Relativity Media

Relativity Media is an American media company headquartered in Beverly Hills, California, founded in 2004 by Lynwood Spinks and Ryan Kavanaugh. The studio was the third largest mini-major globally until bankruptcy on July 30, 2015. Its full-scale film studio acquires, develops, produces and distributes films. The company's partners and financial institutions have invested $20 billion as of 2012 in entertainment investments with partners such as Citibank, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and others. Relativity Media also works in fashion, sports, digital and music.[4]

Relativity Media, LLC
TypeLimited liability company
GenreIndependent films
FoundedMay 18, 2004; 17 years ago (2004-05-18)
FoundersLynwood Spinks
Ryan Kavanaugh
Key people
Number of employees
Approximately 350 (2013)[2]
ParentUltraV Holdings
  • Studios
  • Home Entertainment
  • Television
  • International
  • Sports[3]
  • Digital Studios
  • Music

On July 30, 2015, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York after lawsuits and missing loan payments.[5][6][7][8] As a result, the company began selling off previously acquired films including Suffragette, Jane Got a Gun, The Bronze, Love the Coopers, The Space Between Us, The Foreigner, Solace, Collide, Kidnap, Before I Wake, Animal Crackers, Shot Caller and The Secret Scripture. Suffragette was sold to Focus Features and as a result Ryan dropped out of producing the film due to financial struggles with his company; Jane Got a Gun was sold to TWC, The Bronze was sold to both Sony Pictures Classics and Stage 6 Films, Love the Coopers was sold to CBS Films, The Space Between Us and The Foreigner were both sold to STX Entertainment, Solace was sold to Lionsgate Premiere, Collide was sold to Open Road Films, Kidnap was sold to Aviron Pictures, Before I Wake and Animal Crackers were both sold to Netflix, Shot Caller was sold to Saban Films and The Secret Scripture was sold to Vertical Entertainment and transferred its distribution rights of EuropaCorp to STX Entertainment in 2017. The company emerged from the bankruptcy in March 2016,[9] but in May 2018 it filed for bankruptcy once again.[10] The studio remains open for business and is now being operated by its new parent company UltraV Holdings.[1]


The studio was founded by Ryan Kavanaugh and Lynwood Spinks in 2004 as a middleman company arranging multi-film slate deals with studios then arranging financial support through banks. Relativity Media would receive film equity, producer's credit and a fee. Initially, Stark Investments, a Wisconsin-based hedge fund, funded the company's single-picture business. By 2007, these investors stopped making movie-finance deals. Elliott Management, a $16 billion New York–based hedge fund run by Paul Singer, then took a minority share of the company plus access to around $1 billion in capital and a revolving credit line.[11]

On January 4, 2009, the studio acquired the genre label Rogue from Universal, for $150 million.[12] Relativity oversaw Rogue's 2009 film offerings, which consisted of Last House On The Left, The Unborn, Come Out Fighting, and My Soul to Take, as well as more than 30 projects in development. The deal also included the Rogue film library, featuring such films as Assault On Precinct 13 and The Strangers.[13][14] On the same year, the Studio made a deal with Lionsgate under which they released Brothers, Season of the Witch and The Spy Next Door.[15]

In 2010, Relativity Media ventured into India with the help of Asian billionaire Keyur Patel who also owns two major TV Networks and has major investments in India in satellite, theatre chain and media productions.[16]

On July 6, 2010, Relativity and Netflix announced a five-year-plus Pay-TV deal. The first two films to stream on Netflix were The Fighter and Skyline.[17]

On July 23, 2010, Relativity acquired the 45-person marketing and distribution staff of Starz' Overture Films, making it a "Mini-Major".[18] The studio distributed its first film on December 3, 2010. The Warrior's Way was directed by Sngmoo Lee and starring Jang Dong-gun, Geoffrey Rush and Kate Bosworth. On May 20, 2012, it was reported that Relativity and EuropaCorp signed a co-production and co-financing deal on two movies and Relativity will distribute in U.S.[19][20] Relativity also has co-production deals with Atlas Entertainment including Project.[15]

In September 2011, Robbie Brenner was promoted from Executive Vice President, Production to President, Production.[21]

On November 27, 2011, it was reported Ron Burkle loaned $200 million to Relativity for Immortals and Mirror Mirror.[22]

On August 14, 2011, it was reported that Relativity was investing in SkyLand Film & Television Cultural Development Ltd, a China-based production company, signaling new opportunities in the Chinese market. One of the first arrangements was that the movie 21 and Over was partially filmed in Dongshigu, China.[23] On May 18, 2012, it was reported that Relativity was in talks to buy German producer-distributor Senator Entertainment.[24]

On January 23, 2012, Burkle purchased a large equity stake in Relativity Media from Elliot Capital Management (which was the second largest shareholder after Ryan Kavanaugh) for at least $800 million.[25][26] On May 31, 2012, Relativity and Ron Burkle announced they raised $350 million in funding for films and expansion. Ron Burkle will also join the board of Relativity, along with Jason Colodne and Jason Beckman who are partners at Colbeck Capital.[27][28]

On June 12, 2012, Relativity Media and Rogue sold 30 of their films to Manchester Library Company,[29] which was acquired by Vine Alternative Investments in April 2017.[30]

In July 2012, Relativity merged its Rogue Sports, a basketball agency with Maximum Sports Management, a football agency, and SFX Baseball into Relativity Sports.[31] On December 19, Relativity announced a new division, Relativity International.[32]

In April 2013, Relativity partnered with Glenn Kalison to create a start-up film and performing arts school that sought to revive the tradition of a working studio and a school operating in sync.[33] Today the school is called Studio School Los Angeles and Variety has listed it in its Entertainment Education Report as a Best Film School for 2019.[34]

On January 6, 2016, Relativity Media acquired Trigger Street Productions. Owners Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti were given the roles chairman and president of Relativity Studios, respectively.[35] That March, Spacey announced that he would not accept Relativity's offer; Brunetti's position is still in place.[36]

On January 26, 2016, Relativity Television, Relativity Media's television division, became an independent company named Critical Content after the post-bankruptcy.[37]

On September 8, 2016, it launched R2 Entertainment which will be based in Canada and is now an independent film distributor focused on releasing films with budgets under $15 million. It will be co-headed by Mark Kassen and Dana Brunetti.[38]

On October 28, 2016, Kavanaugh announced that he was selling Relativity to Singapore-based social networking platform YuuZoo for $250 million.[39][40][41] Other companies have attempted to bid, including Chinese technology company Lenovo.[40] On March 2, 2017, YuuZoo announced they were canceling the investment in the fledgling studio saying "conditions precedent to the investment had not been met".[42]

In May 2018 the company filed for bankruptcy once again and arranged to sell all of its assets.[10]

In June 2018, an arbitration case found that executives from Relativity Media, including Kavanaugh, had fabricated a memo alleging sexual harassment by a former co-president of the company. A forensic audit of Relativity Media found that the memo had been altered by a user named "kav kav".[43] Kavanaugh stated that the finding was "patently false" and filed a counterclaim alleging a violation of the arbitration process.[44]

In August 2018, the US Bankruptcy court approved the sale of the company to Ultra V Holdings.[1]

In June 2019, Variety reported that Kavanaugh was accused by his ex-partner of running a Ponzi scheme. Kavanaugh denied the allegations and filed a counterclaim alleging breach of contract. The parties later released a statement announcing that the issues were resolved out of court.[45]

Ultra V Holdings, through Relativity Media, acquired U.S. distribution rights to Come Away in October 2020 with a November 2020 release on PVOD and in theatres.


Relativity Media has seven divisions: Relativity Studios, Relativity Media Home Entertainment, Relativity International, Relativity Sports, Relativity Digital Studios, Relativity Music and Relativity Education. It also has four subsidiaries: Rogue, Trigger Street Productions, Madvine and R2 Entertainment,[38] and one joint venture, R.E.D. (Relativity.EuropaCorp.Distribution).

Relativity StudiosEdit

Relativity's film production division was its first and remains its largest division.[46] Relativity Studios has produced, distributed or structured financing for nearly 200 motion pictures, generating more than $17 billion in worldwide box-office revenue and earning 60 Academy Awards nominations.[47]

Relativity Media Home EntertainmentEdit

Relativity Media Home Entertainment offers access to Relativity titles across all major digital download, video-on-demand and DVD/Blu-ray platforms. In addition to the studio's theatrical films, the division also releases select titles from Relativity's partner companies.[47]

Relativity Media InternationalEdit

Relativity Media International oversees global sales and distribution management of both the studio's own films as well as third-party releases. To date, its pictures have grossed approximately $1 billion at foreign box offices.[48]

Relativity SportsEdit

Relativity Sports is one of the largest professional sports agencies in the world, providing more than 300 NBA, NFL and MLB athletes with services ranging from contract negotiation to custom film and television content production.[49] Relativity Sports and its agents have negotiated contracts totaling in excess of $2.5 billion.[31][50]

Relativity Digital StudiosEdit

Relativity Digital Studios is a production and graphics team that produces, directs and edits web series and creates special effects. In addition, the division creates with internet personalities campaigns in support of Relativity films and develops branded entertainment campaigns that marry brand partners with relevant Relativity divisions.[51]

Relativity Music GroupEdit

Relativity Music provides in-house music supervision for films, in addition to releasing soundtracks and score albums from both major and studios and TV networks.[47]

Relativity EducationEdit

Relativity Education offers an array of film, media and performing arts programs, ranging from long-term programs to summer workshops.[47]



  1. ^ a b c Chmielewski, Dawn (Aug 16, 2018). "Bankruptcy Court OKs Sale Of Relativity Media To UltraV Holdings". Retrieved Aug 16, 2018.
  2. ^ Block, Alex Ben (20 January 2013). "Relativity Media Lays Off Ten". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  3. ^ Block, Alex Ben (July 16, 2012). "Relativity Media, Ron Burkle Launch Sports Division". Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (July 2, 2014). "Relativity Media Launching Digital Division for Brands, Hires Chief Marketing Officer". Variety. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  5. ^ "Relativity Media Chapter 11 Petition" (PDF). PacerMonitor. PacerMonitor. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  6. ^ Patten, Dominic; Fleming Jr., Mike. (30 July 2015). "Ryan Kavanaugh's Relativity Media Finally Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Chapter 11 Petition" (PDF). PacerMonitor. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Relativity Creditors Reach Settlement Over Big Hits Like 'Bridesmaids,' 'Fast and Furious 6'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-03-03.
  9. ^ Liberman, David (March 18, 2016). "Relativity Emerges From Bankruptcy After Judge Rules It Has Met Conditions". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
  10. ^ a b Williams, Trey (May 3, 2018). "Relativity Media Files for Chapter 11 Again After Racking Up $500 Million-Plus Debt in 2 Years". The Wrap. Retrieved Jun 4, 2018.
  11. ^ DiGiacomo, Frank (March 2010). "The Theory of Relativity". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  12. ^ Cieply, Michael (4 January 2009). "Universal Sells Rogue for $150 Million". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  13. ^ Finke, Nikki (20 October 2008). "Relativity Bargaining To Acquire Rogue". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  14. ^ Finke, Nikki (4 January 2009). "Relativity Media Buys Rogue Pictures". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  15. ^ a b McNary, Dave (2009-04-27). "Relativity reaches deal with Lionsgate". Variety. Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  16. ^ Buxbaum, Mara (May 5, 2010). "Ryan Kavanaugh's Relativity Partners with Keyur Patel to Launch New Indian Production & Distribution Company, Relativity Media India". PRNewswire. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  17. ^ Fritz, Ben (6 July 2010). "Netflix challenging HBO and Showtime as it signs distribution deal with Relativity Media". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
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  20. ^ "Relativity Deal For Luc Besson's EuropaCorp".
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  25. ^ PR (January 23, 2012). "It's Official: Ron Burkle Acquires "Significant" Equity Stake in Relativity". Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  26. ^ Paul Bond (June 28, 2012). "Ron Burkle Closes Multiple Investments in Relativity Media". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
  27. ^ "body Relativity Closes $350 Million in Company Funding".
  28. ^ "Relativity Borrows $350 Million More for Movies and Expansion". The Hollywood Reporter.
  29. ^ US Copyright Office Document No V3617D065 2012-06-12
  30. ^ Hipes, Patrick (27 April 2017). "New Village Roadshow Co-Owner Vine Acquires Manchester Film Library".
  31. ^ a b "New Sports Power: Relativity Media, Ron Burkle Form Relativity Sports". The Wrap. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
  32. ^ "body Relativity Media Launches Relativity Foreign, Expanding the Company's International Scope and Reach".
  33. ^ "Relativity Media Partners in New Film & Performing Arts School (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-11-16.
  34. ^ "Entertainment Education Report: The Best Films Schools for 2019". Variety. 2019-05-16. Retrieved 2019-11-16.
  35. ^ Fleming, Mike, Jr. (6 January 2016). "Relativity Media Acquires Trigger Street; Sets Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti To Run Studio As It Emerges From Chapter 11". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  36. ^ Fleming, Mike, Jr. (13 March 2016). "As We Told You, Kevin Spacey Won't Be Running Relativity Post-Bankruptcy".
  37. ^ Relativity Television Rebrands as Critical Content, Post-Bankruptcy Joshua Rich, Retrieved on July 27, 2016
  38. ^ a b Lang, Brent (8 September 2016). "Toronto: Relativity Launching Indie Division, Taps Mark Kassen as Co-President (EXCLUSIVE)".
  39. ^ "ADDING and REPLACING YuuZoo Signs Agreement to Become Biggest Shareholder of Relativity Media, One of the World's Largest Independent Movie Studio & Entertainment Groups". Business Wire. Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  40. ^ a b "Ryan Kavanaugh's Relativity Media To Be Sold". Los Angeles Business Journal. Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  41. ^ Frater, Patrick (November 14, 2016). "Relativity Sets $200 Million Production Pact With Storyoscopic". Variety. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  42. ^
  43. ^ Lopez, Ricardo (June 4, 2018). "Relativity Media Fabricated Memo Containing Claims of Sexual Harassment by Former Co-President Adam Fields". Variety. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  44. ^ Maddaus, Gene. "Ryan Kavanaugh Sues Adam Fields Over Fake Harassment Memo Claim". Variety. Retrieved 2021-08-05.
  45. ^ Maddaus, Gene (2019-06-07). "Ryan Kavanaugh Accused by Ex-Partner of Running a Ponzi Scheme". Variety. Retrieved 2021-08-05.
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External linksEdit