Tom Quinn Leaves Goldwyn for Acquisitions Post at Magnolia
by Eugene Hernandez
In a move aimed at bolstering its team following the recent acquisition by 2929 Entertainment, Magnolia Pictures has lured Tom Quinn from his post as VP of acquisitions at Samuel Goldwyn Films. He will head acquisitions at Magnolia -- the switch is effective immediately with Quinn assuming duties in time for the American Film Market in Santa Monica, Calif. next week.
Bowles explained that over time he expects Magnolia to ramp up its acquisitions, but he wasn't ready to give any firm numbers. The Magnolia team will also be scouting for projects for 2929 partner Mark Cuban's HDNet cable network. Quinn will report directly to Bowles at Magnolia and work alongside staffers John McCarron and Jeff Reichert.
"There are very few people out there that I want to work with," explained Tom Quinn in a conversation with indieWIRE on Friday. "I had a great home at Goldwyn, [but] I reached the point where I want to do a broader range of movies. I want to do smaller movies but I also want to do larger movies." Continuing he added, "A doc that grosses $500,000 is as of interest to me as is the specialized date movie that grosses $10 million."
"We will be gradually expanding," Bowles told indieWIRE on Friday. "There are not going to be any seismic shifts, [we are] gradually ramping up." Continuing he added," We'll be getting bigger, [with] more acquisitions and a higher scale of things."
Among Quinn's recent acquisitions at Samuel Goldwyn include "Super Size Me," a film that he acquired out of Sundance this year, calling it, "A great note to leave on." Other films he has acquired include "Raising Victor Vargas," "He Loves Me...He Loves Me Not," "Japanese Story," and "Mambo Italiano." Quinn started his film career at publicity firm DDA in Los Angeles, and later joined Samuel Goldwyn Films in 1996 as Samuel Goldwyn Jr.'s assistant, ultimately moving up to VP of acquisitions.
"I've always liked Tom a lot," Bowles said, "I think he's very aware of the marketplace, he is very pragmatic and has great relationships."
"On a corporate level, we'll have more assets to work with," continued Bowles. "I just think that there are more opportunities under the great corporate umbrella of 2929 Entertainment -- there are a lot of synergies that we can take advantage of, both backing financial and synergistic resources." Bowles noted that he will collaborate closely with corporate sibling Landmark Theaters, which is also owned by 2929 Entertainment, however he cautioned that Magnolia will not work exclusively with Landmark when distributing a picture. Bowles also added that he is enthusiastic about Quinn's interest in being more involved in the distribution of Magnolia's movies.
"At Magnolia, everybody has a hand in the distribution of their movies, that was something that I wanted to get back to," Quinn added, "It's what I wanted to do in my career now, [and] I think that Eamonn is doing that." Concluding Quinn said, "This is the perfect opportunity considering what I have done at Goldwyn -- I can continue to learn from Eamonn and bring some of what I have learned over the last few years to Magnolia."
As for the state of the current marketplace, Bowles noted that while Cannes and Toronto in 2003 were rather light, he said he saw a bright spot at Sundance this year with a number of solid films, but rather robust prices. He said that Magnolia is pursuing a couple of new projects, but no deals are sealed as of yet.
Citing the success of films like "My Architect," one area where Bowles says he sees opportunity remains in documentary. "I was wondering whether the increase in docs was just three kind of individual films in the marketplace at the same time, whether it was just a marketplace blip, [but there] does seem to be an increased appetite for documentaries."
Magnolia is currently releasing Lucas Belvaux's "Trilogy" and will be watching next week's Academy Awards where "Capturing the Friedmans" is nominated for best documentary. Upcoming releases include "Bukowski: Born Into This" in April and the Thai film "Bang Rajan," presented by Oliver Stone, in May.