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NEW YORK – Film exhibition giants AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment Group are getting into the Hollywood studio business amid a decline in major studio output in recent years.
The two largest U.S. theatrical exhibitors on Monday unveiled the launch of Open Road Films, a new acquisition-focused film distribution venture that they said will concentrate on an array of wide-release movies. Based in LA, the company will distribute approximately eight to 10 movies per year – and not only to the venture partners’ screens. It expects to release its first film later this year, the companies said.
Former Lionsgate and Weinstein Company executive Tom Ortenberg will serve as CEO of Open Road. Most recently Ortenberg founded entertainment consulting firm One Way Out Media.
“Open Road Films will approach movie distribution with discipline, focus and innovation,” said Ortenberg. “With strong support from exhibition we will market and distribute wide-release motion pictures in an effective, cost-efficient manner, playing in all theatre chains across the country.”
“As major studio releases have declined in recent years, Open Road Films will fill an important gap that exists in the market today for consumers, movie producers and theatrical exhibitors,” said AMC president and CEO Gerry Lopez. “We are committed to providing a wide array of movies – year round – that appeal to all of our diverse groups of guests.”
Regal CEO Amy Miles said the joint venture will enable “more great stories to reach the big screen.”
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