There’s movement afoot in indie distribution. Relativity is struggling to keep its financial footing, losing a key executive last week, and Graham King plans to restructure FilmDistrict, his experiment in releasing his sprawling slate, after letting go of Bob Berney. Now P & A financeer Mickey Liddell, who has been partnering with the likes of Roadside Attractions, is starting his own releasing company LD Distribution with distribution with marketing veteran, ex-Paramount Classics exec David Dinerstein as president. The company plans to release four to six films in its first year, a mix of acquisitions and films from five-year-old Liddell Entertainment’s expanding production slate of modestly budgeted films capped at $25 million.
Dinerstein has been covering the indie waterfront as a consultant, and certainly knows his stuff; he did a great job on Bob Yari’s “The Illusionist,” which misled the would-be movie mogul to think there was more money down that road, with disastrous consequences
Indie distribution requires deep pockets. It’s not for the faint of heart.
On the company’s initial slate is Toronto buy, William Friedkin’s “Killer Joe,” starring Matthew McConaughey; Henry-Alex Rubin’s recently wrapped “Disconnect,” starring Jason Bateman and Alexander Skarsgard, and horror film “The Collection,” from Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, the writers of the last two “Saw” installments and the sixth currently in post-production.
Dinerstein will also oversee in a transitional phase the marketing and release of Liddell’s upcoming productions and acquisitions, including Open Road releases “Silent House” starring Elizabeth Olsen and Joe Carnahan’s “The Grey,” starring Liam Neeson, as well as period drama “Albert Nobbs” starring Glenn Close and Janet McTeer (Roadside Attractions).
Over the past few years, Liddell Entertainment helped to acquire or produce such films as Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Biutiful,” starring Javier Bardem; “I Love You Phillip Morris” starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor; Chris Rock’s doc “Good Hair”; upcoming Weinstein Company release “The Details” starring Tobey Maguire and Elizabeth Banks, and genre flicks “The Haunting Of Molly Hartley” and “The Collector.” Liddell also produced “Go,” “Broken Hearts Club,” “Telling Lies in America” and television shows “Everwood” and “Jack and Bobby.”
Dinerstein comes from D Squared Films, where he was president, as he was at Lakeshore Entertainment. His specialty subsidiary experience includes not ony running Paramount Classics with Ruth Vitale but marketing posts at Fox Searchlight and Miramax Films.