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Author Topic:   Summit Entertainment
HollywoodProducer
A-List Writer

Posts: 2746
From:La Canada
Registered: Jun 2000

posted November 20, 2008 08:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for HollywoodProducer   Click Here to Email HollywoodProducer     Edit/Delete Message
Studio Rises On Promise Of ‘Twilight’
The New York Times

LOS ANGELES — Until now, tiny Summit Entertainment has been largely ignored by the major studios and looked down on by A-list agents and managers. But because of a classic bit of Hollywood bungling, the fledgling movie company finds itself sitting atop one of the biggest pop-culture phenomena of recent years.

When “Twilight,” based on the first of Stephenie Meyer’s hugely popular teenage vampire novels, opens in theaters on Friday, audiences will be greeted not by the Warner Brothers shield or the 20th Century Fox drum roll but by Summit’s logo: an abstract squiggle evoking a mountain ridge.

Most pointedly, the potential blockbuster will not open with the more realistic mountain peak of Paramount Pictures, the studio that at one time controlled the rights to “Twilight” but let them slip away because someone at the studio decided in 2006 that the series was a dud. (A game of finger-pointing is now under way at Paramount over who deserves the blame.)

Ticket sales for the movie’s opening weekend could approach $60 million, box office analysts say, driven by Ms. Meyer’s devoted fans and Summit’s marketing pyrotechnics. That kind of money — especially for a film that cost just $37 million to produce — propels to the center of Hollywood a studio known for obscurities like “P2,” a horror movie set in a parking garage, and “Sex Drive,” about a loser who works in a doughnut shop.

“It’s the first time a little engine that could has come along in a while, and that’s getting the attention of people who never thought twice about Summit,” said Tara S. Kole, a partner at the entertainment law firm Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown, which represents clients like Steven Spielberg and Mary-Kate Olsen.

“Summit has obviously played this very smart in the marketing, but the smartest decision was noticing the property in the first place,” Ms. Kole added.

Summit Entertainment for years was an overseas seller of movies that also dabbled in production, putting money into films like “Michael Clayton” and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” that were made by more experienced studios. But backed by $1 billion from a group of investors, Summit recast itself as a full-fledged studio in April 2006.

Led by Robert G. Friedman, formerly vice chairman of Paramount, and Patrick Wachsberger, a veteran international sales agent, the new Summit is set up to produce and distribute as many as 12 pictures a year.

When Paramount passed on making “Twilight,” Mr. Friedman heard about it. Erik Feig, Summit’s production chief, did some research and noticed an intense following online even though the book had not yet reached stratospheric status. Summit pounced, seeing a potential franchise.

The studio bought the movie rights to all four books in the series, which together have sold about 8.5 million copies in the United States and 17 million copies worldwide.

“We saw a great Romeo and Juliet story that has a very interesting modern sensibility,” Mr. Friedman said.

The challenge with “Twilight,” directed by Catherine Hardwicke and unabashedly cheesy in spots, is broadening the audience beyond teenage girls and their mothers. Box office tracking companies say interest among men is increasing, but still tepid. While seeking to reduce expectations — Summit insists it expects no more than $30 million in sales this weekend, despite what other forecasters say — the company has worked to woo men by advertising the action in the movie.

But that message is being drowned out by the mobs of teenage girls who have been turning up for a mall tour by the movie’s two stars, Robert Pattison, a unknown Briton who plays the tormented but tender vampire, and Kristen Stewart, cast as the sulky girlfriend. To get an idea of the size of the frenzy, an estimated 10,000 people attended a recent appearance in Dallas.

At Monday’s premiere in Los Angeles, about 3,000 fans lined the streets around the two theaters screening the film. More than a thousand people were denied entry to the packed premiere party.

The studio’s executives seem a bit discombobulated by all the fuss. Mr. Friedman and Mr. Wachsberger, interviewed jointly, appeared to have differing views on some matters, including what “Twilight” means for the profile of their company and its 135 employees, and they had trouble explaining the brand they are trying to create.

Mr. Friedman, for instance, dismissed the notion that blockbuster results for “Twilight” would open new doors for Summit in the industry, saying that every door is already open. “We’ve been supported and embraced by all the agents and management companies since the day we started,” he said.

But Mr. Wachsberger disagreed. “What we’ve proven with ‘Twilight’ is that we can market a movie as well as any other studio,” he said. “That makes it much easier for agencies to let their big stars come do a movie with us.”

When it comes to brand, the film industry almost universally agrees that people outside the Hollywood bubble do not make moviegoing decisions based on what studio makes the picture, with the notable exception of the Walt Disney Company. But Mr. Friedman said he believed “Twilight” would make the name Summit mean something with consumers. “We will probably create a brand with this,” he said.

What exactly is that brand? The two men were silent. Finally, Mr. Friedman said, “I would call it commercial.”

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indiedan
A-List Writer

Posts: 8408
From:Santa Monica
Registered: May 2000

posted July 30, 2009 01:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message
Movie Bosses Fuming Over Lefevre's Outburst

30 July 2009 1:11 AM, PDT

Movie bosses have hit back at actress Rachelle Lefevre after she accused them of unfairly dismissing her from Twilight sequel Eclipse - insisting the star showed "a lack of cooperative spirit" by signing up to an "overlapping" film project.

The red head played villainous vampire Victoria in the first film, and will reprise the role in the upcoming sequel New Moon.

Lefevre was "stunned" and "hurt deeply" to learn that producers at Summit Entertainment had decided to replace her for the third movie, Eclipse, handing her part to Bryce Dallas Howard.

Lefevre admits she had signed up to star in another movie, Barney's Version, and the production slightly overlapped scheduled shooting on Eclipse - but never thought she "would lose the role over a 10 day overlap".

Her comments have infuriated executives at Summit, who have released their own statement to clarify why they dismissed Lefevre.

The producers claim the actress waited over a month to tell them about her plans to star in Barney’s Version - and they could not change the movie schedule to allow her to leave the shoot 10 days early.

The statement reads, "We at Summit Entertainment are disappointed by Rachelle Lefevre’s recent comments which attempt to make her career choices the fault of the studio. Her decision to discuss her version of the scheduling challenges publicly has forced the Studio to set the record straight and correct the facts.

"It was not until July 20th that Summit was first informed of Ms. Lefevre’s commitment to Barney’s Version, a commitment we have since been advised she accepted in early June. We feel that her choice to withhold her scheduling conflict information from us can be viewed as a lack of cooperative spirit which affected the entire production.”

“Ms. Lefevre took a role in the other film that places her in Europe during the required rehearsal time, and at least ten days of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse's principal photography. This period is essential for both rehearsal time with the cast, and for filming at key locations that are only available during the initial part of production.”

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HollywoodProducer
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Posts: 2746
From:La Canada
Registered: Jun 2000

posted January 12, 2010 05:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for HollywoodProducer   Click Here to Email HollywoodProducer     Edit/Delete Message
Disney Studios tries to woo 'Twilight' guru Erik Feig away from Summit Entertainment (LA Times complete)

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Rich Ross approached Erik Feig, head of production at Summit Entertainment and the executive behind the "Twilight" franchise, about succeeding Oren Aviv as production chief at the Burbank studio, according to people familiar with the talks. Ross ousted Aviv, an 18-year veteran of Disney, late yesterday and is scrambling to find his replacement. But, it appears that Feig, who has worked at Summit for nine years and is still under contract, is staying put. "He's not going to Disney and he never asked to be released from his contract," said his boss, Rob Friedman, chief executive of Summit. Feig did not respond to a call or e-mail seeking comment. A Disney spokeswoman did not immediately return calls. It is understandable that Ross would court Feig. He fits the mold of the newly reshaped Disney studio, where Ross is trying to rein in costs and launch new franchises that don't necessarily depend on big stars. Feig, who began his career by producing Sony Pictures' teen horror film "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and then went on to produce that studio's teen comedy "Slackers," was the executive who brought Stephanie Meyer's vampire books to Summit after Paramount Pictures put the project in turnaround. "Twilight," which cost $37 million to produce, and its $50-million budgeted sequel, "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," have collectively grossed $965 million at the worldwide box office. The next installment, "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," is due out in June. Feig is also overseeing Summit's dance sequel "Step Up 3D," which Disney is distributing in the U.S. Feig, who is president of worldwide production and acquisitions at Summit and has been a partner in the studio since 2007, was also involved in his company's purchasing the distribution rights to Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq war drama "The Hurt Locker," which has garnered a number of award nominations and is expected to be a best picture contender at the upcoming Oscars.

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premArrange
Hack Writer

Posts: 1
From:United Kingdom
Registered: May 2010

posted May 26, 2010 08:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for premArrange   Click Here to Email premArrange     Edit/Delete Message
Hey guys,

My name is William and I am from Stirling in the UK. I have freshly discovered this forum and I like it very much.
I am a bit shy so I will not write much about myself but maybe when I will get more confortable, you guys will get to know me better!
My main hobbies are playing piano and watching movies. I also love outdoor activites but the temperature has been very bad for the last weeks or so here in Stirling.

I was wondering if anyone else here is from the UK too?

I am glad to have joined this forum!
Have a nice day!

William

PS: Sorry if this was posted in the wrong section. I could not find the right one!

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indiedan
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Posts: 8408
From:Santa Monica
Registered: May 2000

posted January 13, 2012 05:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message
Lions Gate to buy Summit for $413M (ft)

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. Lions Gate Entertainment, producer of the Mad Men and Weeds television shows and the upcoming Hunger Games films, has bought Summit Entertainment, the company behind the blockbuster Twilight vampire movies, in a $413m deal. The purchase, financed by a mix of cash and stock, will result in a big payday for Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger, the two executives who in 2007 relaunched Summit as a “full service” film group.Summit’s senior management owns a stake of 30 per cent. Other investors include Rizvi Traverse, the private equity firm, Emilio Diez Barroso, from the family behind the Televisa media group, and Omar Amanat, the founder of Tradescape, an online trading platform. The deal brings together two companies that have succeeded in targeting teenagers: Lions Gate has a record in horror films, having released five Saw movies, while Summit released the Twilight films, which are beloved by teenage girls. In a statement, Jon Feltheimer, Lions Gate’s chief executive, and Michael Burns, vice-chairman, said the deal would unite “two powerful entertainment brands, bringing together two world-class feature film franchises to establish a commanding position in the young adult market”. The deal comes months before the release of Lions Gate’s Hunger Games, which is based on a best-selling book series. The company has a 13,000 title film library, which will be boosted by Summit’s four Twilight movies and the Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker

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