Universal Pictures, Working Title Films Extend Production Deal Through 2015


Universal Pictures and Contraband, Les Miserables, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spyproducer Working Title Films have extended their production deal through 2015, the companies announced Friday.

The production deal was scheduled to expire in 2013.

There are a few differences between the new deal and the old. The biggest change is that it will be a first-look deal, rather than an exclusive arrangement.

Here’s Universal’s announcement:

NEWS RELEASE

UNIVERSAL PICTURES AND WORKING TITLE FILMS EXTEND PRODUCTION DEAL THROUGH 2015

Pact Continues Universal’s Long-Standing Relationship with Premiere International Production Company 

LOS ANGELES, CA, April 27, 2012—Universal Pictures and Working Title Films today announced they will extend their production agreement through 2015. During Universal and Working Title’s long run together, the two companies have produced films that have grossed more than 4.25 billion dollars at the worldwide box office. Universal Chairman, Adam Fogelson and Co-Chairman, Donna Langley made the announcement alongside Working Title co-chairs Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.

“Working Title has been an invaluable partner for Universal with our two companies enjoying tremendous success on films that have delighted audiences all over the world,” said Fogelson and Langley. “Tim and Eric are true leaders in the global production space which gives us more of an opportunity to be in business with some of the best international talent and we’re thrilled to be extending our partnership.”

“We are delighted to be continuing our relationship with our friends at Universal,” said Bevan and Fellner. “It has been a long and fruitful relationship and we are very much looking forward to more successes over the coming years.”

The new deal, will replace the deal set to expire in 2013 and will be structured to bring it in line with Universal’s other current production agreements. It will also be a first-look deal, rather than an exclusive arrangement.

Universal and Working title have garnered critical acclaim with Academy Award®-nominated/winning films such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Billy Elliot, Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, Frost/Nixon, Elizabeth: The Golden Age and Fargo. Working Title’s vast library includes Burn After Reading, Notting Hill, O Brother Where Art Thou, About a Boy, Love Actually, The Interpreter, Mr. Bean’s Holiday, as well as the Nanny McPhee, Johnny English and the Bridget Jones franchises. Most recently, they released the 2012 action-thriller, Contraband.

The critically acclaimed and award winning production company whose production deal began with Universal in 1999, recently commenced shooting of Tom Hooper’s motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation, Les Misérables starring Hugh Jackman and Oscar® winner Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Sasha Baron Cohen, Amanda Seyfried and Helena Bonham Carter. The film is also being produced by Cameron MacKintosh. Working Title is also in production on Rush, the biography of Formula 1 champions Niki Lauda and James Hunt, with Ron Howard directing a script by Peter Morgan. Working Title will produce this film alongside Imagine Entertainment and Revolution. They also recently commenced production on John Crowley’s Closed, starring Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall.

Working Title will release Anna Karenina directed by Joe Wright and starring Keira Knightley, Jude Law and Aaron Johnson through Focus Features domestically and UPI internationally in the autumn of 2012.

About Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is part of NBCUniversal. NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49% stake.

About Working Title

Working Title Films, co-chaired by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner since 1992, is Europe’s leading film production company, making movies that defy boundaries as well as demographics. Founded in 1983, Working Title has produced 100 films that have grossed more than $5 billion worldwide. Its films have won 6 Academy Awards, 26 BAFTA Awards, and prestigious prizes at the Cannes and Berlin International Film Festivals.

– Joshua L. Weinstein

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