Universal Pictures to sell its ‘Rogue Pictures’ label
Relativity Media LLC, longtime financing partner of Rogue Pictures, is considering the purchase of the horror and thriller film label for as much as $150 million. Talks are on for Relativity to acquire Rogue’s brand, catalog and upcoming releases, clearly indicating Relativity’s intention of getting deeper into the film production business.
Rogue Pictures, the Universal Pictures label, responsible for horror projects like “Shaun of the Dead” and “Doomsday”, in planning the sale of its line up of upcoming and in-development projects, as well as its 25-film library.
Though Universal would continue to distribute the films attached to Rogue, the potential owner would inherit projects such as “The Unborn,” Wes Craven’s upcoming horror film, “25/8,” and “Fighting.”
The revelation about the potential sale comes just days after division Rogue’s Chief Executive, Jeff Zucker, sent a memo to staff on Friday announcing a budget cut of $500 million in 2009, although industry gossip columnist, Nikke Finke, reports that the label did indeed operate at a profit.
The sale of Rogue would practically reduce overhead expenses and the risk of a flop for Universal, while locking in a distribution fee of anywhere from 10-15 percent of gross ticket sales.
The move represents a considerable circumvent in a weakening economy, as Universal’s film slate is about to expand to about 34-36 movies a year after DreamWorks’ productions hit theaters around the end of 2009.
If a sale deal indeed does come through, what would be interesting to note is how it all works out for Rogue - and for the four films it has scheduled for release in the coming year!