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New York—Apr 29, 2005
Wagner and Cuban's 2929 Entertainment Pacts with Steven Soderbergh for Six High-Def Films, Each to Be Released Simultaneously Across Theatrical, Television & Home Video Platforms
2929's "Day and Date" Concept Stacks Traditional Release Windows
Forging a groundbreaking partnership with a
filmmaker known for his avant-garde vision, 2929 Entertainment through its HDNet
Films production arm has inked an agreement with Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh
to direct six high-definition films. The company, which partners Todd Wagner and
Mark Cuban have steadily built into a vertically integrated venture, intends to
mine its diverse holdings in order to produce, distribute and deliver each of
the Soderbergh films simultaneously across theatrical, TV and home video
platforms. The result will create a new "day-and-date" paradigm that collapses
traditionally staggered release windows and gives consumers a choice, for the
first time, regarding how and when they want to see a film. Final deal points
were negotiated at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival. Wagner serves on the board of
the Tribeca Film Institute.
Soderbergh will have creative control over the films' content, each produced in
1080i high-definition format through HDNet Films. Currently in production is the
first project, Bubble, a murder mystery set in a small town in Ohio. Other
projects will be announced shortly, as will the cross-platform release date of
Beginning life at HDNet Films, the half-dozen projects will move through a
content pipeline constructed almost exclusively from 2929 Entertainment
properties. With distribution through its Magnolia Pictures label, domestic
theatrical exhibition will take place initially at Landmark Theatres while TV
audiences can concurrently see them through 2929's high-definition cable
channel, HDNet Movies. 2929 is presently negotiating home video arrangements and
also finalizing plans for worldwide distribution.
Wagner and Cuban have long imagined the mutual benefits of a "day-and-date"
release strategy, using the digital environment as an organic conduit in the
process. Allowing 2929 Entertainment to reap production and promotion
efficiencies - streamlining the production and post-production processes;
consolidating a film's marketing spend into a single, shorter space; eliminating
prints and shipping costs - the approach also caters to the increasing
choice-consciousness of consumers in a digital world. The Soderbergh high-def
projects will be the first slate of simultaneous releases in movie history,
while 2929 Entertainment is initially using the day-and-date release format on
HDNet Films' first release, the documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the
Room. Following its premiere at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, the project was
released theatrically by Magnolia Pictures on April 22 concurrent with its
television debut on HDNet Movies.
"Given his prolific creativity and expertise for directing quality projects,
Steven Soderbergh is the ideal partner to begin this venture," stated 2929
Entertainment's Wagner. "From a consumer standpoint, it's about choice. We're
letting people decide, for the first time, if they want to go out or stay home
when a movie debuts. We specifically want to reward HDNet Movies subscribers
with great, innovative films they can't see anywhere else on TV."
Commenting on his partnership with 2929 Entertainment, Soderbergh stated, "I'm
excited to work with Todd and Mark and appreciate the freedom to create
independent films under this new distribution model.
All of us see consumer choice driving the future of the movie industry, and this
is a giant leap in that direction."
Following his Oscar-nominated breakthrough film Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Steven
Soderbergh has distinguished himself as a preeminent filmmaker, directing such
projects as Erin Brokovich, Traffic, Solaris, Ocean's Eleven and its sequel
Ocean's Twelve, while serving as producer or executive producer of such films as
Pleasantville, Insomnia, Far from Heaven, Confessions of A Dangerous Mind and
the upcoming science fiction thriller A Scanner Darkly.
2929 Entertainment (2929entertainment.com), created by Todd Wagner and Mark
Cuban, is a diversified media and entertainment company that owns 100% of Rysher
Entertainment, Landmark Theatres, and Magnolia Pictures Distribution, and also
holds an interest in Lions Gate Entertainment.
The company also owns two movie production companies, 2929 Productions and HDNet
Films, along with HDNet and HDNet Movies, two general entertainment
high-definition television networks available on most major cable and satellite
Through its acquisition of Rysher, 2929 owns syndication rights to television
shows such as "Hogan's Heroes" and "Star Search." Landmark Theatres is the
nation's largest theater chain devoted to art and independent film, with 59
theaters in 22 markets. Magnolia Pictures Distribution is an independent
distribution company that distributed the Academy-award nominated "Capturing the
Friedmans" and has recently released "Woman Thou Art Loosed" and "Ong Bak." 2929
Productions produces films in the $10 - $40 million budget range, and has
released "Godsend," "Criminal," and "The Jacket," a co-production with Section
Eight. Upcoming 2929 releases include "Good Night and Good Luck" and "Akeelah
and the Bee." HDNet Films, which produces smaller-budget movies shot exclusively
in high definition, released "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" on April 22,
and is in production on "Over the Mountains," "Quid Pro Quo" and "All Fall
About 2929 Entertainment:
2929 Entertainment, created by Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban, is a Dallas and Los Angeles-based entertainment content and production company. 2929 Entertainment is the parent company of Rysher Entertainment. Rysher owns a substantial film and television programming library, including various distribution rights to shows including "Nash Bridges," "Hogan's Heroes," "Sex and the City," and the rights to "Star Search." 2929 Also recently acquired Landmark Theatres which consists of 185 screens throughout the United States.
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