Village Roadshow Pictures (VRP) and Warner Bros. Entertainment have extended their longstanding film production partnership until the end of 2017.
Village Roadshow has also announced a new funding deal which will boost VRP's film production finance to $US1.125 billion through to 2017 to finance its future slate of films. The company had previously said it plans to increase the number of films it produces each year from 3-4 to 6-8, including more Australian films.
Warner Bros. and VRP have previously collaborated on films such as the Sherlock Holmes, Ocean’s and Matrix franchises. Village Roadshow chief executive Graham Burke said Warner Bros. continues to be the industry leader in film production, distribution and marketing.
“VRP now has the firepower of the financing locked away, the best management in the business and the renewal of its long-term relationship with Warner Bros. which puts it in fantastic shape.”
It ends a challenging period for VRP (part of Village Roadshow Entertainment Group (VREG)), which has faced difficulty re-financing its debt through the global financial crisis. The company had previously explored taking the group public. In June, VREG completed a $US275 million new funding transaction as part of a restructuring which boosted Village Roadshow's stake to 47.63 per cent.
At June 30, 2012, VREG had $US113 million cash on hand and had drawn down $US870 million for its film production activities.
Among VRP and Warner Bros' upcoming releases are Gangster Squad (set for release in Australia on January 10, 2013) and Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby (set for release on May 30, 2013). Other releases include the animated LEGO: The Movie, Tom Cruise sci-fi All You Need Is Kill, and Mad Max: Fury Road.
Warner Bros chief executive and chairman Barry Meyer said: “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.”
Warner Bros. Pictures group president Jeff Robinov said: “Working together, our companies have produced and released many popular and successful films, and we expect that to continue into the future with this agreement.”