January 26, 2023

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Pathe, Logical Pictures sign co-production, co-financing deal

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Pathe has signed a three-year co-production and co-financing deal with Logical Pictures to bolster its ambitious filmmaking strategy.

The family-owned company operates France’s leading multiplex chain and operates one of the country’s most successful film studios. 2023 looks set to be Pathé’s biggest year in a while with three major French releases: Guillaume Canet’s “Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom” and Martin Bourboulon’s two-part epic saga “The Three Musketeers.” Based on cult franchises, “Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom” and “The Three Musketeers” have budgets of $70 million (about seven times the high bracket of a medium-sized film in France). This is just the beginning of a new era for Pathé, which will need financial arms to limit its risks and continue to deliver these splash films regularly for years to come.

Through the partnership, Pathé will be able to tap the Logical Content Ventures Fund, which will bring private investors on board to finance its theatrical films. Under the agreement, Logical Content Ventures will contribute to the financing of all films produced or acquired by Pathé for theaters through 2025. More than 20 films ranging from mainstream to festival-friendly titles will benefit from Logical’s financial input, notably Danny Boone’s “La Vie pour de vrai,” Just Philippe’s environmental thriller “Acid” starring Guillaume Canet and Laetitia Dosch, as well as Kirill Serebrennikov’s “Limonov.” and “Moi, capitaine” by Matteo Garrone.

“Going forward, we aim to bring two or three big movies every year and have a consistent lineup, which is why we need a strong partner like Logical Pictures to support us in the long run,” said Ardavan Safai, president, Pathe Films. . The executive, who joined Pathé in 2015 and now works closely with Pathé co-chairman Jerome Seydoux, said Pathé previously worked more opportunistically on a film-by-film basis, and now differently to adapt to new post-pandemic market conditions. working The French box office is increasingly dominated by US studio movies, and Pathe intends to play in a similar ballpark, hoping to lure moviegoers with epic French movies.

“When we established this strategy with Jerome Seydoux to focus on event movies, we asked ourselves, ‘How do we maintain consistency in terms of production, distribution and investment like the American studios?'” says Safai.

“We’re not reinventing the wheel — US studios have been working with these kinds of private partners for a long time,” Safai said, citing Warner Bros., which financed the “Joker” roadshow. “This partnership with Logical gives us the possibility to share risks, but also guarantees that we can maintain a steady pace and plan ahead,” Safai explained.

Created in 2016, Logical Pictures has produced, financed and distributed dozens of movies and series in France and internationally with original investments in film banners such as Pulsar Content and The Jokers.

“After financing more than 20 films in four years with Logical Pictures, we have created the Logical Content Ventures Fund to open film and series financing to private investors in 2021,” said Logical Pictures President Frederic Fiore. The fund is looking to raise €100 million and has already succeeded in securing €10 million in one round. The fund has financed six projects so far, notably Alexandre Azar’s upcoming film “Night of the Haunted” and the Ridley Scott-produced thriller “Berlin Nobody.”

“In France and even in Europe, Path has a unique position because they’re able to make these big movies that tap into popular culture and distribute them on a scale that’s almost unmatched by a non-US studio,” added the executive, who said Warner Brothers needed Gram Roadshow to finance “Joker,” but “Joker” wouldn’t have happened without Warner Bros. first.

“The money is not enough for certain projects, and you need experienced, dedicated producers who will secure prestigious IP rights, work closely with talent and bring their films to France and internationally,” said Fiore, whose banner is also the parent company of Loveboat, a advertising and branded content apparel; Black Mic Mac, which is dedicated to premium African content, and Cascade8, which specializes in new technology tools like blockchain.

Fiore, who has long experience in financing, said Pathé’s films represent an attractive source of investment because they have a library value and are often based on famous franchises.

The Logical Pictures founder said the deal with Pathe was “clever” because there is no pre-defined envelope even if the company backs Pathe’s entire slate. Each film will receive a different amount depending on its budget and financing structure. “The idea is that we’ll share the risks along the way but also the profits, and if these movies are big hits like we hope, the profits will be proportional to the amount of investment,” Fiore said.

Fiore said that when he started pitching French film groups and financiers about the partnership, “people looked at (him) in a weird way, but six years later Logical Pictures’ track record shows that it works.”

“There’s a growing polarization over big movies and independent producers needing private money to split the risks and take away from traditional sources of financing that can’t hold,” says Fiore, who argues that investing in movies, especially when they’re made by Pathe Based on strong IP, allows financiers to increase the value of their investments over time and presents less risk than investing in “bubbles” such as real estate or crypto currencies.

By 2025, Pathé hopes to deliver several more French blockbusters based on famous historical figures and literary works, including Alexandre Dumas’ “The Count of Monte-Cristo” and Antonin Baudry’s biopic of legendary French army general Charles de Gaulle. Officer who led the French resistance against Nazi Germany during World War II and eventually became President of France. Like “Asterix & Obelix” and “The Three Musketeers,” these movies will be promoted as proper tentpoles, with strong marketing campaigns.

Logical Image advised by Grace Adams at MöBIUS Avocats, Louis Ladreyt and Guillaume Lirondière. Pathé was mentored by Anne-Laure Julien-Camus, Arnaud Pavéc, Vincent Lieve and Thibault Demaison.

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