New Agreement Reached to Commence First Joint Production of 'Opus'
The agreement also gives Miramax/Dimension the opportunity to distribute Wild Brain's self-financed, direct-to-video productions over the next three years. Similarly, Wild Brain has the opportunity to access Miramax/Dimension's worldwide distribution pipeline for films in which it produces and pays releasing costs.
The first joint production is expected to be "Opus," which Craig Mazin ("Scary Movie 3") will adapt from the Pulitzer Prize-winning comic strip, "Bloom County," created by Berkeley Breathed.
For the past 10 years, Wild Brain has created characters and produced award-winning animation in all media, including the Disney Channel's new pre- school television series "Higglytown Heroes"; television commercials for Coca- Cola(C), Nike, and Novartis Lamisil(C), among others; and short films including "Hubert's Brain".
"There is tremendous demand for animated family films," said Bob Weinstein. "We're impressed by Wild Brain's creativity, story-telling prowess, and sheer imagination and look forward to working together."
"We are enormously fortunate to have such a skilled marketer and accomplished distributor as a business partner to expand the scope of our animation offerings," said Jim Miller, Chairman of Wild Brain. "Our premiere animation facility has attracted some of the most respected artists and producers in the business. Now we have a production partner that shares our commitment to superior content driven by compelling story lines."
"We believe this combination will be one of the most exciting ventures in the entertainment industry during the next several years -- the Miramax/Dimension and Wild Brain deal teams deserve a standing ovation," said Sam Humphreys, CEO of European private-equity firm Syntek Capital AG, a Wild Brain investor that took an active role in securing, structuring and financing Wild Brain's participation in the relationship. "A Miramax/Dimension and Wild Brain partnership creates a new powerhouse in CG animation. Miramax/Dimension's creative expertise in choosing content and marshalling talent are second only to its exceptional ability in marketing and distributing films."
Andrew Rona and Brad Weston, Co-Presidents of Dimension, will oversee the relationship for the studio.
Charles Layton, EVP, Office of the Co-Chairmen, Andrew Gumpert, EVP Business and Legal Affairs and Eric Sherman, VP Business and Legal Affairs negotiated on behalf of the studio.
About Miramax Films:
Miramax Films, founded by Bob and Harvey Weinstein in 1979, has released some of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful independent feature films, including fourteen Best Picture nominations over a span of the past twelve years: "Chicago," "Gangs of New York," "The Hours," "In the Bedroom," "Chocolat," "The Cider House Rules," "Shakespeare In Love," "Life Is Beautiful (La Vita E Bella)," "Good Will Hunting," "The English Patient," "Il Postino (The Postman)" and "The Piano" as well as twenty-three Best Foreign Language Film nominations over the past sixteen years including The Barbarian Invasions, Twin Sisters, Amelie, Life Is Beautiful, Kolya, Mediterraneo and Cinema Paradiso.
About Dimension Films:
Dimension Films, a subdivision of Miramax founded in 1994, is committed to producing science fiction, thriller, action, and horror genre films. The company's successful slate of releases include the "Scary Movie" trilogy, "The Others," Robert Rodriguez' "Spy Kids" trilogy, Wes Craven's "Scream" trilogy, "Halloween H2O," "The Crow," and Rodriguez' and Quentin Tarantino's "From Dusk Till Dawn." Dimension's 2005 releases include Wes Craven's "Cursed" on February 25, and Robert Rodriguez' "Sin City" on April 1.
About Wild Brain:
Wild Brain, Inc. ( http://www.wildbrain.com/) is an award-winning animation studio that develops and produces content for the global film, TV and commercials markets. Founded in 1994 by senior business and creative leaders Jeff Fino, John Hays and Phil Robinson, Wild Brain's client list includes the biggest names in media and entertainment: Universal, Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, DreamWorks, Warner Bros, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Oxygen. Wild Brain is the top U.S. producer in the animated commercials sector, with a client list that includes Nike, Coca-Cola, Ford, Nabisco, Sony, McDonald's, Target, Nestlé, The Wall Street Journal, Chevrolet, Mattel and Levi Strauss, among others. The company has animated some of the best-known icons in advertising, from the Hershey's Kisses to the KFC Colonel and more. Renowned for blending traditional animation methods with state-of-the-art tools, the work of the studio's talented artists has garnered nominations and awards from every major design and animation organization in the industry.
CONTACT: Emily Bear of Dimension Films, +1-212-625-5073; or Matthew
Hiltzik or Sarah Levinson, both of Miramax Films, +1-212-625-5170; or Ray
Yeung or Michele Clarke, both of Brainerd Communicators, +1-212-986-6667, for
Wild Brain, Inc.
Web Site: http://www.wildbrain.com/