Gold Circle Forms Phat New Distribution Company
by Brian Brooks
Gold Circle Films, the production and international sales company behind super-indie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," announced Tuesday that it is forming a domestic distribution wing, Gold Circle Releasing. The company, which plans to produce or acquire six films per year for distribution, will target projects under $15 million unless it is partnered with another group. Gold Circle Releasing will target both specialized and wider releases.
HBO and Gold Circle co-financed "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" at the production level and obtained the film's domestic theatrical and foreign sales rights. The company also financed the prints and advertising (P & A) costs for its domestic release, which is the highest grossing indie film and romantic comedy of all time, recently passing the $230 million mark at the box office. Gold Circle entered an agreement with IFC Films to sub-distribute the film, directed by Joel Zwick, prior to its release in April 2002.
"'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' is a classic example - perhaps 'the' classic example - of total belief in a film motivating the financier/distributor (us!) to completely direct our joint destiny through controlling every aspect of the campaign by being able to choose our partners in the process and be guided by them but under our instincts," said Paul Brooks, president of Gold Circle Films, in a prepared statement. "I absolutely believe in the concept of the indie multiplex movie, and if you look at this year, with 'Greek Wedding' being an extreme example, there has never been a year when so many indie movies worked in the marketplace."
Gold Circle plans to continue its partnerships with other distributors including Samuel Goldwyn, which is currently distributing (with Fireworks Pictures) George Hickenlooper's Gold Circle production "The Man from Elysian Fields." Additionally, the company maintains a relationship with HBO/Warner Home Video as its video partner.
While the company didn't announce the complete slate of films for the new distribution arm, upcoming offerings include the launch of the Gold Circle/Samuel Goldwyn release "Pool Junkies," directed by Mars Callahan, plus Gold Circle's distribution of the 2003 Sundance premiere film "Rolling Kansas," the debut feature of actor Thomas Hayden Church. From its production arm, Gold Circle's "Dysfunctional Family," featuring comic Eddie Griffin, will be released by Miramax in February.
Films slated for production by the Los Angeles-based company for the beginning of 2003 include "Jiminy Glick - in LaLaWood," created by and starring Martin Short; romantic comedy "The Last 2 People on Earth," written and directed by Vic Levin; and supernatural thriller "Broken," written and directed by Sean Ellis.