Focus Features

Jacob Greenfeld

[1] Focus Features Logo

Focus Features, LLC
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608
Phone: (818) 777-8738
Fax: (818) 866-4579
http://www.focusfeatures.com

About

Founded in 2002, the film production and distribution company known as Focus Features serves under the NBCUniversal brand in its art house film department. Some of Focus Features’ blockbuster titles include Brokeback Mountain (2005), Coraline (2009), and Burn After Reading (2008) as well as a recent hit with Insidious Chapter 3 (2015) [2][3]. As a subsidiary of NBCUniversal’s larger and more dominant film studio, Universal Pictures, Focus Features tends to be utilized more for speciality films, and after signing Laika Studios (a small stop-motion animation studio based out of Oregon) to a three film deal in October of last year as well as reviving Gramercy Pictures on May 20 of this year, it is likely that the trend of horror and animation will continue [23][28].

Executives 

[4] Peter Schlessel, Chief Executive Officer

[5] Jim Burke, President of Production

[6] Josh McLaughlin, Executive VP

Financials

Focus Features is a privately traded company and its financials are not public. 2015 has been a mildly successful year for Focus Features. It increased its total box office gross to $112.7 million (as of December 2, 2015, with Suffragette and The Danish Girl still in theaters), up 2% from last year’s $110.5 million. This increase bumped up its ranking on the top grossing film studios list to ninth place with 1.1% of the market share (ranked twelfth in 2014), however it is still eclipsed by its big brother Universal Pictures which holds the number one rank with $2.35 billion along with 23.9% of the market share [7][8].
Focus Features broke its record for the number of movies produced in one year at twelve in 2014, and this year the film studio was able to match it [7]. It also generated some revenue from DVD sales, with a little over $3 million coming in from Insidious Chapter 3, $1.1 million from Black Sea, and $400,00 from 5 Flights Up along with others whose revenues have not yet been listed [25][26][27]. 

Recent Releases

Insidious Chapter 3

Insidious_–_Chapter_3_poster

[9] Insidious Chapter 3 Poster

Written and directed by Leigh WhannellInsidious Chapter 3 is the prequel and third installment in the supernatural horror film series. Set prior to the eerie events that surrounded the Lambert family, Insidious Chapter 3 chronicles Elise Rainier’s struggle to help a young girl who is in grave danger by using her psychic abilities to talk to the dead [15]. Released in theaters on June 5, 2015, Whannell’s horror film was an instant hit, generating a $10.5 million box office gross on its premiere alone. By the time it was taken out of theaters in August 13, 2015, Insidious Chapter 3 had made over $52 million, cementing itself as the fifth highest grossing film produced by Focus Features of all time [3][14]. Leigh Whannell was nominated for a “Directors to Watch” award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival for this film, which he won [16].

Sinister 2

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[10] Sinister 2 Poster

Sinister 2, another addition to a supernatural horror film series, was directed by Ciaran Foy and premiered in theaters on August 21, 2015. The film follows the story of a young mother whose twin boys are haunted by ghosts [17]. While it didn’t quite match the success of Insidious Chapter 3, Sinister 2 did pretty well for itself, grossing $4.67 million in the box office on opening night, almost $28 million in total, and generating the second highest Focus Features box office gross of 2015 (behind Insidious Chapter 3) and twentieth of all time [3][17].

 

 

Suffragette

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[11] Suffragette Poster

 Suffragette, which stars big names such as Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, and Meryl Streep is a historical drama set in Britain that tells the story of the early feminist movement and their fight against their barbaric State [19]. Directed by Sarah GavronSuffragette was released on October 23, 2015 and grossed $22,618 despite premiering in only four theaters. It is now in its sixth week and has made over $4 million at the box office [20]. It has won multiple awards, including “Mind the Gap” at the Mill Valley Film Festival (Sarah Gavron), “Actress of the Year” at the Hollywood Film Awards (Carey Mulligan), and the “Tangerine Entertainment Juice Award” at the Hamptons International Film Festival (Sarah Gavron), along with nominations for “Best Actress” (Carey Mulligan), “Best Supporting Actor” (Brendan Gleeson), “Best Supporting Actress” (Anne-Marie Duff), and “Best Supporting Actress” (Helena Bonham Carter) at the British Independent Film Awards [21].

Upcoming Releases

The Forest

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[12] The Forest Poster

The Forest, which is yet another supernatural horror film, is set to be released in early January of 2016. It is directed by Jason Zada and stars Natalie DormerThe Forest is based on the Aokigahara Forest, which is an actual Japanese forest where people go to commit harakiri. Focus Features purchased the rights to distribute the film domestically in May of 2014 [22]. When the film studio revived Gramercy Pictures last May, The Forest was one of the films listed on their slate [23].

Ratchet & Clank 

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[13] Ratchet and Clank Poster

Co-directed by Jericca Cleland and Kevin MunroeRatchet & Clank is a comedy/action/ sci-fi film that is based on the Ratchet & Clank video game series and is computer animated. Sticking to its roots, Insomniac Games, the creators of the series, have had a major influence over the film from the story and character development to the animation and film production. Some of the voice-over artists from the original game series have returned to give their characters life once again. Also adding to the nostalgia is the utilization of elements specific to the video games in the film. Ratchet & Clank is set to be released in the US on April 29, 2016.

Future

With the recent revival of Gramercy Pictures, the three film deal Focus Features signed Laika Studios to last year following the success of The Boxtrolls, and this new partnership with Insomniac Games, expect to see a slew of horror (i.e. The Forest, A Monster Calls) and animated films (i.e. Ratchet & Clank, Kubo and the Two Strings) in the not-so-distant future [28]. While it may seem like Focus Features is pigeon-holing itself, that may not be the worst thing. Because Focus Features is a subsidiary of Universal Pictures, and they are both subsidiaries of NBCUniversal, there is not too much pressure on Focus Features to consistently have blockbusters. Not to say that there would not be any repercussions if Focus Features didn’t have a big box office draw ever again, just as long as they have one or two films each year that keeps the competition on its toes (i.e. The Boxtrolls in 2014 and Insidious Chapter 3 in 2015) they will continue to thrive and produce the specialty films that they are known for.


[1] Focus Features Logo. Retrieved December 2, 2015. cdn.collider.com
[2] Focus Features, LLC. Retrieved December 2, 2015. focusfeatures.com
[3] All-Time Box Office by Studio: Focus Features. Retrieved December 2, 2015. boxofficemojo.com
[4SHOCKER! Peter Schlessel Takes Over Focus Features. Retrieved December 2, 2015. deadline.com
[5Quotes by Jim Burke. Retrieved December 2, 2015. likesuccess.com
[6LAFF Opening Night Screening of Focus Features’ “Talk to Me” – Arrivals (Josh McLaughlin).  Retrieved December 2, 2015. zimbio.com
[7Yearly Comparisons of Total Box Office Gross: Focus Features. Retrieved December 2, 2015. boxofficemojo.com
[82015 Box Office Gross and Studio Market Share. Retrieved December 2, 2015. boxofficemojo.com
[9Insidious Chapter 3 Poster. Retrieved December 2, 2015. upload.wikimedia.org
[10Sinister 2 Poster. Retrieved December 2, 2015. ia.media-imdb.com
[11Suffragette Poster. Retrieved December 2, 2015. img2.timeinc.net
[12The Forest Poster. Retrieved December 2, 2015. s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com
[13Ratchet and Clank Poster. Retrieved December 2, 2015. c2.staticflickr.com
[14] Daily Domestic Gross: Insidious Chapter 3. Retrieved December 2, 2015. boxofficemojo.com
[15Insidious Chapter 3. Retrieved December 2, 2015. imdb.com
[16Palm Springs International Film Festival. Retrieved December 2, 2015. psfilmfest.org
[17Sinister 2. Retrieved December 2, 2015. imdb.com
[18Daily Domestic Gross: Sinister 2. Retrieved December 2, 2015. boxofficemojo.com
[19Suffragette. Retrieved December 2, 2015. imdb.com
[20Daily Domestic Gross: Suffragette. Retrieved December 2, 2015. imdb.com
[21Suffragette Awards. Retrieved December 2, 2015. imdb.com
[22The Forest. Retrieved December 2, 2015. imdb.com
[23Focus Revives Gramercy Pictures Label for Genre Films. Retrieved December 2, 2015. deadline.com
[24Ratchet & Clank. Retrieved December 2, 2015. imdb.com
[25Insidious Chapter 3 Home Market Performance. Retrieved December 2, 2015. the-numbers.com
[26Black Sea Home Market Performance. Retrieved December 2, 2015. the-numbers.com
[275 Flights Up Home Market Performance. Retrieved December 2, 2015. the-numbers.com
[28Focus Features, Laika Ink Three-Film Pact. Retrieved December 2, 2015. hollywoodreporter.com

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