Annapurna Pictures

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Annapurna Pictures, LLC
FoundedApril 2, 2011; 8 years ago (2011-04-02)
FounderMegan Ellison
United States
Key people
Megan Ellison (Chair & CEO)
OwnerMegan Ellison[1]

Annapurna Pictures is an American motion picture company founded by Megan Ellison in 2011.[2] It specializes in film production, television production, video game development, distribution, marketing, and finance.

Annapurna invests in finance and sales through its subsidiary Annapurna International,[3] formerly called Panorama Media.[4] It also produces television shows through subsidiary Annapurna Television[5][6] and publishes video games under its Annapurna Interactive arm.[7]


Annapurna Pictures was founded in 2011 by Megan Ellison as a production and finance entity. It is named after Mount Annapurna in Nepal, itself named after the Hindu goddess Annapurna. Ellison visited Mount Annapurna on a trip to Nepal.[8] Ellison's right hand and best friend, Chelsea Barnard, was an employee from the beginning.[9]

In April 2012, Annapurna agreed to fund Panorama Media, a production, finance and international sales company based in Los Angeles and head by President Marc Butan and its Head of International Sales Kimberly Fox.[4]

On September 27, 2016, Annapurna launched a television production division, Annapurna Television, which is headed by former HBO executive Sue Naegle (with her label, Naegle Ink, now part of the division).[10] On January 10, 2017, it was reported that Annapurna Television would produce the Coen brothers' first TV project, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.[11] In December 2016, the company announced its new division, Annapurna Interactive, to produce, develop, and distribute video games with several active projects in development, planned for release in 2017.[12][13]

In January 2017, Chelsea Barnard was named president of film production,[9] and the company announced they would begin distributing films, with their first being Detroit directed by Kathryn Bigelow, set for release on August 4, 2017.[14] They later signed a multi-year distribution deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on March 27, in which MGM will distribute all of Annapurna's films in select international territories.[15][16][17] On April 6, the company also announced an exclusive, multi-year output licensing agreement with Hulu.[18][19][20]

In May 2017, Plan B Entertainment announced a three-year production deal with Annapurna Pictures to partner on at least three films a year with Annapurna handling distribution and marketing. As part of the deal, Annapurna received the rights to Adam McKay's film Vice starring Christian Bale as Dick Cheney.[21] It was also announced Annapurna would co-distribute Brad's Status through their MGM joint venture Mirror alongside Amazon Studios.[22] In July, the company signed a multi-year U.S. home entertainment pact with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment to oversee its home releases.[23]

Since Sony Pictures' contract to co-produce the James Bond series with MGM and Eon Productions expired with the release of Spectre, Annapurna, along with five major studios – Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures and Sony itself vied to win the rights to the next film as of April 2017. It was then announced that MGM had secured the domestic, digital and worldwide television rights to the film. Universal was announced as the international distributor of the film and holder of the rights for physical home entertainment distribution.[24]

In October 2017, Annapurna and MGM announced the formation of a US distribution joint venture in which each studio would release their films individually. This marked a return to domestic theatrical distribution for MGM and an expansion of Annapurna's distribution division, with MGM releasing approximately six to eight films per year on a limited basis and Annapurna releasing four to six films per year, in a combined slate of fourteen films. While the two companies are sharing costs for the joint venture's operations, Annapurna's distribution and marketing teams will support the MGM titles, which will be distributed under the MGM banner while Annapurna-produced films will continue to be distributed under its own banner. The two studios also launched Mirror, a releasing entity that will pursue theatrical opportunities for additional third-party films. However, this partnership will not be exclusive to all MGM films, as several of them will continue to be released through existing studio partners, such as Warner Bros. and Paramount. It also does not include newly-relaunched Orion Pictures and future worldwide distributor plans for the James Bond franchise, which MGM announced on "a later date", May 24, 2018, to have been won by Universal Pictures (although this was just for international distribution. The film will be distributed in the United States under the joint-venture).[25][26][27][28][29][30][31]

In October 2018, Annapurna signed a music publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music, which will administer the studio's film and TV compositions and scores.[32]

In February 2019, Annapurna and MGM rebranded and expanded their US distribution joint venture to release both MGM and Annapurna films under United Artists Releasing, with the distribution teams of Annapurna and Orion Pictures (whose films will be added as well) joining the venture and former Screen Gems executive Pam Kunath joining as COO in addition to the heads of MGM and Annapurna joining the board of directors. The decision was made to coincide with the United Artists brand's 100th anniversary, and has plans to release 10–14 films a year through the new label, including the domestic release of No Time to Die (which marks a reunion between the UA brand and the James Bond franchise in two decades).[33][34][35]


As production company[edit]

Year Film title Notes
2012 Lawless co-production with The Weinstein Company
The Master co-production with The Weinstein Company
Killing Them Softly co-production with Plan B Entertainment; distributed by The Weinstein Company
Zero Dark Thirty co-production with Columbia Pictures
2013 Spring Breakers co-production with Muse Productions; distributed by A24
The Grandmaster co-production with Block 2 Pictures, Jet Tone Films, Sil-Metropole Organization, and Bona International Film Group; distributed by The Weinstein Company[36]
Her co-production with Warner Bros. Pictures
American Hustle co-production with Columbia Pictures and Atlas Entertainment
2014 Foxcatcher co-production with Sony Pictures Classics
2015 Joy co-production with 20th Century Fox
2016 Everybody Wants Some!! co-production with Paramount Pictures[37]
Wiener-Dog co-production with Killer Films; distributed by Amazon Studios and IFC Films[38]
Sausage Party co-production with Columbia Pictures, Point Grey Pictures, and Nitrogen Studios[39]
20th Century Women produced by; distributed by A24
2017 The Bad Batch produced by; distributed by Neon
Detroit co-production with First Light Productions and Page 1
Phantom Thread co-production with Focus Features and Ghoulardi Film Company
2018 The Sisters Brothers co-production with Why Not Productions and Page 114 Productions[40]
If Beale Street Could Talk co-production with Plan B Entertainment and Pastel Productions[41]
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs uncredited; co-production with Netflix
Vice co-production with Plan B Entertainment and Gary Sanchez Productions
2019 Missing Link co-production with Laika[42]
Where'd You Go, Bernadette co-production with Color Force[43]
Hustlers credit only; produced by Gloria Sanchez Productions, Nuyorican Productions and STX Entertainment[44]
Wounds produced by; distributed by Hulu[45]
Bombshell credit only; produced by Bron Studios, Denver and Delilah Productions, Lighthouse Media & Management, Creative Wealth Media, distributed by Lionsgate[46]
TBA 2020 Kajillionaire co-production with Plan B Entertainment[47][48]

As distributor[edit]

The company expects to release "approximately four to six films per year".[49]

Release date Film title Notes
August 4, 2017 Detroit
September 15, 2017 Brad's Status Co-distribution with Amazon Studios[50]
October 13, 2017 Professor Marston and the Wonder Women Co-distribution with Stage 6 Films[51][52]
July 6, 2018 Sorry to Bother You[53][54]
September 21, 2018 The Sisters Brothers [55]
December 14, 2018 If Beale Street Could Talk [56]
December 25, 2018 Vice [57][54]
December 25, 2018 Destroyer [58]
April 12, 2019 Missing Link[42] US distribution through United Artists Releasing[34]
May 24, 2019 Booksmart [59] US distribution through United Artists Releasing[34]
August 16, 2019 Where'd You Go, Bernadette US distribution through United Artists Releasing[34]


Many of the films produced by the company have received widespread critical acclaim. In 2013 alone, Her, American Hustle and The Grandmaster had a combined seventeen Academy Award nominations. Commercially, results have been mixed. Some films like The Master, Foxcatcher, Joy and Detroit have failed to return their budget while ones such as Zero Dark Thirty, Sausage Party and American Hustle have grossed more than $100 million, the latter grossing more than $250 million worldwide.[60][61]

Video games[edit]

Annapurna Interactive published its first video game What Remains of Edith Finch on April 25, 2017. What Remains of Edith Finch received "universal acclaim" on PC and "generally positive" reviews on PS4, according to video game review aggregator Metacritic.[62] The publisher has also provided funding and publication support for The Artful Escape by Beethoven & Dinosaur,[63] Ashen by A44 and Gorogoa by Jason Roberts.

International distributors[edit]

Country Distributor Years
Asia Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 2017–present
Australia/New Zealand Theatrical: Universal Pictures[64] All Other Media: Entertainment One
Benelux Entertainment One
Central Europe Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
France Mars Distribution[65]
Germany Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Italy Eagle Pictures/Leone Film Group[65]
Japan Longride[65]
Middle East Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Spain Entertainment One
United Kingdom

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Donnelly, Brent Lang, Matt; Lang, Brent; Donnelly, Matt (Oct 10, 2018). "As Annapurna Stumbles, Billionaire Larry Ellison Exerts Control". Retrieved Aug 12, 2019.
  2. ^ Pierson, David. "Annapurna Pictures' Megan Ellison pays $40 million for five West Hollywood properties". Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  3. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (May 12, 2014). "Cannes: Panorama Media Rebrands As Annapurna International, Boards Charlize Theron Project 'American Express'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Fleming, Jr., Mike (April 26, 2012). "Megan Ellison To Back New Shingle Panorama Media, Launching At Cannes". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
  5. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 27, 2016). "Annapurna Pictures Launches TV Division Headed By Former HBO Executive Sue Naegle". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  6. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (September 27, 2016). "Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures Taps Sue Naegle to Head TV Division". Variety. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  7. ^ Spangler, Todd (December 1, 2016). "Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures Launches Video-Game Division". Variety. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  8. ^ "Oscars 2014: How best picture maker Megan Ellison became the most powerful woman in movies". Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  9. ^ a b Tatiana, Siegel (October 10, 2018). "Megan Ellison Mystery: What's Going on at Annapurna Pictures?". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  10. ^ Elise Sandberg, Bryn (September 27, 2016). "Annapurna Pictures Taps Sue Naegle to Head TV Division". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  11. ^ Petski, Denise (January 10, 2017). "Coen Brothers To Write & Direct First TV Project 'The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  12. ^ Verhoeven, Beatrice (December 1, 2016). "Annapurna Pictures Launches Interactive Video Game Division". The Wrap. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  13. ^ Kay, Jeremy (December 1, 2016). "Annapurna Interactive launches to produce, publish video games". Screen International. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  14. ^ Busch, Anita (January 20, 2017). "Annapurna Pictures, Part II: Distribution And Marketing Team In Place As Company Flexes Indie Studio Muscle". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  15. ^ McNary, Dave (2017-03-27). "Megan Ellison's Annapurna Partners With MGM for International Releases". Variety. Retrieved 2017-06-18.
  16. ^ "MGM, Annapurna Pictures Ink Movie Distribution Deal". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-06-18.
  17. ^ Lodderhose, Diana (2017-03-27). "MGM & Annapurna Seal Multi-Year Movie Distribution Deal". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2017-06-18.
  18. ^ Spangler, Todd (2017-04-06). "Hulu Inks Annapurna Pictures Pay-One TV Window Movie Output Deal". Variety. Retrieved 2017-06-18.
  19. ^ "Hulu Lands Expansive Output Deal With Annapurna Pictures". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-06-18.
  20. ^ Busch, Anita (2017-04-06). "Annapurna Pictures Pacts With Hulu For Streaming Rights In Big, Multi-Year Deal". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2017-06-18.
  21. ^ Ford, Rebecca (May 4, 2017). "Brad Pitt's Plan B Inks Three-Year Deal With Annapurna". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  22. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (May 18, 2017). "Amazon, Annapurna Partner To Release Mike White's 'Brad's Status' Into Theaters — Cannes". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  23. ^ Lang, Brent; Lang, Brent (Jul 11, 2017). "Annapurna, 20th Century Fox Sign Multi-Year Home Entertainment Pact". Retrieved Aug 12, 2019.
  24. ^ Brooks Barnes (April 20, 2017). "Five Studios' Mission: Winning the Distribution Rights to James Bond". The New York Times. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  25. ^ "Q3 2017 Financial Report" (PDF). Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  26. ^ "News from California, the nation and world". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved Aug 12, 2019.
  27. ^ McNary, Dave; McNary, Dave (Oct 31, 2017). "MGM, Annapurna Form U.S. Distribution Partnership". Retrieved Aug 12, 2019.
  28. ^ "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer And Annapurna Pictures Form Joint Venture To Distribute Films Theatrically In The U.S." Retrieved Aug 12, 2019.
  29. ^
  30. ^ Geier, Thom (Oct 31, 2017). "MGM Teams With Annapurna for Joint Distribution Deal". Retrieved Aug 12, 2019.
  31. ^ "Universal Wins James Bond International Distribution". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved Aug 12, 2019.
  32. ^ "Annapurna Pictures Announces Global Publishing Deal with Warner/Chappell Music - Warner Music Group Official Blog". Warner Music Group Official Website. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  33. ^ Ellison, Megan. "MGM, Annapurna Team for Distribution Label United Artists Releasing". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  34. ^ a b c d Donnelly, Matt; Donnelly, Matt (Feb 5, 2019). "Annapurna, MGM Joint Distribution Venture Rebrands as United Artists Releasing". Retrieved Aug 12, 2019.
  35. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming; Jr, Mike Fleming (Feb 5, 2019). "MGM, Annapurna Set Joint Venture To Theatrically Distribute Under United Artists Releasing Banner". Retrieved Aug 12, 2019.
  36. ^ "Berlin: So Much For Bad Blood Between Harvey And Megan Ellison; TWC Acquires Wong Kar Wai's 'The Grandmaster'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
  37. ^ Patches, Matt (September 30, 2014). "Megan Ellison's Annapurna to produce Richard Linklater's 'Dazed' spiritual Sequel, 'That's What I'm Talking About's". HitFix. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
  38. ^ Seetoodeh, Ramin (January 26, 2016). "Sundance: Amazon Lands Todd Solondz Comedy 'Wiener-Dog". Variety. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  39. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (September 24, 2013). "Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg Sell Sony on Raunchy Animated Film 'Sausage Party'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  40. ^ Lang, Brent (19 May 2017). "Annapurna Nabs Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal Western 'Sister's Brothers'". Variety. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  41. ^ Kroll, Justin. "'Moonlight' Director Barry Jenkins Sets Next Movie (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  42. ^ a b Kit, Borys (April 25, 2018). "Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zach Galifianakis Starring in Animated Film From Laika". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  43. ^ McNary, Dave (January 17, 2019). "Cate Blanchett's 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette' Moved Back to August". Variety. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  44. ^ "Hustlers" (PDF). Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  45. ^ Gooden, Tai. "Here's All The New Huluween Content Coming In October (Exclusive)". Nerdist Industries. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  46. ^ Hammond, Pete (October 14, 2019). "'Bombshell' Explodes Into Oscar Race As Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman & Margot Robbie Unveil The Fox News Roger Ailes Story". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  47. ^ "Miranda July's Next Movie Set Up At Plan B And Annapurna". Deadline Hollywood.
  48. ^ "Kajillionare Netflix" (PDF). Gersh Production. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  49. ^ Busch, Anita; Busch, Anita (Oct 31, 2017). "MGM Ramps Up Theatrical Distribution & Pacts With Annapurna; Easy Set Up To Roll Out Next Bond Film". Retrieved Aug 12, 2019.
  50. ^ McNary, Dave (May 18, 2017). "Ben Stiller's 'Brad's Status' Gets Joint Distribution From Annapurna, Amazon". Variety. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  51. ^ A. Lincoln, Ross (October 7, 2016). "Sony Nabs 'Professor Marston'; Biopic About Wonder Woman Creator Stars Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall & Bella Heathcote". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  52. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (June 8, 2017). "Annapurna To Release MGM's 'Death Wish' Over Thanksgiving; Sets October Date For 'Professor Marston & The Wonder Women'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  53. ^ Lang, Brent (2018-01-25). "Sundance: Annapurna Buys 'Sorry to Bother You'". Variety. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  54. ^ a b "Annapurna Dates Films By Adam McKay, Babak Anvari & Sundance Acquisition 'Sorry To Bother You'". Deadline Hollywood. February 9, 2018. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  55. ^ Busch, Anita; Busch, Anita (May 19, 2017). "Jacques Audiard's 'The Sisters Brothers' To Annapurna With Strong Group Of Acting Talent". Retrieved Aug 12, 2019.
  56. ^ Kroll, Justin; Kroll, Justin (Jul 10, 2017). "'Moonlight' Director Barry Jenkins Sets Next Movie (EXCLUSIVE)". Retrieved Aug 12, 2019.
  57. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming; Jr, Mike Fleming (May 4, 2017). "Plan B Closes Overall Annapurna Deal; Brings Adam McKay's Dick Cheney Movie To Star Christian Bale". Retrieved Aug 12, 2019.
  58. ^ Wiseman, Andreas; Wiseman, Andreas (May 14, 2018). "Cannes All-Nighter: Annapurna Wins U.S. Rights To Nicole Kidman Crime-Thriller 'Destroyer'". Retrieved Aug 12, 2019.
  59. ^ Kroll, Justin (February 16, 2018). "Olivia Wilde Sets Directorial Debut 'Booksmart' With Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein to Star (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  60. ^ "Zero Dark Thirty". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database.
  61. ^ "American Hustle". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database.
  62. ^ "What Remains of Edith Finch". Retrieved 2017-04-25.
  63. ^ D'Anastasio, Cecilia (30 March 2017). "A Musical Indie Game Starring A Teen With A Cosmic Guitar". Kotaku. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  64. ^ "| Universal Pictures International and Entertainment One Announce New Feature Film Distribution Agreement in Australia and New Zealand". Retrieved Aug 12, 2019.
  65. ^ a b c McNary, Dave; McNary, Dave (May 24, 2017). "Megan Ellison's Annapurna Signs Distribution Deals for Japan, France, Italy". Retrieved Aug 12, 2019.

External links[edit]