Relativity Media Acquires Rogue Pictures from Universal
by Alex Billington
January 4, 2009
Another big industry acquisition officially announced today. After more than two months of negotiations, Relativity Media has closed a deal to buy Rogue Pictures from Universal Pictures for roughly $150 million. Rogue was the independent horror arm Universal that distributed films like Shaun of the Dead, Seed of Chucky, Unleashed, Fearless, The Hitcher, Hot Fuzz, Balls of Fury, Doomsday, and The Strangers. Relativity Media is a production and investment company based out of Hollywood responsible for films like RV, Talladega Nights, The Pursuit of Happyness, American Gangster, Step Brothers, and so on.
Universal will retain a distribution stake in future Rogue films, meaning they will continue to distribute their films as they have been doing since its creation. Relativity's CEO Ryan Kavanaugh said of the the purchase: "[It] allows us to pair our production and finance abilities alongside Universal's extraordinary marketing and distribution team, under the umbrella of a strong and highly focused brand." This acquisition comes four months after Relativity was given $1 billion from a New York investment firm and after they signed a massive deal with Universal to fund a substantial part of their upcoming slate through 2015.
So what does this mean for the average moviegoer? Not much, of course, but if you take a look at the films that Kavanaugh has produced, he has a much better track record than Rogue Pictures itself. Kavanaugh served as executive producer on films like Talladega Nights, 3:10 to Yuma, The Kingdom, Charlie Wilson's War, The Bank Job, and 21. His upcoming projects include A Perfect Getaway, Rob Marshall's Nine, Season of the Witch, Piranha 3-D, and War of the Gods. It might mean we'll see some stronger films from Rogue in the future and less horror "mistakes" like Cry_Wolf, The Return, The Hitcher and Doosmday.