Yari Film Group Releasing Crashes Due to Bankruptcy
by Alex Billington
December 14, 2008
Yet another independent film distributor has gone belly up, this time it's Yari Film Group Releasing, the distribution arm of Bob Yari's company. As of last Friday, the company was forced into involuntary bankruptcy due to a described "perfect storm" of debts and other issues. Yari Film Group's first big hit was The Illusionist in 2006; other films they've released include First Snow, The Hoax, The Painted Veil, Resurrecting the Champ, The Good Night, Kickin It Old Skool, and The Perfect Holiday. Yari was also in the midst of releasing two dramas this December - Nothing But the Truth and What Doesn't Kill You.
Bob Yari said that they were "left with no other option but to commence substantial layoffs and to suspend its releasing activities." While both Nothing But the Truth and What Doesn't Kill You will both be released as planned (on December 19th and December 12th, respectively), all other films will most likely be put on a temporary hold. Yari Film Group's production side will not be affected, although they are likely to make fewer movies now that the company is struggling financially. "Our goal is to aggressively work towards reorganizing our debt so that we can become a stronger company," Yari said in a statement.
At one point a few years ago I actually wrote an article about Yari Film Group, praising them for being a strong company with great releases. However, their first downward turn was with the throwaway comedy Kickin It Old Skool. Since then they've released nothing but bombs or have struggled to give potential hits the actual support they needed. I'll continue to say that the two reasons why companies like Yari Film Group and Picturehouse have collapsed are: first off, they decide to release so many terrible throwaway films, and second, because their staff is made up of people who really don't understand marketing or distribution.
Sadly, Yari had a few releases coming up that I was really looking forward to, specifically The Maiden Heist and Assassination of a High School President. We don't yet know what the status of either of these two are, but we'll be sure to keep everyone in the loop, as I won't let these films disappear.