|Industry||Distribution and production|
2007 (relaunch as a result of Alliance Atlantis collapse)
|Headquarters||Montreal, Quebec, Canada |
|Products||Film distribution, Home video|
Alliance Films (formerly Alliance Entertainment, Alliance Communications, Alliance Atlantis Releasing Ltd. and also known as Alliance Vivafilm in Quebec) is a Canadian motion picture distribution and production company, which had served Canada, the United Kingdom, and Spain. Because Entertainment One acquired Alliance Films in early 2013, it was dissolved into that company. It was one of the major motion picture companies to distribute independent films outside the United States and other countries.
Alliance Films era (1984–2012)
The company was formed in 1984 by Stephen Roth, Denis Héroux, John Kemeny, Robert Lantos, Andras Hamori and Susan Cavan as Alliance Entertainment. It acquired a Montreal-based Francophone distribution company, Vivafilm, in 1990. In 1998, it merged with Atlantis Communications, forming Alliance Atlantis Communications.
Formally known as Motion Picture Distribution LP, it was re branded 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.
In the mid-2000s, Alliance Films began to produce films in moderation. In addition to producing films as The Rocket 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.
In partnership with Cineplex Entertainment, Alliance Films also operates 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.
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.
Acquisition by eOne
On May 28, 2012, Entertainment One confirmed their bid to purchase Alliance Films from Goldman Sachs Group, similar to the purchase of Maple Pictures a year prior. 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 favor of solely operating under the eOne banner.
Alliance Films has distributed all or some of the following companies' films before the eOne acquisition.
All listings are from the start of their deal with Alliance up to their current state with eOne:
- Apparition (2009-2010)
- Artisan Entertainment (1998-2004)
- CBS Films (2010-current)
- FilmDistrict (2011-2013)
- Focus Features (2002-current)
- Freestyle Releasing (2006-2012)
- Lionsgate (2011-current)
(distributed by Maple Pictures from 2004-2011)
- Open Road Films (2014–current)
(some titles released by VVS Films or Elevation Pictures)
- Miramax (1989-2008, 2011-present)
(distributed by Maple Pictures from 2008-2010)
- New Line Cinema (1989-2010)
- Orion Pictures (select titles, 1992-1996)
- Overture Films (2008-2010)
- Relativity Media (2011-current)
- Rogue Pictures (2005-2013)
- The Weinstein Company (2005-current)
- Dimension Films (1995-current)
For more, see Entertainment One.
And also, Alliance Films' video releases from 2007-2013 were distributed by Paramount Home Media Distribution, until the acquisition by Entertainment One.
- Alliance Vivafilm: Francophone film business that produces and distributes feature films in Quebec
- Alliance Home Entertainment: Home entertainment division that releases feature films & TV series on DVD
Alliance Films also operates the following international subsidiaries:
The following is a list of TV series that have been released on DVD by Alliance Films:
- Adventure Inc.
- The Adventures of Sinbad
- Beast Wars: Transformers
- Adventures of the Black Stallion
- The Crow: Stairway to Heaven
- Dead Man's Gun
- Degrassi: The Next Generation
- Earth: Final Conflict
- Emily of New Moon
- First Wave
- F/X: The Series
- Les Invincibles
- The Hitchhiker
- The Hunger
- Mutant X
- Mysterious Island
- Maurice Sendak's Little Bear
- Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide
- Once a Thief
- The Outer Limits
- Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal
- The Ray Bradbury Theater
- Relic Hunter
- RoboCop: The Series
- Total Recall 2070
- Trailer Park Boys
- White Fang
- Zoey 101
Alliance Films is the official Canadian distributor for the following series:
- "Volume 3, Number 1" (PDF). Montreal in Action. City of Montreal. January 25, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
- Etan Vlessing (June 21, 2011). "Analysts Welcome Lionsgate Selling Maple Pictures to Alliance Films". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Goldman looks to sell majority stake in Alliance Films
- EOne confirms talks to buy Alliance Films
- Tartaglione, Nancy. Canada’s eOne Confirms It Will Acquire Alliance Films For $230M. Deadline.com (September 7, 2012)
- Tartaglione, Nancy. EOne Completes Alliance Films Acquisition; Victor Loewy, Charles Layton Exit. Deadline.com (January 9, 2012)
- "Entertainment One ready to close Alliance deal". CBC News. Canadian Press. January 3, 2013.
- Rachel Abrams (March 1, 2011). "Miramax, Alliance Films renew Canada pact". Variety.
- "Miramax and Alliance Films Renew Partnership in Canada". BusinessWire. March 1, 2011.