Jeff Robinov's Studio 8 Finalizes Sony Deal

Eric Charbonneau/Le Studio

The new company says it expects to secure $1 billion in financing

Jeff Robinov's Studio 8 has finalized a distribution deal with Sony Pictures.

Robinov, who stepped down as president of the Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group last year, has assembled a new production company in partnership with the Chinese investment group Fosun Group and Sony Pictures Entertainment, which is also investing in Studio 8. Sony will distribute up to six Studio 8 films annually worldwide except for the Greater China Region.

Studio 8, which expects to raise $1 billion in financing, will have green-light authority of its own and will develop, produce and acquire both potential tentpoles and prestige pictures driven by new and established filmmakers. The company will be based in Culver City, on the Sony lot. Robinov will work closely with the Fosun Group to develop TV and digital content. Studio 8 will also be exploring the acquisition of other related businesses in those areas.

In June, Studio 8 announced it had entered into a deal with Fosun, which was expected to invest at least $250 million in the new venture.

Michael Lynton and I have been looking forward to working with Jeff for a long time,” said Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group, in a statement. “We are thrilled to be in business with Studio 8 and to be distributing their films.”

Sony and Fosun are banking heavily on Robinov's talent relationships and production acumen. At Warner Bros., he helped guide a number of key tentpole franchises and award-winning films, including Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity and Ben Affleck's Argo. Robinov was an agent at ICM before arriving at Warners, with a client roster that included the Wachowski siblings and Chris McQuarrie.

"I’m very grateful to have Fosun Group and Sony Pictures Entertainment as integral parts of this venture," Robinov said in a statement. "Their support, experience and accomplishments will help us build a great global media company together.”

Fosun, pointing out that China will surpass the U.S. as the world's biggest moviegoing market within the next several years, said its investment in Studio 8 is a significant step.

“Mr. Jeff Robinov and Studio 8 are one of the best and most experienced teams in Hollywood," Fosun chairman Guo Guangchang said in a statement. "Our partnership will combine the resources of China and Hollywood to build an open global platform not only focusing on movie and entertainment investments, but also eventually aiming to integrate our resources around the world.”