Fox Filmed Entertainment (FFE) is targeting the teenand young adult crowd with a new division that will produce and acquire up toeight pictures a year.
Fox Searchlight chief Peter Rice, who recently signed a new five-year-deal withFFE, will head up the as-yet-unnamed division.
The plan is to focus on a genre mix and champion cutting edge filmmakers. Thecompany will also create a separate roster of new media content for theinternet, mobile devices and other emerging technologies. 20th Century Fox will distribute the slate.
Rice will preside over a separate team of production and marketing staff to beannounced in due course, and will work closely with the newly formed Fox Interactive Media.
"Fox has been incredibly successful over the last 10 years in growing itsbusiness organically from within, with the likes of Fox 2000, Blue SkyAnimation, and Fox Searchlight," Rice told Screendaily.
"We were looking at how to continue this trend and decided to target the mostavid filmgoers."
With a 2006 Searchlight slate that includes the likes of Alex Aja's horrorremake The Hills Have Eyes, itappears there will be some confluence between Searchlight and its new sibling.
However Rice confirmed The Hills Have Eyes remained a Searchlight release and pointed out operationaldifferences between the divisions. "Searchlight will continue to do movies forlots of different audiences and most of its releases are platform releases. Thereleases under this new division will all be wide."
"We believe strongly in the explosive potential of the teen and young adultaudience, and that having a separate division geared to their aesthetic, theirhabits and their pace will produce strong growth for FFE," company co-chairmanJim Gianopulos said.
"We have had great success by segmenting our creative focusand addingFox2000, Fox Animation, and Fox Searchlight to the output of 20thCentury Fox and are confident that under Peter's leadership this new divisionwill rapidly earn its place alongside."
"We are confident that [Peter] will both keep Searchlight, now entering itssecond decade of existence, on its perch as the classiest and most consistententity in the specialised business and quickly establish his new company as itsrebellious younger sibling, with nothing but growth ahead," co-chairman TomRothman added.
Searchlight's 2006 slate includes Jason Reitman's Toronto hit and tobaccoindustry satire Thank You For Smoking; Hills Have Eyes; DannyBoyle's sci-fi adventure Sunshine;Richard Eyre's drama Notes On A Scandal starring Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett; Mira Nair's immigration drama TheNamesake; Night Watch; and Deepa Mehta's Toronto opener Water.
Previous releases include Sideways,Napoleon Dynamite, 28 DaysLater, Kinsey, Bend It Like Beckham and Garden State.