NEW YORK & SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Genius Products, LLC one of the fastest growing distributor in the home entertainment market, and The Weinstein Company (TWC), one of the largest independent feature film company founded by film legends Bob and Harvey Weinstein, have entered into a strategic alliance with RHI Entertainment (RHI) under which they will co-produce and co-finance an extensive slate of television productions, including series, miniseries and movies-of-the–week. RHI (formerly Hallmark Entertainment), headed by the renowned team of Robert Halmi, Sr. and Robert Halmi, Jr., is the industry leader of miniseries and movies for television. Additionally, under a separate multi-year distribution agreement Genius Products is the North American home video distributor of RHI’s extensive library of series and film programming.
The alliance of RHI, Genius Products and The Weinstein Company brings together best-in-class distribution with two incredible companies having 30-year track records of film and TV content production and acquisition. The Weinsteins have over 60 Oscar® wins and the Halmis have 104 Emmy® wins.
The announcement was made today by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairmen of The Weinstein Company, the majority owner of Genius Products LLC, and Robert Halmi, Jr, President and CEO of RHI Entertainment, along with Stephen K. Bannon, Chairman and Trevor Drinkwater, President and CEO of Genius Products, Inc. (OTCBB:GNPI) the minority owner of Genius Products, LLC. The alliance will further strengthen Genius Products’ rapidly growing library of television and feature film content.
“Bob and I have a tremendous amount of respect for the Halmis and think they are incredibly savvy business people,” said Harvey Weinstein. “We are excited to start working on the television programming and look forward to partnering with RHI on many other projects in the future.”
RHI and TWC contemplate co-producing and co-financing miniseries, Movies-of-the-week, and series over a period of five years, as part of a plan to substantially enhance the companies’ production slates. These co-productions will combine marquee talent and high production values not normally associated with television. Worldwide home video distribution of co-productions will go to Genius Products and worldwide television distribution will be handled by RHI.
“We are delighted to be entering into these deals with The Weinstein Company and with Genius,” said RHI Entertainment President & CEO, Robert Halmi, Jr. “Given our similar corporate paths, we have always followed the Weinsteins’ careers with admiration. In addition, home entertainment is a key element to our business and Genius is one of the best. We look forward to a long and mutually successful relationship.”
Under the terms of a multi-year distribution agreement, Genius Products will be the North American home video distributor for RHI's library of more than 600 programs. In addition to the library, Genius will have North American home video distribution rights for RHI’s newest TV movies and miniseries produced outside RHI’s strategic alliance with TWC, including RHI’s anticipated slate of approximately 40 made-for-television movies for Spike, Sci Fi and Hallmark Channel, and an estimated five miniseries produced for the major networks per year of the distribution agreement. Genius Products will maintain both physical and digital distribution rights for a period of 5 years from the various home video release dates. The transaction will automatically grow the Genius Products library to over 1,800 titles and should result in 200-250 additional new titles over the 5-year term.
“The addition of RHI Entertainment's library of high-quality film and television product dramatically expands our portfolio of genre films and gives us a very strong position in the expansive TV-on-DVD market for physical and digital distribution,” said Trevor Drinkwater, President and CEO of Genius Products. “Robert Halmi, Sr. and Robert Halmi, Jr. have produced a staggering body of work and we are proud to be associated with them.”
Mr. Drinkwater continued, “The economic model associated with this new agreement is expected to further enhance our operating margins and accelerate our stated mission to increase our critical mass of content in both the physical and digital distribution arenas."
“I am very proud of our early track record of strategically expanding our position in the entertainment industry through the introduction of new brands and content provider partnerships across the four verticals of Sports, Faith/Family, Lifestyle and Independent Film product segments,” said Stephen K. Bannon, Chairman. “The new agreement with RHI will position us as one of the leaders in the Independent Film segment just as our agreement with ESPN and WWE positioned us as a leader in the Sports segment.”
About Genius Products
Genius Products, Inc. (OTCBB:GNPI), along with The Weinstein Company, jointly owns Genius Products, LLC, a leading independent home-entertainment distribution company that produces, licenses, and distributes a valuable library of motion pictures, television programming, family, lifestyle and trend entertainment on DVD and other emerging platforms through its expansive network of retailers throughout the U.S. Genius handles the distribution, marketing and sales for such brands as WWE®, Asia Extreme(TM), Baby Genius®, Dragon Dynasty™, Dimension Films, ESPN®, IFC®, NBC News®, Sundance Channel Home Entertainment®, Wellspring™, RHI Entertainment and The Weinstein Company®. Genius Products, Inc. is the managing member of Genius Products, LLC, in which it holds a 30% equity interest.
About RHI Entertainment
RHI Entertainment, LLC. is a global leader in the production and distribution of groundbreaking quality miniseries and movies for television. Since the company’s inception, and under the guidance of Robert Halmi, Sr. and Robert Halmi, Jr., RHI has produced and distributed over 4,000 hours of quality television programming, received 104 Emmy® Awards, and outperformed the competition annually in viewer ratings. Currently, RHI delivers 40-60 new television movies and miniseries a year to networks worldwide.
About The Weinstein Company
The Weinstein Company (TWC) was created by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films Corp. in 1979. TWC is a multi-media company that officially launched on October 1, 2005. Dimension Films, the genre label that was founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, is also included under the TWC banner. The Weinsteins are actively working on the production, development, acquisition and distribution of projects for TWC and Dimension.
Safe Harbor Statement
Except for historical matters contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements reflect assumptions and involve risks and uncertainties that may affect Genius Products' business, forecasts, projections and prospects, and cause actual results to differ materially from those in these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to the number of anticipated releases the anticipated effect on our operating margins and stated mission and any other statements relating to such new release that are not historical statements of fact. Actual results could vary for many reasons, including but not limited to, the success of the strategic alliance between The Weinstein Company, Genius Products and RHI Entertainment, including the ability to co-produce titles, our ability to continue to acquire and keep valuable content or expand the distribution partnership, the unpredictability of audience demand, the success of TWC titles at box office and the popularity of our titles on DVD, especially TWC, ESPN, WWE®, RHI, and Discovery Kids titles, our ability to perform under the terms of our agreement with our content providers, especially with TWC, WWE®, RHI, Discovery Kids and ESPN, our ability to continue to manage our significant growth, the effect of technological change and the availability of alternative forms of entertainment, our ability to maximize our operating leverage. Other such risks and uncertainties include the matters described in Genius Products, Inc. filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this press release.