Kavanaugh in 2009
|Born||Ryan Colin Kavanaugh
December 4, 1974 (age 39)
Los Angeles, California
|Education||B.A. University of California Santa Barbara|
|Occupation||CEO of Relativity Media, financier|
|Known for||Moneyball approach to film finance, philanthropy, wealth|
|Net worth||US$1.0 billion (March 2013)|
|Spouse(s)||Britta Lazenga (2011–present)|
Ryan Colin Kavanaugh (born December 4, 1974) is an American film producer and film financier. He is the founder and current CEO of Relativity Media. Through Relativity, he has financed more than 200 films representing more than $17 billion in revenue (earning the nickname "Billion Dollar Producer"). He is credited as producer of 61 films and known for creating a new "Moneyball" model of film finance. He was named by Variety as 2011's "Showman of the Year" and one of Fortunes "40 Under 40". He was on Forbes's list of wealthiest people, is #19 on Forbes's 2013 list of youngest billionaires, and he entered an investment partnership with Ron Burkle. He is active in philanthropy and was named a Hollywood Humanitarian by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Kavanaugh was born in Los Angeles, California, and raised in Brentwood. His mother, Leslie, is a real estate broker, and his father, Jack Kavanaugh, who was born in Germany, is a dentist turned businessman. His family is Jewish. After attending UCLA, Kavanaugh founded a small venture capital firm. The firm struggled in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and resulting market downturn and was eventually wound up.
Kavanaugh founded Relativity Media after briefly serving as a consultant to other small businesses and venture capitalists. His aim was to use mathematical tools to connect financing and movie projects in a more efficient manner than traditional Hollywood finance. At Relativity, he created what is now known as "the model," a monte carlo model designed to predict the odds of a given film being successful. No film at Relativity is given a green light unless it the model predicts a high probability of profitability.
During Relativity’s first year of operation, Kavanaugh executed what was considered to be an innovative finance deal for Marvel Studios which led them to make the successful Iron Man franchise. Kavanaugh went on to structure business deals for such companies as: Sony, Universal, Warner Brothers, among many others.
Kavanaugh has acquired a number of assets, including the marketing and distribution operations of John Malone’s Liberty Media/Starz film unit Overture Films, and reaching a first of its kind TV pay deal with Netflix. In addition, Kavanaugh forged a marketing, promotional, and production partnership with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Mobile and Virgin Produced, in which Relativity owns a stake. Kavanaugh also brokered an innovative cross-platform marketing partnership with Clear Channel Radio, the media company with the most reach in the U.S. Kavanaugh was also instrumental in launching Relativity’s historic partnership with China’s Huaxia Film Distribution Co. Ltd. to become equal partners in Sky Land Entertainment with private-equity firm SAIF Partners and IDG China Media to handle production and distribution of films in China and U.S. This marks the first strategic alliance between a Hollywood film production entity and a Chinese government-sponsored company.
Today, Relativity has produced, distributed, and/or structured financing for more than 200 motion pictures, generating more than $17 billion in worldwide box office revenue and earning 60 Oscar nominations.
In 2012, Kavanaugh brokered a deal through which Ron Burkle will partner with Relativity and invest $800 million in the company. As Chairman and the largest shareholder, Kavanaugh will retain control of Relativity and control the majority of the board of directors of Relativity. 
Kavanaugh led a group acquiring FreeHand, a premium dog food manufacturer best known for its work rescuing homeless dogs.  He intends to integrate FreeHand into the activities of Relativity, including a TV series based around building a dog food company and increased awareness of dog rescue.
Kavanaugh has produced films including Tarsem Singh’s 3D action film Immortals, Neil Burger’s thriller Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro, and David O. Russell's The Fighter starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale. Kavanaugh produced Relativity’s Mirror Mirror, starring Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, and Nathan Lane, and Nicholas Sparks’ Safe Haven. He also executive produced the eight-time Oscar-nominee The Social Network. His other films include Universal's Despicable Me and Mamma Mia!, Lionsgate's Brothers and 3:10 to Yuma; Sony's Grown Ups and Screen Gems' Dear John.
In a perhaps ironic twist, desptite Kavaugh's "Moneyball" approach to film making, he turned down a chance to invest in the movie Moneyball, citing the model's prediction that sports movies are often commercial failures.
Honors and awards
Kavanaugh was honored with the 2009 Hollywood Producer of the Year Award at the 13th Annual Hollywood Awards Gala and Daily Variety published a special issue honoring Kavanaugh as a Billion Dollar Producer. In 2010, The Hollywood Reporter bestowed the Leadership Award to Kavanaugh and the Daily Reporter dedicated a special issue in his honor as a "Billion Dollar Producer".  Kavanaugh has also been named Variety’s Showman of the Year 2011 and was honored at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Kavanaugh was 21st on Fortune's 40 Under 40 Most Influential People in Business in 2010 and in Forbes’ Future 400: Ones To Watch. He was also named a "Top Thinker" by Esquire. Kavanauh serves on other charitable boards, including the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors, and serves as the Chairman of The Art of Elysium.
Kavanaugh matriculated to UCLA and currently is obtaining his PhD from USC in the field of Physics. He grew up in Brentwood, California where he attended Brentwood High School, and currently resides in Malibu.
According to Forbes, he has a net worth of $900 million.
In 2011, Kavanaugh married dancer Britta Lazenga. Coverage of the ceremony in Capri focused on the attendees, including Ryan Seacrest, Bradley Cooper, Gerard Butler, and Leonardo DiCaprio. The bachelor party was thrown by DiCaprio and Cooper.
Kavanaugh recently became involved in dog rescue through his acquisition of FreeHand, saying that "We hope this will become a staple of Hollywood, and if you are not involved in this, then you’re not promoting social good amongst the animal world."
He has been recognized for his charitable work by organizations including Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, whose Board of Governors honored him as the sole winner of the 2010 Hollywood Humanitarian Award; the Sheriff’s Youth Foundation, which presented him with its Community Champion Award in recognition of his outstanding dedication to inner-city young people; and by First Star for his dedication to improving life for child victims of abuse and neglect. Kavanaugh was also honored with the 2011 Entertainment Industry Award by the Anti-Defamation League, a group committed to fighting anti-Semitism and bigotry of all kinds. The award is given to individuals who demonstrate leadership and extraordinary innovation in the entertainment industry. Kavanaugh serves as the Chairman of the Board for The Art of Elysium, an organization that encourages actors, artists and musicians to voluntarily dedicate their time and talent to children who are battling serious medical conditions.
- "Do you know how many people saw The Assassination of Jesse James? You and seven other people. Paul Blart grossed nearly $200 million worldwide. I'll take Paul Blart all day, every day."
- "Giving actors $20 million for a movie that loses money is like giving bonuses to the CEOs of bankrupt companies."
- "Everything has to run on the principle of profit. We'll never let creative decisions rule our business decisions. If it doesn't fit the model, it doesn't get done."
- Forbes: The World's billionaires: Ryan Kavanaugh March 2013
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