Franchise Pictures

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Franchise Pictures LLC
Industry Independent film studio
Fate Bankrupt
Founded 1998
Defunct 2005
Key people
Elie Samaha
Andrew Stevens
Subsidiaries Franchise Interactive

Franchise Pictures LLC was an independent motion picture production and distribution company with Warner Bros. Entertainment, founded by Elie Samaha and Andrew Stevens. They were known for their production in the action film genre. The company also had a short-lived video game arm, Franchise Interactive.

Filmography[edit]

Release Date Title Director Budget Gross (worldwide) RT Approval Rating IMDb Rating
July 6, 1999 A Murder of Crows Rowdy Herrington N/A N/A 0% 6.4/10
September 10, 1999 Storm Catcher Anthony Hickox N/A N/A 4.1/10
December 29, 1999 The Third Miracle 67% 6.6/10
January 21, 2000 The Boondock Saints Troy Duffy $6 million $30,471 20% 7.9/10
February 11, 2000 Mercy 17% 5.3/10
February 18, 2000 The Whole Nine Yards Jonathan Lynn $41.3 million $106,371,651 45% 6.7/10
April 28, 2000 The Big Kahuna John Swanbeck $7 million $3,728,888 74% 6.7/10
May 12, 2000 Battlefield Earth Roger Christian $44 million $29,725,663 3% 2.4/10 (#76 on Bottom 100)
July 4, 2000 Jill Rips Anthony Hickox N/A N/A 3.8/10
August 25, 2000 The Art of War Christian Duguay $60 million $40,400,425 16% 5.7/10
October 6, 2000 Get Carter Stephen Kay $63.6 million $19,412,993 12% 5.0/10
October 13, 2000 Animal Factory 82% 6.6/10
January 19, 2001 The Pledge Sean Penn $35 million $29,419,291 78% 6.8/10
February 23, 2001 3000 Miles to Graceland Demian Lichtenstein $62 million $18,720,175 14% 5.9/10
March 2, 2001 The Caveman's Valentine 46% 6.0/10
March 11, 2001 Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her 74% 6.6/10
April 10, 2001 Agent Red Damian Lee N/A N/A 3.0/10
April 27, 2001 Driven Renny Harlin $72 million $54,744,738 14% 4.4/10
May 18, 2001 Angel Eyes Luis Mandoki $53 million $29,715,606 33% 5.6/10
June 15, 2001 Viva Las Nowhere 5.8/10
November 9, 2001 Heist David Mamet $39 million $28,510,652 65% 6.6/10
November 16, 2001 Auggie Rose 54% 6.3/10
May 1, 2002 Green Dragon Timothy Linh Bui N/A N/A 61% 6.4/10
July 9, 2002 Zig Zag 6.1/10
August 30, 2002 FeardotCom 3% 3.3/10
September 3, 2002 If... Dog... Rabbit 5.6/10
September 6, 2002 City by the Sea Michael Caton-Jones $40 million $29,413,996 48% 6.2/10
September 20, 2002 Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever Wych Kaosayananda $70 million $19,924,033 0% 3.6/10
November 15, 2002 Half Past Dead Don Michael Paul $13 million $19,233,280 2% 4.5/10
January 28, 2003 The Foreigner Michael Oblowitz $16.7 million N/A 0% 3.2/10
May 20, 2002 Avenging Angelo 13% 5.2/10
May 23, 2003 The In-Laws Andrew Fleming $40 million $26,891,849 34% 5.7/10
June 20, 2003 Alex & Emma Rob Reiner $30 million $15,368,897 11% 5.5/10
October 21, 2003 Final Examination Ed Raymond N/A N/A 2.9/10
March 12, 2004 Spartan David Mamet $23 million $8,112,712 64% 6.6/10
April 9, 2004 The Whole Ten Yards 4% 5.4/10
July 20, 2004 Out of Reach Steven Seagal $20 million N/A 3.9/10
September 17, 2004 Funky Monkey Harry Basil N/A N/A 3.6/10
January 14, 2005 Retrograde Christopher Kulikowski N/A N/A 3.1/10
February 15, 2005 Into the Sun 4.4/10
September 2, 2005 A Sound of Thunder Peter Hyams $80 million $11,665,465 6% 4.1/10
January 13, 2006 Tristan & Isolde Kevin Reynolds N/A $28,047,963 32% 6.9/10
May 18, 2007 The Wendell Baker Story 40% 5.5/10

Reception[edit]

Franchise Pictures films have received mostly negative reviews. Both Battlefield Earth and Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever were universally panned and are considered to be two of the worst films of all time. However a few of their films (The Boondock Saints and The Whole Nine Yards for example) have garnered a strong cult following.

Bankruptcy[edit]

Following the financial failure of Battlefield Earth and other films independently produced by Franchise Pictures, The Wall Street Journal reported that the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation was probing "the question of whether some independent motion picture companies have vastly inflated the budget of films in an effort to scam investors".[1] In December 2000 the German-based Intertainment AG filed a lawsuit alleging that Franchise Pictures had fraudulently inflated budgets in films including Battlefield Earth, which Intertainment had helped to finance.[2] Intertainment had agreed to pay 47% of the production costs of several films in exchange for European distribution rights, but ended up paying for between 60% and 90% of the costs instead. The company alleged that Franchise had defrauded it to the tune of over $75 million by systematically submitting "grossly fraudulent and inflated budgets".[3]

The case was heard before a jury in a Los Angeles federal courtroom in May–June 2004. The court heard testimony from Intertainment that according to Franchise's bank records the real cost of Battlefield Earth was only $44 million, not the $75 million declared by Franchise. The remaining $31 million had been fraudulent "padding". Intertainment's head Barry Baeres told the court that he had only funded Battlefield Earth because it was packaged as a slate that included two more commercially attractive films, the Wesley Snipes vehicle The Art of War and the Bruce Willis comedy The Whole Nine Yards. Baeres testified that "Mr. Samaha said, 'If you want the other two pictures, you have to take Battlefield Earth—it's called packaging'". Baeres commented: "We would have been quite happy if he had killed Battlefield Earth".[4]

Intertainment won the case and was awarded $121.7 million in damages, of which Samaha himself was declared by the court to be personally liable for $77 million in damages.[5] However, the jury rejected Intertainment's claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute, which would have trebled the damages if Franchise had been found liable on that charge.[6] Samaha vowed to appeal but the fraud judgment destroyed Franchise's viability; the company and its subsidiaries all filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy petitions on August 19, 2004.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Staff (2002-06-06). "FBI Probes Big Indie Budgets". StudioBriefing: Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  2. ^ Randall, Laura (2000-12-22). "Franchise, Intertainment duel; Countersuits ask $75 million-plus each in film licensing dispute". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  3. ^ Staff (2001-01-19). "$75M Battlefield Over Film Flops". New York Post. 
  4. ^ Hiestand, Jesse (2004-05-10). "Baeres: No secret budget deal". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  5. ^ Shprintz, Janet (2004-06-21). "Attempt to Collect". Variety. 
  6. ^ Shprintz, Janet (2004-06-17). "Samaha Slammed". Variety. 
  7. ^ Shprintz, Janet; Dana Harris (August 23, 2004). "Elie's new chapter: Samaha's Franchise files for bankruptcy". Variety. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 

External links[edit]