Alliance Films, Inc.
FormerlyAlliance Entertainment
Alliance Communications
Alliance Atlantis Releasing Ltd
Motion Picture Distribution LP
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryDistribution and production
Founded1984 (original)
2007 (relaunch as a result of Alliance Atlantis collapse)
FoundersStephen Roth
Denis Héroux
John Kemeny
Robert Lantos
Andras Hamori
Susan Cavan
Defunct1998; 26 years ago (1998) (original)
2013; 11 years ago (2013) (relaunch)
Fate1998: Merged with Atlantis to form Alliance Atlantis Communications
2013: Acquired by and folded into Entertainment One
2023: Entertainment One (including the Alliance Films libraries) themselves acquired by Lionsgate
SuccessorAlliance Atlantis Communications (1998)
Entertainment One (2013)
Les Films Séville (2014)
Lionsgate (2023)
Lionsgate Studios (2024)
HeadquartersMontreal, Quebec, Canada[1]
ProductsFilm distribution, home video
RevenueIncrease$250m CAD
Number of employees
450 (2013)
ParentEntertainment One (Lionsgate Studios)
SubsidiariesMaple Pictures
Momentum Pictures
Aurum Producciones

Alliance Films (formerly Alliance Entertainment, Alliance Communications, Alliance Atlantis Releasing Ltd, Motion Picture Distribution LP; and also known as Alliance Vivafilm in Quebec; or simply Alliance) was a Canadian motion picture distribution and production company.

Founded in 1984, Alliance was one of the major motion picture companies to distribute independent films outside the United States and other countries, and had also served the United Kingdom and Spain.

After Entertainment One acquired Alliance Films on January 9, 2013, the latter brand was dissolved; with Alliance Vivafilm folding into Les Films Séville in 2014.

History

Origins (1972–1984)

The company made its origins in 1972 when Robert Lantos formed Vivafilm. Two years later, Lantos teamed up with Stephen J. Roth to start out RSL Films (later RSL Entertainment Corporation) in 1975.[2]

Another company, the International Cinema Corporation was originally formed in 1971 by three National Film Board of Canada executives John Kemeny, as well as Don Duprey, Joe Koenig and George Kaczender to develop documentaries,[3] and it became International Cinema Corporation in 1979 when Kemeny teamed up with Denis Heroux to produce feature films.[2][4][5]

Prior to the company (1984–1998)

The company was formed in 1984 by Stephen Roth, Denis Héroux, John Kemeny, Robert Lantos, Andras Hamori and Susan Cavan as Alliance Entertainment, from a merger of RSL Entertainment Corporation and International Cinema Corporation, with financing from New Century Entertainment's SLM Productions and gave them a $10 million fund.[6][2]

In 1986, the company had completed the first six projects in the first twelve months, and the company's fare was to be shown on the Big Three networks, namely ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as cable channel HBO and Canadian channel CTV, as well as a financing agreement with New Century/SLM Productions. One of Alliance's well known TV projects was Night Heat, and had to develop several television miniseries.[7]

On September 11, 1986, Alliance Entertainment Corporation expanded into a package of seven feature films and television projects for the next twelve months, and John Hirsch made his television acting debut on Alliance's made-for-television movie production, The Sword of Gideon, which aired on CTV and HBO.[8]

In 1987, it attempted to take over the Los Angeles-based production company Robert Cooper Productions, a move that will join the two companies under the Alliance banner, and bring 28 hours of programming donated by Robert Cooper to Alliance, which included HBO projects and several other television films, and distribution of the four Cooper/Alliance joint production ventures would be handled by Carolco Pictures outside of the Canadian market and handled through a $40 million limited partnership with Richard Greenshields of Canada Ltd., which is expected to file within two weeks.[9] The aborted plan for an Alliance/Robert Cooper merger was later scrapped in October 1987.[10] In late November 1987, after an aborted merger attempt between Alliance and Robert Cooper, which end up collaborating on the Return of Ben Casey telefilm, Alliance Entertainment had named Susan Cavan, who was formerly an in-house lawyer to serve as the studio's president, who succeeded Stephen Roth, who was one of the Alliance co-founders, which was ankled to become an industry consultant of the studio.[11]

It acquired a Montreal-based Francophone distribution company, Vivafilm, in 1990, after Lantos bought out the company back from Loewy, renaming it to Alliance-Vivafilm in the process.[12] In 1993, the company expanded its operations to launch its sales arm, Le Monde Entertainment.[13]

In 1995, the company entered the broadcasting business, by first launching Showcase,[14] then launching History Television.[15] In 1997, the company had bought out several assets of Norstar Entertainment, including its title library for $5-10 million.[16]

In 1998, it merged with Atlantis Communications, forming Alliance Atlantis Communications.[17]

Later years (2007–2013)

In partnership with Cineplex Entertainment, Alliance Films (operating as Motion Picture Distribution LP under Alliance Atlantis) also operated Alliance Cinemas, owner of two Toronto-area theatres. During the MPD era, all materials relating to Alliance Atlantis–distributed films contained a disclaimer stating that Alliance Atlantis was "an indirect limited partner of Motion Picture Distribution LP, not a general partner". However, in fact, the company controlled the general partner of the partnership, and hence effectively controlled the distribution unit itself.[citation needed]

Formerly known as Motion Picture Distribution LP, it was rebranded and relaunched in 2007 due to the collapse of its preceding company, Alliance Atlantis, which was sold off piece by piece to CanWest Global, GS Capital Partners, along with several other smaller companies. Société générale de financement du Québec, an investment agency of the provincial government, owns 51% of the voting shares of the company and 38.5% of the equity. GS Capital owns the remainder of the company.

Alliance Films was headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, in the Quartier International.[citation needed]

In the mid-2000s, Alliance Films began to produce films in moderation. In addition to producing films as The Rocket (Maurice Richard) with Cinémaginaire (as well as other movies), National Lampoon's Senior Trip with New Line Cinema and Munich with Universal Pictures, DreamWorks SKG and Amblin Entertainment of and before the days of Alliance Atlantis respectively, they were responsible for co-producing the 2008 teen slasher Prom Night with Screen Gems and Original Film. They also produced and distributed the war drama Passchendaele, and co-produced the comedy Stone of Destiny with Infinity Features Entertainment and The Mob Film Company. They are also responsible for co-producing the 2011 horror film Insidious with FilmDistrict and Wanderlust with Universal Pictures and Apatow Productions.

In 2010, Alliance Films expanded its home video operations with an aggressive push into the TV-on-DVD market. It began releasing various television series on DVD, the majority are Canadian productions or Canadian co-productions. To date they have released over 20 series and continue to release more.[citation needed]

On June 24, 2011, Alliance Films bought Maple Pictures from Lionsgate for a total of $38.5 million before Alliance was folded into Entertainment One in early 2013.[18]

Since early 2010, Alliance Films has been partnering with Jason Blum and his BlumHouse Productions to produce low budget horror films. This began with Insidious which was released in 2011. The next to be released was Sinister in 2012 and Dark Skies in 2013. Since the 2013 acquisition and absorption, it is unclear if eOne will be a partner on subsequent BlumHouse films and their sequels.

On January 3, 2012, it was announced that Goldman Sachs Group is looking to sell its majority stake in Alliance Films.[19]

Acquisition by eOne

On May 28, 2012, Entertainment One (eOne) confirmed their bid to purchase Alliance Films from Goldman Sachs Group, similar to the purchase of Maple Pictures a year prior.[20][21] The acquisition was completed on January 9, 2013; upon the closure of the deal, Victor Loewy stepped down as CEO of the company. eOne also announced that it would phase out the Alliance brand entirely, in favour of solely operating under the eOne banner (Les Films Séville banner in Quebec).[22][23]

In the years since its dissolution, Alliance Films' library (via eOne) would be split and acquired by various entities. American toy maker Hasbro would acquire the eOne's Kids and Family brands in 2019, while Lionsgate (another Canadian-founded studio) would acquire the studio's remaining entertainment assets (also including Maple Pictures' trademarks) on December 27, 2023.[24]

Distribution

Alliance Films has distributed all or some of the following companies' films before the eOne acquisition and eOne's subsequent purchase by Lionsgate.

All listings are from the start of their deal with Alliance up to their current state with eOne:

For more, see Entertainment One.

And also, Alliance Films' video releases from 2007 to 2013 were distributed by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, until the acquisition by Entertainment One, and subsequent acquisition by Lionsgate ten years later, after which Lionsgate Home Entertainment and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment took over these home media distribution rights.

Divisions

Alliance Films also operates the following international subsidiaries:

TV series

The following is a list of TV series that have been released on DVD by Alliance Films:

Animated

Live-action (with various genres)

Canadian distribution

Alliance Films was the official Canadian distributor for the following series:

References

  1. ^ "Volume 3, Number 1" (PDF). Montreal in Action. City of Montreal. January 25, 2008. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2023-08-01. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
  2. ^ a b c Tate, Marsha Ann (2007-02-28). "Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc.: The Emergence of a Canadian Contender in the International Media Milieu". etda.libraries.psu.edu. Archived from the original on 2023-08-01. Retrieved 2023-07-11.
  3. ^ "Top 10 Canadian Films of All Time Archived 3 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine", The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2012, URL accessed 28 April 2013.
  4. ^ "ICC". 1979-09-26. pp. Variety.
  5. ^ "Canadian Film Encyclopedia - John Kemeny". cfe.tiff.net. Archived from the original on 2023-08-01. Retrieved 2023-07-11.
  6. ^ "SLM Sets Two-Year Prod Slate; 'Wraith', First Title Now Rolling". Variety. 1986-02-05. p. 6.
  7. ^ Adilman, Sid (1986-07-09). "Alliance Entertainment, Toronto, Racks Up 12 Projects In 1st Year". Variety. p. 6.
  8. ^ "Alliance Sets Slate Of Film, TV Prods For Coming Year". Variety. 1986-09-17. p. 6.
  9. ^ Greenberg, James (1987-04-15). "Canada's Alliance Entertainment Couples With L.A. TV Producer". Variety. pp. 7, 9.
  10. ^ "Cooper Merger Off". Variety. 1987-10-07. p. 80.
  11. ^ Adilman, Sid (1987-12-02). "Alliance Merger With Cooper Off; Names New Prez, Other Toppers". Variety. p. 46.
  12. ^ Heinrich, Erik (1991-04-26). "Immigrant makes good just like in the movies". National Post. p. 45.
  13. ^ Kelly, Brendan (1995-02-20). "Canada Pix Thrive Despite Funding Cuts". Variety. Archived from the original on 2023-08-01. Retrieved 2023-07-11.
  14. ^ Vardy, Jill (1994-02-16). "Pushing for Canadian content". National Post. p. 5.
  15. ^ "Trading places". National Post. 1996-01-30. p. 6.
  16. ^ Kelly, Brendan (1997-12-23). "Norstar moving on". Variety. Archived from the original on 2023-08-01. Retrieved 2023-07-08.
  17. ^ Kelly, Brendan (1998-11-03). "Merged and mowed". Variety. Archived from the original on 2023-08-01. Retrieved 2023-07-11.
  18. ^ Etan Vlessing (June 21, 2011). "Analysts Welcome Lionsgate Selling Maple Pictures to Alliance Films". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 28, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  19. ^ Goldman looks to sell majority stake in Alliance Films
  20. ^ "EOne confirms talks to buy Alliance Films". Archived from the original on 2012-05-30. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
  21. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy. Canada's eOne Confirms It Will Acquire Alliance Films For $230M. Archived 2023-08-01 at the Wayback Machine Deadline Hollywood (September 7, 2012)
  22. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy. EOne Completes Alliance Films Acquisition; Victor Loewy, Charles Layton Exit. Archived 2023-08-01 at the Wayback Machine Deadline Hollywood (January 9, 2012)
  23. ^ "Entertainment One ready to close Alliance deal". CBC News. Canadian Press. January 3, 2013. Archived from the original on August 1, 2023. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  24. ^ Goldbart, Max (2023-08-03). "Hasbro Confirms Sale Of eOne To Lionsgate For $500M". Deadline. Retrieved 2023-08-03.
  25. ^ Carver, Benedict (1998-05-17). "Alliance, Artisan pact". Variety. Retrieved 2023-10-07.
  26. ^ Kelly, Brendan (1999-10-07). "Destination, Alliance pact". Variety. Retrieved 2023-08-02.
  27. ^ Frook, John (1994-03-14). "Miramax inks with Alliance". Variety. Retrieved 2023-10-07.
  28. ^ "Miramax and Alliance Films Renew Partnership in Canada". BusinessWire. March 1, 2011.
  29. ^ Kelly, Brendan (2002-12-11). "Alliance Atlantis ringing in renewal". Variety. Retrieved 2023-10-07.
  30. ^ Kelly, Brendan (2008-09-03). "New Line renews its Alliance". Variety. Retrieved 2023-10-07.
  31. ^ Murray, Karen (1993-01-20). "Orion joins Alliance for Canada distrib'n". Variety. Retrieved 2023-10-07.
  32. ^ Kelly, Brendan (2007-09-25). "Overture names Alliance distributor". Variety. Retrieved 2023-10-07.
  33. ^ "Relativity Media Renews Output Deal With Alliance Films". The Hollywood Reporter. 2011-02-04. Retrieved 2023-10-07.
  34. ^ "The Weinstein Company and Alliance Atlantis Sign Distribution Deal". IndieWire. 2006-01-23. Retrieved 2023-10-07.