Relativity

by Nicholas Matarazzo
Relativity Media Logo

[1] Relativity Media Logo

HISTORY

Relativity Studios, or simply Relativity, consists of the film and television divisions of Relativity Media LLC. Founded by Ryan Kavanaugh in 2004, the company has produced, distributed and structured financing for over 200 feature films garnering 60 Oscar® nominations. Led by President and Chairman Tucker Tooley and President of Production Robbie Brenner, Relativity has released No. 1 box office openers such as Immortals, which grossed $83 million domestically [2], and produced Academy Award Winning films such as the Internet biopic The Social Network (2010) and The Fighter (2010).

[2] "The Social Network" is one of Relativity's most critically acclaimed films, winning Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing at the 2011 Academy Awards.

[3] “The Social Network” is one of Relativity’s most critically acclaimed productions, winning Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing at the 2011 Academy Awards.

Relativity produces films for large audiences both foreign and domestic, which provide entertainment for a wide variety of target audiences and demographics. With genres ranging from heart-felt romantic dramas to action packed, adrenaline filled thrillers, Relativity strives to bring premium feature films to theaters all over the globe. Some of Relativity Studios’ most successful films include Limitless (2011), starring Bradley Cooper, and Mirror Mirror (2012), starring Julia Roberts.

In addition to film production Relativity also houses both financing and distribution divisions, equipping itself as a fully fledged vertically integrated company. The company has the resources to finance, produce and distribute a film from start to finish and has done so even more effectively since 2010 when the company absorbed the marketing and distribution holdings of Overture Films.

 

KEY EXECUTIVES

Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity Media

[4] Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity Media

Tucker Tooley, President and Chairman of Relativity Media

[5] Tucker Tooley, President and Chairman of Relativity Media

[6] Robbie Brenner, President of Production of Relativity Studios

[6] Robbie Brenner, President of Production of Relativity Studios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINANCIALS

Relativity ranks 9th in overall film distributor companies, owning 2.5% of the total market share as of April 12, 2015. The company’s total gross is $73.6 million with 4 films released thus far in 2015 [7]. Relativity has improved in market share from the previous year, ranking 9th with 1.8% market share and grossing $186.5 million with its 8 films that were released in 2014 [8]. Relativity saw a 22.7% decrease in gross between 2013 and 2014 due in large part to the lack of success of the McG action flick Three Days to Kill [9].

IN THEATERS

“Desert Dancer” (2015)

"Desert Dancer" is biographical drama based on the cultural repression of Afshin Ghaffarian, an Iranian dancer.

[10] “Desert Dancer” is biographical drama based on the cultural repression of Afshin Ghaffarian, an Iranian dancer.

The biographical story depicts the life of Afshin Ghaffarian, a dancer who fled Iran in 2009 due to cultural repression. The film originally debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France in May of 2012. In 2013, the distribution rights were acquired by Relativity at the American Film Market and the film was slated for release in the spring of 2015. In limited release, the film opened on April 10, 2015, in 23 theaters in the US. The film has a current domestic gross of just under $60,000, as of April 16th, 2015 and will move to expanded release on the 17th [11].  Andy Webster of the New York Times says “The fictionalized biopic “Desert Dancer” explores fascinating aspects of present-day Iran but suffers mightily from simplistic and sentimental tendencies” [12].

 

SPRING 2015 RELEASES

“Black or White” (2015) 

Starring Academy Award Winners Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer, "Black or White" follows a young girl caught in a custody battle, mixed within racial qualms of two seemingly different families.

[13] Starring Academy Award Winners Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer, “Black or White” follows a young girl caught in a custody battle, mixed within racial qualms of two seemingly different families.

The heart felt drama was released on January 30, 2015, and saw a domestic gross of $21.5 million. In it’s opening weekend, Black or White ranked third among weekend releases, opening in 1,823 theaters, and averaged $3,408 per theater, attributed to 28.9% of the total domestic gross. Against a production budget of $9 million, the film failed to make budget in its first weekend with a $6.2 million weekend gross [14]. The film received mediocre acclaim for it’s simple and overly-stereotypical characters, and failed to live up to the promised look at the diverse world the audience is brought in to. With a 37% rating on the website Rotten Tomatoes (from 83 reviews) [15], and 45 out of 100 rating on Metacritic [16], it appears that the “inspired by true events” drama garnered average reviews at best. Says the critic consensus on Rotten Tomatoes “”Black or White” has more on its mind than your average family drama, but the film’s approach to its thought-provoking themes too often lives down to its title.” [17]

“The Lazarus Effect” (2015)

Released on February 27, 2015, this horror-thriller starring Olivia Wilde, opened at No. 5 on the weekend box office. The Lazarus Effect, opened in 2,666 theaters; the film averaged $3,827 per theater and grossed a weekend total of $10.2 million which made up 40.1% of the total gross [18]. Despite a strong weekend opening against a production budget of $3.3 million, the film’s success was short lived due to poor critic reviews. Critical consensus on the popular website Rotten Tomatoes said “”The Lazarus Effect” has a talented cast and the glimmer of an interesting idea, but wastes it all on insipid characters and dull, recycled plot points” which is no surprise given its 14% rating [19].

UPCOMING

“Masterminds” (2015) 

Originally titled Loomis Fargo, and based on the true story of the 1997 Loomis Fargo robbery, in which a vault supervisor for the bank stole $17 million and fled to Mexico, Masterminds is the latest comedy from Napoleon Dynamite director Jared Hess. The film stars Zach GalifianakisOwen Wilson, Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis, Ken Marino, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie JonesEastbound & Down producers Jody Hill and Danny McBride both worked on the script and executive-produced [20].

 PROJECTIONS FOR RELATIVITY

With few releases slated for in the first half of 2015 and even fewer in the coming months Relativity is looking at yet another decrease in total gross. Looking forward, it appears that the amount of pressure on such upcoming summer releases as Masterminds, Big Game, and Jane Got a Gun is becoming more apparent. It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the year pans out for Relativity, heading into a shaky second quarter, after a not so strong first.

SOURCES

[1] Relativity Media Logo Relativity Media Retrieved April 10 2015

[2} Box Office by Studio: Relativity Box Office Mojo Retrieved April 10 2015

[3] The Social Network Movie Poster IMP Awards Retrieved April 10 2015

[4] Ryan Kavanaugh Relativity Media Retrieved April 10 2015

[5] Tucker Tooley Relativity Media Retrieved April 10 2015

[6] Robbie Brenner Relativity Media Retrieved April 11 2015

[7] Studio Market Share: Yearly Comparison Box Office Mojo Retrieved April 11 2015

[8] Studio Market Share: 2014 Box Office Mojo Retrieved April 11 2015

[9] Studio Market Share: 2013 Box Office Mojo Retrieved April 11 2015

[10] Desert Dancer Movie Poster Movie Insider Retrieved April 11 2015

[11] Gross Domestic Box Office Results: Desert Dancer Box Office Mojo Retrieved April 12 2015

[12] Review: Desert Dancer New York Times Retrieved April 12 2015

[13] Black or White Movie Poster Mixed Nation Retrieved April 12 2015

[14] Total Gross Box Office Results: Black or White Box Office Mojo Retrieved April 12 2015

[15] Review: Black or White Rotten Tomatoes Retrieved April 12 2015

[16] Review: Black or White Metacritic Retrieved April 13 2015

[17] Review: Black or White Rotten Tomatoes Retrieved April 13 2015

[18] Total Gross Box Office Results: The Lazarus Effect Box Office Mojo Retrieved April 13 2015

[19] Review: The Lazarus Effect Rotten Tomatoes Retrieved April 13 2015

[20] 2015 Preview: Masterminds Rolling Stones Retrieved April 13 2015

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