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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
orging 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 Bubble.
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 providers.
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 Down."
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.
2929 Entertainment Directory page
2929 Entertainment (Santa Monica)
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