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Annapurna Pictures is an American motion picture company founded by Megan Ellison in 2011. It specializes in film production, television production, video game development, distribution, marketing, and finance.
|Founded||April 2, 2011|
|Megan Ellison (Chair & CEO)|
Annapurna invests in finance and sales through its subsidiary Annapurna International, formerly called Panorama Media. It also produces television shows through subsidiary Annapurna Television and publishes video games through its Annapurna Interactive division.
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. Ellison's right hand and best friend, Chelsea Barnard, was an employee from the beginning.
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.
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). On January 10, 2017, it was reported that Annapurna Television would produce the Coen brothers' first TV project, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. 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.
In January 2017, Chelsea Barnard was named president of film production, 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. 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. On April 6, the company also announced an exclusive, multi-year output licensing agreement with Hulu.
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 upcoming film Vice starring Christian Bale as Dick Cheney. It was also announced Annapurna would co-distribute Brad's Status through their MGM joint venture Mirror alongside Amazon Studios. In July, the company signed a multi-year U.S. home entertainment pact with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment following Disney's purchase of Fox on March 20, 2019), who will be overseeing its home releases.
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 are vying to win the rights to the next film as of April 2017.
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 marks 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 will share 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).
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 Bond 25 (which marks a reunion between the UA brand and the James Bond franchise in two decades).
As production company
The company expects to release "approximately four to six films per year".
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.
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. The publisher has also provided funding and publication support for The Artful Escape by Beethoven & Dinosaur, Ashen by Aurora44 and Gorogoa by Jason Roberts.
|Australia/New Zealand||Theatrical: Universal Pictures All Other Media: Entertainment One|
|Italy||Eagle Pictures/Leone Film Group|
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