Can The Nation's Two Largest Theater Chains and an Executive Who Disdains "Arthouse" Save Indie Film?

With 12,000 screens in the US, can Regal and AMC launch a film production unit to “create some assets to help fill those screens.”

That's the idea (as expressed by studio head Tom Ortenberg) behind Open Road, a new venture into midsize film production that was profiled in the August 19th, 2012 New York Times.

Open Road’s first acquisition, a Jason Statham action flick entitled Killer Elite, was a critical and commercial flop - "contributing to losses of almost $15 million at each of the two parents last year, according to their filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission."

That initial misstep has not chastened Tom Ortenberg. Ortenberg, a longtime film exec, continues at the helm of Open Road - where he recently announced the acquisition of U.S. distribution rights to Ten - another action thriller - this one starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Before indie filmmakers start calling Mr. Ortenberg's assitant for appointments, they should know that (according to the NY Times) Mr. Ortenberg "is less inclined toward arthouse fare than toward pictures with potentially wide appeal" at Open Road. Mr. Ortenberg's knack for picking films with "potentially wide appeal" may - or may not - work out. But longtime readers of this blog may remember that Mr. Ortenberg famously let "arthouse" film producers and investors know they would never break even while he ran Lionsgate.

Thanks to Rich Grula for the link.

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