Relativity Studios is the film branch of the multimedia company, Relativity Media LLC, or Relativity. The largest division of the company, Relativity Studios has produced, distributed, or financed more than 200 films, generating more than $17 billion in worldwide box office revenue and garnering 60 Oscar nominations . Considered the largest min-major film studio, Relativity Studios has continued to feed founder Ryan Kavanaugh’s vision to take advantage of and help fix inefficiencies in the market. The studio is dedicated to churn revenue and it employs a series of risk-assessing algorithms to help filter out risky projects. Relativity has operated with the mentality that they have taken the risk out of the film industry and takes pride in their innovative approach to a conservative industry .
Founded by Ryan Kavanaugh in 2004, the company started as a middleman, setting up multi-picture deals with studios and then finding banks such as Citigroup and Merrill Lynch to sponsor them. By 2007, Kavanaugh had started developing a reputation of being a bit impractical with his methods and investors slowly started dropping out. However, Elliott Management stepped in and took a minor stake in the company providing the Relativity Studios access to around a billion dollars in credit . With their own source of money, Relativity became more independent. After a notably successful period through 2009, Relativity Media has since struggled.Relativity’s financial debt accumulated and they spent most of 2015 pushing back loan payments and missing new deadlines. On July 30th, Relativity Media filed for Bankruptcy and since then has been faced with an uphill battle to keep the company running.
Ryan Kavanaugh Portrait at Relativity in Beverly Hills, CA on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 (Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
Ryan Kavanaugh has been getting the company out of tricky situations since it’s beginning. After a string of box office flops, Relativity has found itself in a $1.2 billion debt and as of July 30th the solution has been Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. The bankrupcy excludes: Relativity Sports, Relativity EuropaCorp Distribution (RED) and Relativity Education. Chapter 11 allows for Relativity to restructure itself in hopes of reaching a point to stand on its feet; however, all decisions must be approved by a judge. Before reconstruction began, Kavanaugh auctioned off Relativity in October in hopes to pay off the debt. A group of creditors called Stalking Horse Bidders first offered $250 million for the whole company; then later withdrew to only $125 million to take Relativity Television, the company’s most successful branch of operation . shortly after, Kavanaugh lead a group of investors to make a deal that would allow him to take control of the studio and with time, pull the business out of bankruptcy .
Despite his ability to save Relativity again and again, a few have spoken out against Kavanaugh’s ability to run the company Continue reading →
 “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.
 Tucker Tooley, President and Chairman of Relativity Media
 Robbie Brenner, President of Production of Relativity Studios
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 . 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 . 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.
“Desert Dancer” (2015)
 “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 . 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” .
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.
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 . 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) , and 45 out of 100 rating on Metacritic , 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.” 
“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 . 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 .
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.