Aviron Pictures announced the acquisition of U.S. distribution rights to three different films today, two of which are set to release in 2017. Those projects include actors Halle Berry, Alec Baldwin and Salma Hayek and casting is currently underway for a new thriller.
Aviron Pictures confirmed that David Dinerstein will run the new distribution company, set to release up to 8 national-releases a year. Dinerstein was joined by former Universal Pictures acquisitions executive Jason Resnick to help build out the Aviron Pictures slate.
On the list today from Aviron were the U.S. rights to “Kidnap,” a suspense-thriller starring Academy Award winner Halle Berry and directed by Luis Prieto. This will be the first film that Aviron will release in 2017. The studio calls the film “an adrenaline-fueled story of a woman who will stop at nothing to save her kidnapped son”. Kidnap will be released wide on August 4, 2017. Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Erik Howsam produced Kidnap, alongside Joey Tufaro, Gregory Chou, and Halle Berry and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas under Berry’s 606 Films banner. Executive Producers are Bill Johnson, Jim Seibel, D.J. Gugenheim, Doris Pfardrescher, Mike Drake, Todd Trosclair and Knate Gwaltney. Gold Star Films and Caspian Media Capital financed the Knate Gwaltney-penned film, with CAA representing the sale.
“The executives at Aviron have been passionate, treated us as collaborators, and demonstrated real outside-of-the-box thinking,” said producers di Bonaventura and Berry. “We know Kidnap is in very capable hands.”
Aviron also acquired “Drunk Parents” from writer/director Fred Wolf, whose credits include “The House Bunny,” “Grown-Ups” and “Grown-Ups 2”. “Drunk Parents” stars Alec Baldwin and Salma Hayek as a married couple that makes one bad decision during a night of heavy drinking that takes their lives on a hilarious downward spiral. The film co-stars Jim Gaffigan, Tony nominee Ben Platt and Joe Manganiello. Wolf co-wrote the screenplay with Peter Gaulke. Aviron will release “Drunk Parents,” which is currently in post-production, in the Fall of 2017. Bron Studios’ Aaron L. Gilbert and Fortitude International’s Robert Ogden Barnum produced the film, with Jason Cloth, Nadine de Barros and Daniel Wagner, and Jai Khanna serving as Executive Producers. CAA, WME and UTA co-repped the film’s sale to Aviron Pictures.
Said Barnum, “We are thrilled to partner with Aviron Pictures. Aviron was very aggressive at tracking Drunk Parents and we were struck by their irreverent campaign ideas, which are perfect for this hysterical comedy.”
Lastly the studio acquired the U.S. and Canadian distribution rights to an untitled horror film that is a reboot of 2008’s terrifying “The Strangers,” which grossed $82M worldwide. Johannes Roberts, whose shark diving thriller “47 Meters Down” starring Mandy Moore and Claire Holt hits theaters this summer, will direct from a script written by Bryan Bertino, who wrote and directed the original Strangers film, and Ben Ketai. The film follows a family whose road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park and hunker down for the night in a borrowed trailer after the power goes out. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test the family’s every limit as they struggle to survive. Casting is underway for the U.S.-based shoot, and Aviron plans to release the film in 2018. The Fyzz Facility Pictures’ Wayne Marc Godfrey, Robert Jones, Mark Lane and James Harris are producing. Intrepid Pictures’ Trevor Macy, who produced 2008’s The Strangers, will serve as Executive Producer. BLOOM is handling international sales.
“The Aviron team impressed us immensely with their savvy marketing strategy and enthusiasm for The Strangers,” said Godfrey. “We look forward to this being the first of many films we release with them.”
Said Dinerstein, “Our intent has always been to let the films speak for the company, so we are proud to announce this slate of diverse pictures. For the past several months, we’ve been quietly tracking productions as we’ve been finalizing our financing. We are looking for the highest quality product and will only make a move if we are true believers in a film’s commercial potential theatrically and through all ancillary revenue opportunities. In that respect, our model is driven by creative execution and the potential for commercial excellence. We believe that these films squarely fit that bill.”
Aviron Pictures has also partnered with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment for the marketing, sales and distribution of the Blu-Ray, DVD, Electronic Sell-Through and Video-on-Demand releases of its theatrical films across the U.S. and Canada.