Cannes 2012: Millennium Strikes $150 Million Co-Financing Deal With West Coast Film Partners
CANNES -- Gerard Butler action pic White House Taken will be the first film to fall under a newly announced $100 million co-financing and co-production deal struck between Millennium Films and West Coast Film Partners.
The three-year pact -- announced in Cannes, where Millennium's White House Taken is being shopped to foreign buyers -- calls for the partners to turn out three wide releases per year. Antoine Fuqua is directing White House Taken.
"We're very excited to be working with Klay and his team at West Coast. Clearly, they have financing expertise. But also the movies they want to make are very much in line with the direction we're taking our company today," Millennium chairman Avi Lerner said.
West Coast Film is an equity fund and production company based in Germany, the U.K. and Los Angeles.
"At a time when so many companies in the film business are rentrenching, the these guys are expanding. We share their optimisim about the potential for growth and success in the motion picture business in the years ahead, if properly managed," said West Coast CEO Klay Shroedel.
In White House Taken, Butler plays a Secret Service agent who has fallen from grace -- until the White House is attacked and taken over by a team of North Koreans armed with extraordinary technology. Everything the Pentagon throws at the problem fails and it falls on Butler's character, who knows the famous building like nobody else, to save the president and the country.
Millennium develops, finances and produces eight to 10 films per year, including the upcoming The Expendables 2, Playing the Field, also starring Butler, and Lee Daniels' The Paperboy, which is playing in competition at the Cannes Film Festival and stars Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, John Cusack and Nicole Kidman.
The co-financing and co-producing deal was negotiated on behalf of Millennium by Lerner and his partner Trevor Short, along with Millennium president Mark Gill -- who initially put it together with Schroedel -- and business and legal affairs head Lonnie Ramati. Shroedel, West Coast president Stefan Gray and Gary Concoff of Troy Gould negotiated on behalf of West Coast.