Independent studio Entertainment One (eOne) has entered into a multi-year film and television production pact with ROOM 101, Inc. partners Steven Schneider (Paranormal Activity 1, 2 & 3, Insidious, The Devil Inside) and Adi Shankar (The Grey).
Under the terms of the deal, ROOM 101 will deliver on average two premium micro-budget genre titles annually to eOne. The projects will be high-concept and filmmaker-driven, and will encompass both acquisitions and original productions. eOne will finance, co-produce, and distribute globally, with the exception of the United States where distribution will be handled on a per-project basis.
It is unknown how many of these will be genre based, but it’s safe to assume there’s a bunch of new horror on the way. “With a number of exciting and high-profile genre movies already in the works, ROOM 101 has established itself as a tastemaker and trend-setter in the creative community,” said Patrice Theroux, eOne’s President of Filmed Entertainment. “With this co-financing venture, we are taking a more global approach to films; allowing all of our territories to distribute the slate and providing our international sales teams with highly-commercial pictures for distribution around the globe.”
Benedict Carver, SVP of Filmed Entertainment at eOne, will oversee the ROOM 101 slate for the studio. Carver joined the company last September, and since then has been actively generating strategic opportunities, commercial properties, and global partnerships for both eOne’s film and television groups.
Schneider has quickly risen up through the ranks in Hollywood to become one of the industry’s most sought-after producers of dark genre fare. Since identifying and helping usher Paranormal Activity to the big screen and iconic status around the world, Schneider has gone on to produce two hit Paranormal sequels for Paramount, with a fourth entry in the franchise set for release this October. Made for less than $10 million combined, the three Paranormal Activity movies released to date have grossed well over half-a-billion dollars at the global box office. Schneider’s other producing credits include Insidious, a micro-budgeted sleeper hit which ended up bringing in nearly $100 million worldwide; The Devil Inside, Paramount Insurge’s mock-doc exorcism movie which shattered industry expectations – as well as box-office records – when it opened this past January to $35 million; and The River, a cutting-edge network TV series on which he serves as Executive Producer. This new show, which also counts Steven Spielberg as EP, is set to premiere this month on ABC.
“ROOM 101 is committed to nurturing its relationships with gifted filmmakers, with an eye towards finding, developing, and producing high-quality fare at the micro-budget level,” said Schneider. “We look forward to collaborating with Patrice, Lara, Benedict, and the entire eOne team as they bring to bear a unique knowledge and expertise when it comes to the international film and TV marketplace.”
Shankar, who along with Spencer Silna serves as co-founder and co-chairman of independent studio 1984 Private Defense Contractors, has fast made a name for himself as well by executive producing a string of studio-level, filmmaker-driven action movies. These include last year’s Gerard Butler vehicle Machine Gun Preacher, and the Liam Neeson-starrer The Grey, which opened number one at the US box office last month. Shankar’s upcoming projects include the long-awaited Judge Dredd reboot, Dredd; Andrew Dominik’s Cogan’s Trade, starring Brad Pitt; the crime thriller Broken City, helmed by Allen Hughes and featuring Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe; and Steven Soderbergh’s pharmaceutical suspenser, Bitter Pill, starring Rooney Mara and Jude Law.
“The goal is for ROOM 101 to become a haven for talented, genre-oriented filmmakers,” Shankar explained. “Here they’ll be provided the opportunity to craft innovative, visceral, and commercially viable projects. Paranormal Activity, Insidious, and The Devil Inside each caused tectonic shifts in the micro-budget film landscape. Going forward, ROOM 101 is committed to evolving the micro-budget space even further.“