But for the 28-year-old son of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, the film’s success was a vindication of his early support for the project that led him to finance half of its $145 million budget.
The latest “Mission: Impossible” film is just one of several movies being co-financed by Paramount and Skydance, the production and financing company started by Larry Ellison’s son, David.
Skydance gives Paramount a way to share the risk on big-budget films or movies with uncertain commercial prospects.
When Skydance finalized its deal with Paramount in 2010, the studio had been without a long-term financing partner since 2008. In the interim, the studio had been relying on various companies like Spyglass.
But Paramount still had a strong track record at the box office, which, along with the fact that the studio seemed to be looking for a strategic partner, appealed to David Ellison.
A source close to the deal says the studio reached an agreement with Ellison in part because execs discovered they and the Oracle scion had very similar tastes.
But another source familiar with the situation indicated that the fact that David was Larry Ellison’s son made Paramount feel like he was a reliable investor.
Indeed, Larry Ellison supplied an undisclosed amount of the $150 million in equity Skydance raised. Skydance also put together $200 million in a revolving -credit facility led by JPMorgan.
Paramount offers films it wants Skydance to co-finance to Ellison’s company early in their development. The percentage of the budget Skydance finances depends on the film.
The partnership has provided Paramount with a way to hedge their bets on risky movies like the Coen brothers’ Western, “True Grit”; Skydance financed 50 percent of its $38 million budget.
More recently, Skydance stepped in to help finance Paramount’s reportedly pricey zombie film, “World War Z.” The deal also gives Paramount an option to distribute movies that Skydance develops.
Source: HILARY LEWIS @ http://www.nypost.com/
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