Relativity Media

By Erin Morris

Courtesy of Relativity Media

 

RELATIVITY MEDIA
9242 Beverly Blvd. Suite 300
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Telephone: 310.724.7700
Website: http://www.relativitymedia.com/

KEY EXECUTIVES

Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO and Founder [1]

Tucker Tooley, President [1]

Happy Walters, Co-Chief Operating Officer [1]

Gregory Shamo, Co-Chief Operating Officer [1]

HISTORY

Ryan Kavanaugh and Lynwood Spinks, former venture capitalists and business consultants, founded Relativity Media in 2004. The film studio originally began as a middleman agent, making deals with other studios and then arranging financial support with banks. However, in 2009, Relativity acquired Rogue Pictures from Universal, and since has been involved in developing, creating, and distributing films its own films. Over the last decade, the studio has produced, distributed or structured financing for roughly 200 films, earning over $20 billion worldwide and garnering a total of 73 Oscar® nominations for motion pictures such as The Social Network and The Fighter. [1]

FINANCIALS

Relativity Media is not a publically traded company, and as such, specific quarterly information is not available. However, box office and studio market share information is readily accessible.

Relativity ranks 9th among film distributors for the year with a 2.3% market share as of November 20th, 2013. The studio also finished 9th in 2012, but with a 1.9% market share. However, with other studios gearing up for Oscar season and Relativity having just one upcoming release, both the market share and ranking might go down. [2] [3]

The studio has grossed $217,267,120 in 2013 thus far, with $104,312,782 of it earned by its four fall releases: The Family, Don Jon, Romeo and Juliet, and Free Birds. [2] [4] [5] [6] [7]

RECENT RELEASES

Don Jon

Longtime actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt made his writing and directorial debut with Don Jon, the story of a charming New Jersey man who struggles with finding true intimacy because of his porn addiction. Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, and Tony Danza also starred in the critically acclaimed controversial film. [5]

Don Jon, which was originally produced by Voltage Pictures for $6 million, premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival where Relativity acquired the rights for $4 million. [8]

The film began its theatrical run on September 27th in 2,400 theaters with a $9 million opening weekend. Don Jon went onto gross over $24 million. [5]

Upon first glance, the numbers look astounding for Relativity – a $24 million gross on a $6 million production budget. However, when Relativity acquired the rights to Don Jon at Sundance, the studio pledged to a $27 million marketing budget. [8]

Relativity distribution chief Kyle Davies still maintained that they were pleased with the film’s performance, citing the film’s strong reviews as a success and that the studio wants “to be in the Joseph Gordon-Levitt business.” [8]

Romeo and Juliet

Relativity also acquired the rights to Romeo and Juliet, little known Italian filmmaker Carlo Carlei’s 2013 adaptation of the Shakespeare classic. Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe winner Julian Fellowes, creator of BBC darling Downtown Abbey, wrote the screenplay. Hailee Steinfeld, who rose to fame in 2010 when she received an Oscar nomination at 14 years old for her performance in True Grit, and Douglas Booth portrayed the titular star crossed lovers. Damian Lewis of Homeland fame played Lord Capulet, Stellan Skarsgård acted as Prince of Verona, and Oscar nominee Paul Giamatti portrayed Friar Laurence. [6] [9] [10]

Oddly, given the star power attached to the project, Relativity gave Romeo and Juliet a limited release. It opened in just 461 theaters on October 11th, 2013 and earned $520,116 during its opening weekend and a mere $1,143,238 to date. [6]

The film received mixed reviews from critics, who called the modern adaption – which kept the traditional Verona setting but not the Shakespearean language – muddled, dull, and dumbed-down. [11]

FUTURE RELEASES

Out of the Furnace

Relativity’s remaining release for year is Out of the Furnace, a drama starring Christian Bale that will be released December 6th, 2013. The star-studded cast also includes the likes of Oscar nominees Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe, Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, and Zoe Saldana of Avatar and Star Trek fame. [12]

The film focuses on Bale who plays a blue-collar man that seeks justice when his younger brother – a war veteran that got involved in a dangerous crime ring – disappears and the police fail to search for him. [12]

Directed by the critically acclaimed writer and director of Crazy Heart Scott Cooper, the film has already gained Oscar buzz for Bale, who won the statue back in 2010 for The Fighter, and Affleck, who was nominated once in 2007 for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. [13]

Given the film’s early December release date, falling between the big Thanksgiving and Christmas opening weekends, Out of the Furnace will not directly go up against any other major films and faces little competition at the box office.

A trailer for the film can be viewed here.

IN THE NEWS

From the Theater to the Classroom

Relativity didn’t appear to believe in Romeo and Juliet enough to advertise heavily or give it a wide release, but the studio did use the film to market their latest venture: the Relativity School.

Relativity will become the first major motion picture studio to invest in forming a school for filmmaking and performing arts. Pending the State of California’s approval, Relativity will begin accepting applications in March of 2014 and class will begin four months later. [14]

On October 4th, 2013, Relativity previewed Romeo and Juliet at the New York’s All-American High School Film Festival to promote its college. The studio also offered the festival’s young filmmakers – and prospective students – a meet and greet with Relativity President Tucker Tooley. [15]

The school, located in Downtown Los Angeles, will offer degrees in Master of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Associate of Fine Arts in fields such as Performing Arts, Entrepreneurship in Media, and Film Production. Relativity has called the school a place where “higher education meets Hollywood” due to industry insiders creating the curriculum and it being located on a working studio lot. [14]

From the Big Screen to the Small Screen

Relativity has branched out not only into education but also television. On October 6th, 2013 it was announced that the National Geographic Channel will produce a scripted TV series based on the Relativity film Act of Valor. Act of Valor, a war film about an elite team of US Navy SEALs, garnered the studio over $80 million after its February 2012 release. [16] [17]

CEO Ryan Kavanaugh cited the 2010 Relativity-distributed Nev Shulman documentary Catfish – which later spawned a popular MTV reality series by the same name – as inspiration for the business venture. Production for the Act of Valor series will start in early 2014. It will be the first scripted show for both National Geographic and Relativity. [16]

Act of Valor isn’t the only Relativity movie that’s being given the TV treatment. It was announced on October 6th that the Bradley Cooper flick Limitless will have a spin-off series as well. The star-studded thriller brought in over $160 million after it premiered in March 2011. Cooper will serve as an executive producer on the series. [18] [19]

 

 

 

 

SOURCES

[1] About Relativity Media – Company History and Executive Biographies and Images. RT 11/13/13

[2] Box Office Mojo Relativity Media Results for 2013. RT 11/15/13

[3] Box Office Mojo Relativity Media Results for 2012. RT 11/15/13

[4] The Family Box Office Results. RT 11/15/13

[5] Don Jon Box Office Results. RT 11/15/13

[6] Romeo and Juliet Box Office Results. RT 11/15/13

[7] Free Birds Box Office Results. RT 11/15/13

[8] Hollywood Reporter Article on Don Jon’s Production and Marketing Budgets. RT 11/15/20

[9] Relativity’s About Romeo and Juliet. RT 11/15/20

[10] IMDB for Julian Fellowes. RT 11/15/20

[11] Rotten Tomatoes Reviews of Romeo and Juliet. RT. 11/15/20

[12] Relativity’s About Out of the Furnace. RT. 11/18/20

[13] Article Oscar Buzz for Out of the Furnace. RT. 11/18/20

[14] About the Relativity School. RT. 11/18/20

[15] Article about the Romeo and Juliet screening at high school film festival. RT. 11/18/20

[16] Deadline Article on Act of Valor TV series. RT. 11/19/20

[17] Act of Valor Box Office Results. RT. 11/19/20

[18] Deadline Article on Limitless TV series. RT. 11/19/20

[19] Limitless Box Office Results. RT. 11/19/20

 

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