Indie film firm cuts work­force

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS BEAT - By David Ng david.ng@la­times.com

Af­ter a string a box-of­fice dis­ap­point­ments, the indie film com­pany Broad Green Pic­tures is lay­ing off about 15 work­ers and is shut­ting down its pro­duc­tion di­vi­sion in an ef­fort to re­fo­cus its business strat­egy, which still in­cludes dis­tri­bu­tion.

The lay­offs at Broad Green ac­count for 20% of its 75 em­ploy­ees. The Los An­ge­les com­pany was founded in 1994 by broth­ers Gabriel and Daniel Ham­mond as a la­bel that would cre­ate and dis­trib­ute theatri­cal films through in-house de­vel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion, as well as through ac­qui­si­tions and part­ner­ships.

Broad Green has spe­cial­ized in indie cinema and art­house fare but has re­cently ex­panded its reach to genre films in a bid to reach big­ger au­di­ences.

The in­ter­nal re­struc­tur­ing, which was first re­ported by Dead­line, comes as Broad Green is reel­ing from sev­eral box-of­fice flops, in­clud­ing last month’s hor­ror re­lease “Wish Upon.”

Other com­mer­cial dis­ap­point­ments in­clude “Bad Santa 2” and Ter­rence Mal­ick’s ab­stract art films “Knight of Cups” and “Song to Song.”

The com­pany has part­nered with Ama­zon Stu­dios to re­lease ti­tles such as Ni­co­las Wind­ing Refn’s high­brow hor­ror movie “The Neon De­mon” and the Aus­tralian movie “The Dress­maker,” star­ring Kate Winslet.

Its big­gest com­mer­cial suc­cess to date is the 2015 drama “A Walk in the Woods,” star­ring Robert Red­ford, which grossed $29.5 mil­lion do­mes­ti­cally.

The up­heaval doesn’t bode well for Matt Al­varez, who was named head of pro­duc­tion at Broad Green last year. Al­varez was a pro­ducer on “Straight Outta Comp­ton” and came to Broad Green af­ter a stint at Rel­a­tiv­ity Me­dia, an­other film com­pany that has fallen on hard times.

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