Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios Launches International Sales and Distribution Division

Photographed by Michele Thomas
Byron Allen

Dubbed Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures International, the unit will work in tandem with FilmNation Entertainment, which will handle international distribution of Allen's wide-release theatrical titles for which ESMP has worldwide rights.

In a bid to expand its global footprint, Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios is launching an international sales and distribution division.

The division, dubbed Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures International, will work in tandem with FilmNation Entertainment, which will handle international distribution of Allen's wide-release theatrical titles for which ESMP has worldwide rights. Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures and ESMPI are subsidiaries of Allen Media, which recently announced it has secured $500 million in credit facilities.

“International feature film distribution is a natural extension of the expanding reach of our global media, content and technology company,” said Entertainment Studios chairman and CEO Allen. “As we continue to distribute content across an ever-increasing number of domestic and global broadcast television, network television, theatrical and digital platforms, it is only natural for us to incorporate worldwide movie distribution into our overall content distribution strategy going forward, and FilmNation Entertainment is the perfect partner for us to achieve this goal.”

Added FilmNation's Glen Basner: “Entertainment Studios is an exciting, creative and innovative media company that is committed to delivering high-quality content worldwide. This global distribution partnership is well positioned to fill a huge void in the marketplace.”

ESMP/ESMPI will finance and distribute worldwide 47 Meters Down: The Next Chapter, which will mark the first title under the deal and recently started preproduction. The shark thriller sequel will be released domestically on some 3,500 screens on June 28, 2019. The first 47 Meters Down was a surprise box-office hit, earning more than $44 million on a $5.5 million budget, making it one of the highest-grossing indie movies of 2017. ESMP bought the title from Dimension Films, which had initially planned to release the movie on DVD only. Johannes Roberts, the filmmaker behind the first movie, is directing the sequel and wrote the screenplay with Ernest Riera. The Fyzz’s James Harris, Mark Lane and Robert Jones are producing 47 Meters Down: The Next Chapter. All three were involved with the original.

Founded in 1993, Entertainment Studios recently acquired The Weather Channel, which joins its TV assets like Pets.TV and Comedy.TV. The company also produces, distributes and sells advertising for 41 television programs, making it one of the largest independent producers and distributors of first-run syndicated television programming for broadcast television stations.

In 2015, Entertainment Studios bought Freestyle Releasing, now called Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures. Upcoming releases include the Keanu Reeves sci-fi thriller Replicas, the John Krasinski- and Emily Blunt-voiced animated feature Animal Crackers and Joe Carnahan’s action-thriller Boss Level, starring Mel Gibson.