Savoy Pictures

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Savoy Pictures
Industry Independent film studio, television station holdings company
Fate acquired by IAC/Interactive Corporation
Founded 1992
Defunct 1997
Key people
Victor A. Kaufman
Lewis J. Korman

Savoy Pictures Entertainment, Inc. was an American independent motion picture company in operation from 1992 to 1997. Among Savoy Pictures' noteworthy feature films were A Bronx Tale, No Escape, Last of the Dogmen and Serial Mom.

History[edit]

Former Columbia Pictures Entertainment chairman Victor A. Kaufman became chairman and chief executive officer of Savoy Pictures in 1992 along with vice chairman executive, Lewis J. Korman. Kaufman has claimed that the name came from the Savoy Special bat Robert Redford's character used in The Natural.[1] Savoy intended to finance and distribute films in the $12–25 million range, investing in up to $15 million per film.[2] In June of that year, Savoy entered into a deal with HBO for the home video, pay-TV, and pay-per-view rights to its films.[3]

Budgets for their films grew. However, with rather poor marketing, Savoy faced a major financial slump, only three years after being formed. For three years, Savoy then released box office failures including Exit to Eden and Getting Away with Murder. It also didn't help that two of its competitors in the independent film field, Miramax and New Line Cinema, were bought out by majors (The Walt Disney Company and Turner Broadcasting, respectively), giving them stability. As a result, Savoy focused on low-budget films and the occasional blockbuster, costing up to $80 million.[2] Executives hoped to lure Sylvester Stallone with a then-hefty $20 million paycheck to star in a studio project that was ultimately never made.[2]

In the meantime, Savoy expanded into broadcasting to help the investment of films. In March 1994, Savoy created SF Broadcasting as a venture with Fox Television Stations, with Kaufman and Korman owning controlling interest.[4] As a result of purchasing these stations, all of them would become affiliates of the Fox network. Stations owned by SF Broadcasting were WALA-TV in Mobile, Alabama, WLUK-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin, WVUE in New Orleans, and KHON-TV in Honolulu, Hawaii. Savoy also launched a television production division.[5]

In January 1995, Kaufman announced that he was hiring Robert N. Fried to run the motion picture studio. Fried brought in executives Alan Sokol, Bob Levin, Cathy Schulman, Stan Brooks, Stan Wlodkowski and filmmakers Sam Raimi, and George Tillman, Rob Weiss and Peter Chelsom. In September 1995, Kaufman announced that he was cutting back on his interest in the motion picture business and was re-positioning the company as a TV station holding company.[6]

Shortly thereafter, Savoy announced the sale of 14 films in its roster, in varying stages of production, to potential buyers.[7] New Line Cinema picked up Martin Lawrence's directorial debut A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, American History X, The Adventures of Pinocchio, Heaven's Prisoners, Faithful, and The Stupids.[8][9][10] Paramount Pictures picked up the rights to produce A Simple Plan.[11]

Savoy Pictures announced in December 1995 that Barry Diller's IAC/Interactive Corporation was going to acquire Savoy. The deal was finalized in 1997. Victor Kaufman is now Vice Chairman and sits on the board of directors of IAC. The SF stations were sold to Diller's Silver King Broadcasting in 1997.

Films[edit]

Release Date Title
September 29, 1993 A Bronx Tale
December 25, 1993 Shadowlands
March 11, 1994 Lightning Jack
April 13, 1994 Serial Mom
April 29, 1994 No Escape
October 14, 1994 Exit to Eden
February 24, 1995 The Walking Dead
March 15, 1995 Circle of Friends
April 28, 1995 Destiny Turns on the Radio
May 24, 1995 Tales from the Hood
August 25, 1995 Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde
August 25, 1995 The Show
September 8, 1995 Last of the Dogmen
September 22, 1995 Bleeding Hearts
September 29, 1995 Steal Big Steal Little
October 27, 1995 Three Wishes
November 17, 1995 Let It Be Me
December 1, 1995 White Man's Burden
April 3, 1996 Faithful
April 5, 1996 A Thin Line Between Love and Hate
April 12, 1996 Getting Away with Murder
May 17, 1996 Heaven's Prisoners
July 26, 1996 The Adventures of Pinocchio
August 30, 1996 The Stupids

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Victor Kaufman – Savoy Pictures and Home Shopping Network". Vimeo. Retrieved 2016-09-08. 
  2. ^ a b c Fabrikant, Geraldine. Savoy Pictures' High and Low Roads. The New York Times (January 18, 1995)
  3. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/1992-06-16/business/fi-654_1_savoy-pictures Savoy Pictures and HBO Cut a Film Deal The Los Angeles Times (June 16, 1992)
  4. ^ THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Savoy and Fox TV Venture. The New York Times (March 18, 1994)
  5. ^ COMPANY TOWN : Savoy Pictures Names Stanley Brooks to Head Its Television Production Division. The Los Angeles Times (May 9, 1995)
  6. ^ Savoy Pictures To Focus on TV. The Los Angeles Times (September 18, 1995)
  7. ^ "Savoy leaves the spotlight". Retrieved 2016-09-08. 
  8. ^ Abramovitch, Ingrid (1997-03-09). "Lost Without a Screen: the Fate of 'Orphan' Films". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-09-08. 
  9. ^ Goldstein, Patrick (1998-09-13). "Courting Trouble". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-09-08. 
  10. ^ BATES, JAMES (1995-11-21). "COMPANY TOWN : New Line Gains Domestic Rights to 4 Savoy Films". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-09-08. 
  11. ^ "ILL-FATED `SIMPLE PLAN' OFF AGAIN. - Free Online Library". www.thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 2016-09-08. 

External links[edit]