Bron, MGM Ink Multipicture $100M Co-Financing Deal

Aaron L. Gilbert Jason Cloth Split - Publicity - H 2018
Hilary Bronwyn Gayle; Creative Wealth Media

The agreement comes on the heels of the Canadian upstart signing a $100 million pact with Warner Bros. in December to co-finance six movies, beginning with Clint Eastwood's 'The Mule.'

In its second major deal in six months, Bron Creative has struck a multipicture $100 million-plus co-financing pact with MGM. Titles covered in the agreement include MGM's The Addams Family, Legally Blonde 3, Candyman, Respect, The Thomas Crown Affair and Robocop Returns, as well as Orion Pictures' Child's Play, Bad Trip and Gretel and Hansel.

The deal comes on the heels of Bron Creative, a joint venture between Aaron L. Gilbert's Bron Studios and Jason Cloth's Creative Wealth Media, signing a $100 million agreement with Warner Bros. in December to co-finance six movies, beginning with Clint Eastwood's The Mule. It marks the first time that long-standing Hollywood studio MGM and Canadian upstart Bron have worked together.

Gilbert and Cloth will serve as executive producers on the films.

"We are excited to partner with MGM on this highly anticipated slate of films, all driven by talented filmmakers. This is another important step forward in Bron's growth model," Gilbert and Cloth said Thursday in a joint statement.

Added Jonathan Glickman, MGM's motion picture group president: "This multipicture deal builds upon the growing strength of our film business with a strategic investment for the future. Building on our incredibly robust library of titles is the cornerstone of the studio's ongoing effort to be the leading independent producer of content in our industry. We look forward to partnering with Bron on this incredible slate of movies."

Over the past decade, Bron Creative has built an impressive slate of films, from awards-season contenders like Fences and Roman J. Israel Esq. to modestly budgeted counterprogramming such as A Simple Favor and The Spy Who Dumped Me. Upcoming projects include Sony's Greyhound (written by and starring Tom Hanks), Universal's Lena Waithe-penned Queen & Slim and A24's David Lowery-helmed The Green Knight.

Founded in 2010 by Gilbert and his wife, Brenda, Bron has backed more than 75 projects and dubs itself a filmmaker-first company that strives for an inclusive roster. The company is headquartered in Vancouver, with offices in Los Angeles and New York, and is financially backed by Cloth's Toronto-based Creative Wealth. The bulk of Creative Wealth's investment comes from LIUNA, the Laborers International Union of North America Pension Plan for Central and Eastern Canada.

Though it has struggled to keep pace with the box office revenues of the major studios, MGM owns one of the world's most robust libraries of premium film and TV content.

In 2017, MGM acquired pay television network Epix in a deal valued at $1 billion. Epix is available throughout the U.S. via cable, satellite, telco and digital distributors. MGM also has financial stakes in various TV channels, digital platforms and interactive ventures and is producing premium shortform content for distribution.

Cloth and Richard McConnel negotiated the co-financing pact on behalf of Creative Wealth, while Gilbert spearheaded the dealmaking alongside Anjay Nagpal, Steven Thibault and Matthew Erramouspe of O'Melveny & Myers on behalf of Bron. MGM's Sarah Madigan, Ted Lim, Matt Davidson and Scott Sebasty represented the studio, along with Ken Deutsch and Kendall Johnson of Latham & Watkins.

Child's Play is set to bow in theaters June 21, followed by the first animated version of The Addams Family on Oct. 11. That same month, MGM will open Bad Trip on Oct. 25. Also scheduled for release next year are Gretel and Hansel (Jan. 31), the Reese Witherspoon starrer Legally Blonde 3 (May 8), the Jordan Peele-penned and -produced horror reboot Candyman (June 12) and the Jennifer Hudson-fronted Aretha Franklin biopic Respect (Aug. 14).

Not yet dated are the Michael B. Jordan-led Thomas Crown Affair — which will be produced by Joe and Anthony Russo, whose Agbo also will co-finance — and the Neill Blomkamp-helmed Robocop Returns.