Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Studios and Storyoscopic Films on Monday announced a joint venture whereby Storyoscopic will produce and finance approximately five or more projects a year.
Films produced under the joint venture and backed by what a source said would be at least $200m in production funding will release internationally via Relativity’s network of output partners and go through Relativity Europa Distribution (RED) in the US.
Relativity launched RED in 2010 after it acquired Overture Films from John Malone’s Liberty Media and four years later EuropaCorp came on board in a reported $130m deal to acquire a 50% stake.
The venture comes as Relativity shifts its focus towards financing, producing and distributing family films and branded features with global appeal.
George Lee and Marcus Englefield, the duo behind 2D-to-3D conversion specialists Venture 3D, have worked with Hollywood and Chinese partners and launched Storyoscopic in 2013 to make family and genre films in the $15-50m range.
They work closely with producing partners such as industry executive Brent Baum and South Korean producer-financier Sam Chi. Lee, Englefield and Baum will serve as a core part of Relativity’s future slate and production team.
While the joint venture offers Storyoscopic the advantage of Kavanaugh’s global distribution infrastructure, Relativity will benefit from a roster of family titles from a partner with close ties to capital markets.
The joint venture’s pipeline includes animated feature Animal Crackers directed by Scott Sava, which is on track to be completed by the end of the year.
Storyoscopic and Chi have been on the project for a number of years and Odin’s Eye originally represented international sales at the AFM in 2014.
The voice cast includes Emily Blunt (pictured), John Krasinski, Sylvester Stallone, Danny DeVito, Ian McKellen, Raven-Symone, Patrick Warburton and Gilbert Gottfried.
It is understood CG animation Ice Moon Rising is ready to start production with David Twohy at the helm. Sriram Das produces alongside Steve Chicorel, Baum, Lee and Englefield, while Rita Augustine wrote the screenplay.
Also on the runway are: Loyal Order Of Snowmen from Open Season and Chicken Little writers Ron J. Friedman and Steve Bencich; and live-action family film Save The Panda from writer-director Steve Bencich.
Relativity intends to start production on a number of its sequels including November Man 2, Act Of Valor 2, Immortals 2 and Earth To Echo 2.
Storyoscopic and Relativity also have a number of television projects in development including the epic series Holoscape from Star Trek creators Roddenberry Entertainment in association with Jump Creative.
“This is a time of incredible change in our industry and in the surrounding industries,” said a Relativity spokesperson. “The shifts in advertising, technology and media have caused us to rethink and reanalyse our entire slate and how we do business in general. It is critical that we remain nimble and are able to make pivots like this.”
“Storyoscopic Films has strived to create compelling stories for a global market that resonate with both an Eastern and Western audience,” said Lee. “Having such an enthusiastic and knowledgeable distribution and production partner in the amazing team at Relativity only makes the task easier. We now truly have the platform to bridge East and West.”