Haim Saban’s newly launched distribution company snaps the reputable western, starring Jones and Hillary Swank, as its first major acquisition.
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Media mogul Haim Saban has launched his new film distribution company, Saban Films, just a week ago, and already managed to win it a very major and prestigious first acquisition.
Beating out the competition from giants such as Sony Pictures Classics, the Chairman and CEO of Saban Capital Group’s freshly-minted company has taken North American rights to “The Homesman”, Tommy Lee Jones’ sophomore directing effort, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival to strong – and in some instances rave – reviews, and mentions of awards potential.
Saban Films, headed by Former RLJ Entertainment executive Bill Bromiley, had set a goal of acquiring eight to ten independent feature films – in all stages of production – per year. “I have a long-standing and deep affection for independent film and saw an opportunity in the theatrical distribution arena as well as an emerging distribution platform strategy that focuses on cable, satellite, and Telco VOD, ” said Saban in a statement upon the venture’s launch. “Film is a natural progression for Saban Capital Group with existing interests already in television, media and brands.”
Coming to Cannes with a well-laid, aggressive acquisition strategy, Bromiley, according to Deadline, quickly targeted the Tommy Lee Jones starring/co-written/directed film after its official debut on Sunday, ensuingly securing the deal for a sum of over $3 million, with a key element being the company’s commitment to mount an awards campaign.
“I am delighted that Saban Films has chosen ‘The Homesman’ to begin their venture into film release”, said Jones in a statement. “Our company has full confidence in Saban Films and I sincerely hope we will serve them well.”
Based on the 1988 novel by Glendon Swarthout, “The Homesman” tells the story of a stalwart 19th century woman (Swank) who employs a drifter (Jones) to aide in the effort of delivering three mentally-unbalanced women back east. They cross the untamed Nebraska Territories in a journey marked by stark beauty, constant threat, and psychological peril.
“We are honored to have such a prestigious and beautifully crafted film as the first project to launch Saban Films”, Saban said in a statement.
Saban Films will release the film in theaters later this year.
Haim Saban is an American media proprietor, investor, record, film & television producer. With an estimated net worth of $3.4 billion, he is ranked by Forbes as the 144th richest person in America.
Saban was born to a Jewish family in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1944. In 1956, the Saban family immigrated to Israel.
He started his career in 1966 as a bass player and manager with the rock band The Lions of Judah (Ha’arayot), and in the early 1970’s moved to France where he worked as a music producer.
Upon his move to the United States, Saban became a television producer, founding Saban Entertainment in 1988. In the 1990s, Saban’s company became best known for the creation and production of the popular Power Rangers franchise.
In 1995 Saban joined Fox Broadcasting to form Fox Family Worldwide, which became one of the world’s leading vertically integrated, global family and children’s entertainment companies that produced, branded, licensed, broadcasted, and distributed live-action and animated family and children’s television programming.
In 2001, Fox Family Worldwide was sold to The Walt Disney Company for $5.3 billion. In the same year, Saban founded the private investment firm Saban Capital Group, which current private equity investments include Univision (the premier Spanish-language media company in the US) and Celestial Tiger Entertainment (Malaysia’s largest pay TV platform, set to launch and operate new branded pay television channels across Asia).