The studio’s 15-year-old producer-financier partner has also increased its production facility to $1.125bn.
Village Roadshow, whose association with Warner Bros has spawned the Sherlock Holmes (pictured), Matrix and Ocean’s franchises among others, will now return to its pre-financial crisis annual output of six to eight features.
For the last several years the company has produced two to four films a year due to capital restraints in the market. Nonetheless its 72-strong library is regarded by the banks as a valuable asset and of those, 68 were released in association with Warner Bros.
Village Roadshow Entertainment Group (VREG) CEO Greg Basser said the transaction marked the eighth time the company had refinanced in its history and the third time since the 2008 crash. JPMorgan Chase and Rabobank continue as VREG’s joint syndication agents.
“The outcome has been better than expected,” said Village Roadshow Pictures chairman and CEO Bruce Berman, who added that the refinancing was 50% oversubscribed, which was “a testament to the structure of the company.”
“We went to market a few weeks ago,” said Berman. “The market is looking to lend to a strategic company with management involved.”
“Without doubt Warner Bros is the most successful studio in the industry,” said Basser. “We’re very happy to continue to be in business with them and this deal will take us through to the end of 2017, marking what will be our 20th anniversary.”
Upcoming releases include Gangster Squad starring Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone and Sean Penn set to open in the US on Jan 11 and Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, which is set to open on May 10 and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire.
“We now have the firepower of the financing locked away, the best management in the business and the renewal of our long term relationship with Warner Bros, which puts us in fantastic shape,” said VREG chairman Graham Burke. “Warner Bros continues to be the industry leader in production, distribution and marketing.”
“We have had a long, successful relationship with Village Roadshow, and we are pleased they will continue to be our partner in making great movies,” said Warner Bros chairman and CEO Barry Meyer.
Village Roadshow’s production slate includes Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s animated adventure LEGO: The Movie starring Will Arnett, Will Ferrell and Morgan Freeman set to open in February 2014, action thriller All You Need Is Kill, which Doug Liman directs and stars Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, and Mad Max: Fury Road with Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy directed by George Miller.