Blue Rider Entertainment is one of the most prolific and successful independent production and financing companies in the entertainment business, with more than 120 movies and TV projects to its credit since the Company was formed in 1991.
During that time, Blue Rider founder Walter Josten has developed expertise in nearly every aspect of production and distribution, including US Theatrical Distribution, International Sales, Production Services and in the more traditional roles of producer, and executive producer. Since its inception, Blue Rider has worked on the cutting edge of independent film financing, utilizing Pre-sales, Gap Financing, Tax Credits and other benefits to shoot pictures in nearly every region of the world.
Blue Rider Pictures has grown into the premier Bridge Financing resource for independent movies, providing more than $100 million in short-term funding to more than 75 movies with budgets ranging from $2 million to $42 million and representing more than $750 million in production.
As a result of successes in the Bridge Financing sector, Blue Rider expanded the parameters of its lending appetite to include new types of financing, such as Gap and Super Gap loans in conjunction with banks and bond companies, Acquisition funding for international sales companies, Post-Production Finishing funds for producers, Working Capital for distributors and production companies, Collateral Shortfall Loans and P&A (prints and advertising) funding for U.S. theatrical releases. The Company also continues to fund against receipts of future tax credits of all kinds and from numerous regions on an ongoing basis. As examples, Blue Rider was able to provide both Bridge and Collateral Shortfall loans for John Boormans The Tigers Tail, starring Brendan Gleeson and Kim Cattrall, a film that bowed at the 2007 Palm Springs Film Festival. The Company also provided Post-Production Finishing Funds for Werner Herzogs Rescue Dawn, starring Christian Bale and Steve Zahn, which had a very successful 2007-2008 run domestically, overseas and on DVD (grossing more than $35 million).
Between 2006 and 2008, Blue Rider financed 33 movies with budgets totaling more than $273 million. Blue Rider-financed projects include the prison-escape actioner Rescue Dawn, the romantic comedy Then She Found Me, the sci-fi actioner Outlander, the jewel-heist thriller Flawless, the romantic comedy I Could Never Be Your Woman, the historical drama Heart of the Earth, the crime thriller The Flock, the historical romance Death Defying Acts and the family film The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey.
Five films Blue Rider financed were released on DVD in 2010: Outlander, Knife Edge, Home of the Giants, The Flock and Give 'em Hell, Malone. In addition, 14 films we produced and/or financed aired on U.S. cable during the year: Not Forgotten, Outlander, Gospel Hill, Then She Found Me, The Tiger's Tail, The Take, Surveillance, Flawless, Rescue Dawn, Keith, I Could Never Be Your Woman, Three, Modigliani and Give 'em Hell, Malone.
The Vietnam escape drama RESCUE DAWN, on which Blue Rider's Walter Josten was an associate producer, and to which the company was bridge financier and provided post-finishing funds, has so far grossed $7,177,143 worldwide ($5,490,423 in North America and $1,686,720 in 18 territories). In 2010 it made its Swedish TV premiere. The film stars Christian Bale and Steve Zahn and was directed by the legendary Werner Herzog. The DVD has grossed more than $27.89 million.
WHO'S YOUR CADDY? is a golf comedy that Blue Rider bridge financed. It stars Big Boi, Samantha Lamole, James Avery and Jeffrey Jones, and it has earned $15.7 million on screens and DVD. In its 37th month of release (as of Dec. 27, 2010), the DVD still ranked #9 on Amazon's list of best-selling golf DVDs and #55 among urban comedies. It made its DVD premiere in Japan in 2010.
THEN SHE FOUND ME, a romantic comedy starring, directed by and co-written by Helen Hunt, co-stars Colin Firth and Bette Midler. Blue Rider's Walter Josten was an executive producer, and Blue Rider was a bridge financier and super-gap lender. In North American theatres it grossed $3,735,303 in a long, 118-day theatrical release. As of August 29, 2010, its total worldwide gross, excluding DVD, was $8,8337,758, and its foreign gross in 29 markets was $4,697,331. During 2010, it earned $189,253 in a six-week run in Brazil and $55,510 over 16 weeks in Peru. Through Dec. 27, 2010, more than 71% of the 4,649 viewers who rated it at IMDb.com gave it thumbs-up, including people in all demographic groups (rating it 5.8 or higher out of 10).
The sci-fi action film OUTLANDER, starring Jim Caviezel, Sophia Myles, John Hurt and Ron Perlman, has grossed $6,983,014 worldwide, including $6,817,011 in 20 overseas territories. In it, a space visitor battles a monster who threatens Norse society. Blue Rider bridge financed. During 2010, it grossed $700,694 in a 9-week run in Mexico. During the year it had DVD premieres in the U.S., Hungary, Argentina, Russia and Japan. It played on UK's Sky Movies Sci-Fi Horror HD channel.
Blue Rider bridge financed the British diamond-heist thriller FLAWLESS, starring Michael Caine and Demi Moore. It grossed $6,819,587 worldwide, including $1,200,234 during 16 weeks of domestic release, as well as $5,597,018 in 24 foreign countries. It played for 10 days in Bolivia in 2010. A hefty 87.6% of the 8,468 viewers who rated it at IMDb though Dec. 27, 2010 gave it thumbs up, and all demographic groups liked it (rating it 6.5 or better out of 10).
NUMB, a psychological dramedy starring Matthew Perry, Lynn Collins, Kevin Pollak and Mary Steenburgen, received acquisition funds from Blue Rider. During its third week of DVD release, NUMB ranked #27 on the rental charts, having brought in $6 million. In 2010, it made its DVD premiere in Italy.
STEVE MILLER BAND: LIVE IN CHICAGO, a high-definition, 32-camera concert film, to which Blue Rider was lender and on which Walter Josten was a producer, still ranked #8 on Amazon.com's concert boxed sets chart on Dec. 27, 2010, in its 31st month of release.
NOT FORGOTTEN is a kidnap thriller starring Simon Baker, Paz Vega and Claire Forlani. Blue Rider was bridge and collateral shortfall lender, and Walter served as an executive producer. Worldwide gross: $142,055. In 2010, film grossed $88.311 in a one-month run in Peru.
Blue Rider's Walter Josten was an associate producer and lent finishing funds to the teen basketball drama HOME OF THE GIANTS, which came out on DVD in 2010. It starred Haley Joel Osment and Ryan Merriman. Through Dec. 27, 2010 more than 75% of the 221 viewers who rated it at IMDb gave it thumbs up, with 35.3% rating it a perfect 10.
In the private-eye actioner GIVE 'EM HELL, MALONE, starring Thomas Jane, Ving Rhames and Elsa Pataky, Blue Rider bridge lent and executive produced. It debuted on American DVD on Jan. 26, 2010. On March 29, after seven weeks of release, it ranked #40 in Amazon.com's film noir DVD category and #45 in neo noir. In 2010 it played at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Fest. It had 2010 DVD debuts in the U.S., Russia, Argentina and Bulgaria. As of Dec. 24, 2010, more than 71.1% of the 2,770 viewers who rated it at IMDb gave it thumbs up, and 12.1% gave it a perfect 10. It was most popular with people aged 18-29.
KNIFE EDGE is a ghostly thriller, starring Nathalie Press, Hugh Bonneville and Matthieu Boujenah, to which Blue Rider was bridge lender. It had 2010 DVD debuts in the U.S. and Australia.
100 FEET is a horror thriller, starring Famke Janssen and Bobby Canavale, to which Blue Rider was bridge financier. In 2010 it made DVD debuts in France and Japan and played in theatres in Peru. It is scheduled to open on big screens in Venezuela in 2011. At Amazon.com, on March 29, 2010, in its sixth month of release, its DVD ranked #5 in the independent horror film category. Through Dec. 27, 2010, more than 59.4% of the 3,537 viewers who rated it at IMDb gave it thumbs up. It was most popular with males 17 and younger, who rated it 8.2 out of 10.
WARRIOR, a martial arts drama starring Tom Hardy and Nick Nolte, has lined up four distributors and is due on North American screens in 2011. Lionsgate will release it in the U.S., E1 Entertainment will put it out in the Benelux countries and Eagle Films will distribute it in the rest of the world. Blue Rider was bridge lender.
The $17 million action mystery thriller THE BIG BANG â€” starring Antonio Banderas, Sienna Guillory, William Fichtner, Sam Elliott, Delroy Lindo, Thomas Kretschmann and Rebecca Mader â€” was bridge-financed by Blue Rider. International distributors are planning 2011 theatrical debuts in Poland, Chile, Lebanon, Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece, Paraguay and Uruguay. It screened at The American Film Market in Los Angeles on Nov. 3, 2010.
Scores of major and independent distribution and production companies around the world have called upon and benefited from Blue Riderâ€™s expertise in development, production and/or financing. They include: Sony, Disney, Warner Bros., Fox, Paramount, Walden Media, MGM, ABC, HBO, Showtime, Miramax, Dimension, Lionsgate, First Look Media, Kathy Morgan International, Hallmark, Fox Family Channel, Bauer Martinez Studios, Fries Film Group, Think Film (Canada), Handmade Films (UK), Canal + (France), TF1 (France), VIP Media (Germany), Studio Babelsberg (Germany), Medusa (Italy), Arclight (Australia), Daybreak Pictures (New Zealand) and Merlin Films (Ireland).
The Company also works on a regular basis with many of the major players in the film finance community. In the past few years Blue Rider has been involved with banks such as Comerica, Royal Bank of Scotland, Mercantile, Bank of Ireland, Union Bank, City National Bank, Allied Irish Bank, HSBC, LHO/Imperial Capital Bank, CIBC and National Bank of Canada. Additional financing partners have included the William Morris Agency, Future Films (UK), Matrix (UK), Invicta (UK), Gasworks (Isle of Man) and Delux Films (Luxembourg). The Company has long-standing relationshipsÃ‚ with all of the major bond companies, including IFG, Film Finances and CineFinance.
Blue Rider has interacted successfully with governmental bodies in many of the countries where it has produced its films or has assisted with financing, including Telefilm in Canada, the DCMS in the UK and the Puerto Rico Film Commission.
During two decades of a rapidly changing industry, Blue Rider Entertainment has consistently met the challenges of independent film financing, and it continues to grow.
THE COMPANY NAME
Der Blaue Reiter (German for "The Blue Rider") was an art movement started by Franz Marc and Wassily Kandinsky in Europe just after the turn of the 19th-to-20th century. The artists who took part were considered to be the pioneers of abstract art, and their work was characterized by exuberant color and profoundly felt emotion. Coming from a number of European countries, the painters, writers, poets and composers who joined The Blue Rider dedicated themselves to the search for a common spiritual basis in a new international culture.
The first exhibitions of The Blue Rider included works by movement founders Kandinsky and Marc, Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, Henri Rousseau, Robert Delaunay, Arnold Schönberg, Paul Gauguin and Vincent Van Gogh. These artists, who early in their careers broke from the mainstream, were later to become the driving force behind modern art as we know it today.
Words from our colleagues
(Founder LHO and president of Horwitz Entertainment Financial Services)
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