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Overture Films, the independent movie studio owned by Starz LLC, has closed its doors after unsuccessfully trying to find a buyer.
Starz parent Liberty Media launched Overture Films about three years ago with high hopes, but after a series of releases fared poorly at the box office, the studio unit was put on the block. When that did not attract the wanted price, Liberty decided to shut down the operation.
Overture's three remaining films - the Philip Seymour Hoffman directed Jack Goes Boating; the Robert DeNiro vehicle Stone and vampire flick Let Me In, will be released through a new distribution deal with independent studio Relativity Media. Overture's library of about 20 films will be distributed in the home entertainment and television markets by Liberty properties Anchor Bay Entertainment and other Starz units.
"With our increased focus on original content, it no longer makes strategic sense for Starz to make theatrical motion pictures," Starz LLC CEO Chris Albrecht said in a statement. "However we're pleased to have found a great opportunity for the majority of the company's employees, including the talented distribution and marketing teams."
About 45 employees - or about two-thirds of Overture's work force - will move to Relativity, including former Overture president of worldwide marketing, distribution and new media Peter Adee and former executive vice president of theatrical distribution Kyle Davies.
"We are in a great position to bring the marketing and distribution savvy of Peter and Kyle, and their teams to our home at Relativity," Relativity Media CEO Ryan Kavanaugh said in a statement. "As we've been expanding this area of our business finding a team with the experience and breadth and depth that Peter and Kyle's have couldn't have been a more perfect fit. They have released an incredibly broad slate of films over the past 15 years including some of the highest grossing films in their respective years. I really commend Starz for its smart leadership in helping us make this move."