Gere and to be directedby Vicente Amorim, and Wallflower which has been written and will be directed by Joel Wyman (PaleSaints, The Mexican).
Hyde Park has first look producer deals with Matthew Baer andPatrick Aiello, as well as a production partnership with Odd Lot Entertainment thatwill kick off with the Iain Softley-directed thriller Trap For Cinderella.
Attorneys SkipBrittenham and David Nochimson of Ziffren Brittenham Branca FischerGilbert-Lurie Stiffelman & Cook structured the Hyde Park deal with Fox.