Are you guys ready for a monster-sized announcement from Sony? Variety broke the news this evening that Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group has launched “Stage 6 Films,” a label that will acquire and produce films for theatrical and straight-to-DVD release. The announcement sounds similar to Warner’s Premiere and Raw Feed labels that will create new franchises for us lucky horror fans – *ahem* Vacancy 2! Read on for the story and watch for loads of great titles in 2008.
Stage 6 will complement the acquisitions group’s busy pipeline of more than 100 films and original projects per year.
Adrian Alperovich, senior exec VP and general manager of the acquisitions group, said Stage 6′s slate will mostly be geared toward ancillary markets. But the label, which will handle 10-15 films per year, will also release some of the titles theatrically through Sony’s distribution labels and other companies like the Samuel Goldwyn Co. Like Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group, Stage 6 will determine whether a title bows theatrically after the film has been made.
Titles on Stage 6′s initial slate include the actioner “Conspiracy,” starring Val Kilmer, Gary Cole and Jennifer Esposito; the Thomas Jane acting-directing vehicle Dark Country; The Stone House, a horror/thriller directed by Alex Turner and starring Shane West, J.K. Simmons and Leonard Roberts; The Lodger, starring Alfred Molina and directed by David Ondaatje; and the thriller “Felon,” which stars Kilmer, Stephen Dorff and Harold Perrineau. The label’s films will largely fall in the $1 million-$10 million budget range.
The label is also shepherding a “Starship Troopers” sequel starring Casper Van Dien, Boris Kodjoe and Jolene Blalock; a Vacancy prequel; the Wesley Snipes starrer “Art of War 2″; and “Center Stage 2,” a sequel to the dance drama.
“Stage 6 will also continue to leverage our vast library of studio films as we have done with ‘Daddy Day Camp’ and the ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ franchise,” Alperovich added.
Screen Gems veeps of production Peter Nelson and Nick Phillips will oversee Stage 6 titles alongside Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group senior veep of acquisitions and production Lara Thompson and exec director of acquisitions and production Scott Shooman.