It has been responsible from some of the best auteur filmmaking in recent years including “The Master,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Her,” “Phantom Thread” and “American Hustle”. Now though, boutique distributor Annapurna Pictures may be in financial trouble according to new reports at The Wrap and Variety.
The other day the company effectively walked away from two productions it reportedly had lined up, and saw the firing of executive Chelsea Barnard – just the latest in an exodus of top execs from the company. The report now adds that founder Megan Ellison is said to be ‘re-evaluating’ the company’s film division.
The problem? The company is losing big money, spending fortunes on films that aren’t getting major returns such as the recent “The Sisters Brothers” which made $750,000 on a $40 million budget. Ellison has a reputation for being a real movie lover who sacrificed her own money to make decisions that no traditional studio would make which resulted in well liked films, but those movies that have now stacked up hundreds of millions in losses.
As a result her father and financial backer, Oracle founder Larry Ellison who has a personal fortune of $60 billion, is reportedly ‘balking at any further investment’ in the company after he and Megan initially put over $200 million into it. There’s no indication Annapurna will shut down, but outside advisers have reportedly been enlisted to look at the books and find a way to make the company profitable.
An Annapurna spokesperson denied any problems, telling the outlet the company is doing “business as usual” at the moment. The company’s problems are in stark contrast to Megan’s brother David Ellison whose Skydance Media has proven to be profitable with involvement in “World War Z, both “Jack Reacher” films, the last two “Star Trek” films and the last three “Mission: Impossible” films.