Open Road, the U.S. distributor that was part of Donald Tang’s ambitious plans to build a global mini-studio before collapsing in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, is back in the theatrical distribution business.
After private equity group Raven Capital Management acquired Open Road’s assets for $87.5 million in late 2018, the company said it is relaunching in the theatrical space in time for the Cannes virtual market. Capitalized by Raven, Open Road Films is back to acquiring and releasing films in partnership with Tom Ortenberg’s Briarcliff Entertainment, the company said.
The first film to be released theatrically is the action thriller Honest Thief, starring Liam Neeson and directed by Mark Williams. The movie will open in theaters nationwide later this summer.
“It’s an honor and pleasure to be working with James and everyone at Raven to relaunch Open Road Films. We will continue the Open Road tradition of quality, commercially viable motion pictures and I look forward to many successes together,” Ortenberg said Monday in a statement.
Tang’s Tang Media Partners made its big Hollywood play by acquiring Stuart Ford’s foreign sales, financing and production outfit IM Global and then buying Open Road and merging the two to form Global Road. Both Ford and Open Road boss Tom Ortenberg left the company to form rival operations: Ford’s AGC Studios and Ortenberg’s Briarcliff.
Raven’s purchase of Open Road Films included the rights to 45 released film titles as well as related distribution contracts and other assets.