Sony, Cross Creek Ink Three-Year Production, Distribution Deal

Courtesy of Universal
Cross Creek Pictures' 'Everest'

Also part of the deal: co-financing projects.

Cross Creek Pictures, the company behind recent movies such as Johnny Depp’s Black Mass and the mountaineering adventure movie Everest, has inked a three-year co-financing, production and distribution deal with Columbia Pictures.

The move is a boon for Sony, which is looking to bolster its slate with commercially-driven fare and bounce back from a disappointing year at the box office. Even the success of the latest James Bond movie, Spectre, is fraught as the movie marks the end of its current partnership with MGM to make and distribute films.

Cross Creek previously had a first-look deal with Universal where it made the well-regarded Rush. Its movies try to straddle the line between critical and commercial appeal but its recent output has been mixed at the box office. With Mass, which was distributed by Warner Bros., and Everest behind them, its upcoming drama Tom Hardy's Legend was pushed from a October opening to a November platform release.

It is already working with Sony on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the adaptation of the Seth Grahame-Smith novel.

The deal is described as a "multi-platform arrangement, where in addition to distributing Cross Creek pictures on a worldwide basis, Sony Pictures and Cross Creek will have the opportunity to co-finance certain films, originating in either pipeline," according to the two companies.

Said Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Tom Rothman: "Sony Pictures already has an excellent working relationship with Cross Creek, and we are jazzed about the upcoming Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. We feel fortunate that (Cross Creek CEOs Timmy Thompson and Brian Oliver) were open to expanding their relationship with us. They have incredible taste and proven success with smart, commercial movies that serve worldwide audiences, and we know that their films will be a terrific addition to our slate."

Cross Creek’s first production was Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan. It is also behind Mena, the upcoming period drug drama from Doug Liman and Tom Cruise, and is in production on Mel Gibson’s return to the director’s chair with Hacksaw Ridge, starring Andrew Garfield.

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