Will A24’s record Oscar Hall help him further conquer the media multiverse?
CEO of a VC company that invested hundreds of millions of dollars A24 A year ago, he said the indie producer and distributor’s “extraordinary” momentum could lead to significant international business and potential acquisitions.
As usual, A24 executives haven’t spoken publicly, but Stripes partner Ken Fox spoke with Deadline shortly after the studio. Record number of Oscar wins,Highlighting All at once, anywhere. Nine Benefits of the Company Recorded work award, best director and all four acting categories (count Brendan Fraser win as the lead actor in whale).
Stripes, which primarily acquires software and consumer businesses, Invested $225 million in A24 last March, led the studio’s first institutional funding since it was founded in 2012. The deal valued the company at a staggering $2.5 billion.
“They’ve really created a lot of value,” said Fox. “We’re looking for the needle in the haystack. Companies that are winning in attractive markets because their products are great and loved.” It has to be on the dot, he explained.
“The A24 is that thesis,” Fox confirms. He cited its management team, talent relationships, the quality of its growing film and television footprint, and strong brand recognition as drivers of its continued success.
That brand awareness is important. The company has built a young fan base that is seemingly loyal and passionate.
A24 is still led by Oscilloscope Laboratories founder David Fenkel and former Lionsgate Films and Guggenheim Partners Finance Director Daniel Katz. They launched A24 with John Hodges, who left the company in 2018.
“We think A24 is very special and we want to partner with them to build a very large global business. I think A24 could be a potential acquirer.”
As a privately held company, the company doesn’t report financial results, but Fox says it’s cash flow positive. Asked if he would consider investing in other entertainment, given his experience with New York-based distributor and producer Stripes, Fox said, “At this point, A24 is building its business globally. We are going to partner with A24 because of the need,” he said. “We think A24 is very special and we look forward to partnering with them to build a very large global business.”
“I think A24 could be a potential acquirer,” he added of the company, which was once considered a potential acquisition target.
The Stripes investment, though largely outside of showbiz, is similar to A24 in terms of fame. Swiss sneaker maker (On), New York bakery (Levain), German women’s beauty brand (Dr. Barbara Sturm), LA organic marketplace (Erewhon) and more. Media holdings include her Gimlet, a podcast company that Spotify acquired for his $230 million in 2019.
A24’s new funding has helped support larger budget films, television expansion and several major international jobs. Other growth avenues include A24’s budding membership program, consumer goods, books and music. The makeup brand Half Magic euphoria‘makeup artist Donni Davy — the A24 show that airs on HBO — and #euphoriamakeup fans. We recently acquired the prestigious Cherry Lane Theater. For $10 million in West Village, New York.
One might wonder how a company that is reluctant to report can get so much media attention. Admittedly, the company doesn’t do much profile with management. But the gear is polished behind the scenes. “I think it’s all intentional and strategic, to build the aura,” says one of his studio executives. “Obviously, it works really well.”
Deadline reached out to over a dozen industry sources, all of whom preferred to provide background given the competitive nature of the matter.
Broad Consensus Post oscar That means the company’s already high valuation is only going up. But perhaps not in the current financial environment.
As one studio manager commented: The multiples previously quoted in the press are where they can reach. An Oscar prey helps march toward that rating.It’s great for the company and brand, but that rating is a year old. ”
A major financial institution said, “I don’t think the company has gained a lot of value overnight. Their previous valuations baked such success into their model. So this is a confirmation and an expectation.” is not a reason to increase
interesting. Winning nine Oscars tends to do that.
Theory of “Everything”
So how does a quirky fantasy romance about a middle-aged Chinese immigrant wrestling with the Metaverse find its way to glory?
The film’s box office gross ($108 million worldwide, factoring in an estimated budget of $25 million) helped indie box office soar in a particularly difficult time for indie theatrical release . The results came from a confluence of marketing and publicity chops, organic flair and audience enthusiasm.
I’m working on swiss army man, the previous film, directed by Daniels (aka Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), helped the A24 team understand the director’s tastes and preferences. The duo proved to be ideal spokespeople for the film, all over social media, giving the elements there a compelling entry his point. They put together a book about the multiverse and sold it on his website at A24.
Foundry alchemy also helped. Michelle Yeoh is an idol, Ki Hoi Kuan is adorable (the child actor’s comeback story is great) and Jamie Lee Curtis is a beloved star with deep Hollywood roots. Marketing elements included a sci-fi adventure campaign and the heartwarming story of a family with Asian immigrant roots that inspired the AAPI community. The promoter then leaned toward merchandising, with his $2 googly eyes and his $36 hot dog his finger gloves sold out on the company’s website. Poster art brings all the strands together.
“Remember when hot dog fingers were fringe. There was a moment when we were [in marketing] I was afraid of hot dog fingers. Now they’re mainstream,” said a marketing person involved in his campaign.
A24, like many indie distributors, primarily releases on digital and social media, and continues to do so in their push for this sizeable award. It’s cheaper than TV, more targeted, and you can see how your audience reacts.
A testament to the company’s versatile slate, the A24 also won multiple Academy Awards. whale and nominated Seashell Marcel wearing shoes and after sunIt is the most nominated distributor and Won the most ceremoniesEven as windows have compressed and distributors have experimented with date-and-date releases, A24 has been steadfast in maintaining a healthy theatrical run time for its releases.
The current output agreement with Apple has helped deliver A24-backed projects such as Macbeth It served a wide range of streaming audiences and provided financial stability to a landscape that was evolving even before Covid.Ongoing distribution relationship with Showtime lands EEAAO A few months before the Oscars, Paramount Cable Network’s streaming service helped that exposure, considering Bow in theaters in March 2022 and a digital release in June.
External factors also played a role in winning last weekend. this Oscar season EEAAO Aided by a soft slate of major studio contenders, some A-list director films that have fallen by the wayside, and an evolving Academy membership that is now more attuned to more diverse and perhaps even more commercial films than ever before. The film’s social justice themes also tap into the zeitgeist. coda last year.
Can the company live up to the high standards of the glorious Oscar season? It’s not easy. One former CEO, a big fan of A24, said: EEAAO “It’s both a sensation and an anomaly. Still, it’s interesting to see how many singles and doubles he hits combined with his grand slams.”
They say it’s crazy because it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. There are plenty of movies out there that haven’t made it to the box office. under the silver lake, After saving the world, come on come on To name a few.
Julio Torres’ debut now awaits in the wings problem masterStarring Tilda Swinton Just world premiered at SXSWfestival EEAAO Started its epic run. The company’s slate this year includes a third Ari Aster film ( Hereditary and Midsummer), baud be scared, starring Joaquin Phoenix.Sundance and Berlin hits past lifeCeline Song’s directorial debut; and talk to meis the directorial debut of YouTube creators Danny and Michael Philippow, Sundance Pickup.
The slate also includes civil waran action epic by Alex Garland (film writer and director) Ex Machina In 2014, along with Kristen Dunst and Caylee Spaney, helped put the A24 on the map. iron clawa sports drama starring Zac Efron. Priscilla From director Sofia Coppola.comedy dream scenarioOh, starring Nicolas Cage and Julian Nicholson Wizard Starring Pete Davidson and Orlando Bloom.Starring Kristen Stewart Love rise breedingand the Julia Louis-Dreyfus drama Tuesday.
This year’s documentaries include Stephen Curry: Underrated at apple.and deepest breathLaura McGann’s freediving quest, set to stream on Netflix.
Budgets for A24-backed films are regularly pushed to $20 million or more. This leads to prices that may put overseas buyers on hold. After all, the company’s wheelhouse remains an arthouse.it was the same in the uk everywhere everythingit failed to attract buyers, so A24 released the film in its territory.
bo is afraid With a budget of $40-50 million, it marks one of the biggest dice rolls ever. movie trailer It’s more surreal and complex than Astor’s previous genre films, which cost considerably less.
“They’re moving towards a bigger budget movie and we’ll be interested to see how that goes,” says a studio source. “Will they be able to make good money across the slate?”
Television is an area that is getting more and more attention. Launched nine years ago under Ravi Nandan, the division is behind series like rummy Hulu and the aforementioned Euphoria. Includes upcoming 2023 series beef is a dark comedy starring Steven Yeun and Ali Wong that premieres next month on Netflix. HBO’s Idolfrom the creator of euphoria, starring The Weeknd and Lily-Rose Depp.show times cursea follow-up to Nathan Fielder rehearsal Starring Benny Safdie and Emma Stone.and Hazbin Hotel, A24’s first animated series by Vivian Medrano.Among the popular projects in development is the Janelle Monaé Josephine Baker package resistance.
The international is also an important new frontier for the company, following last year’s spectacular UK hiring of BBC Films and former drama heads Rose Garnett and Piers Wenger. I heard that there were discussions about the possibility of adding support in Asia and first-look type deals with major producers.
The company’s growing high-end project roster and talent links, along with its newly strong financial base, should help it maintain its difficult-to-replicate position for the foreseeable future. You’ve done something incredibly unique by establishing a reputation for both,” says Hollywood’s leading player. “There hasn’t been a new brand known to both audiences and businesses since Miramax.”
don’t expect anything cold mountainBut it was an excess that dented the Weinstein brothers and many before them. “They aren’t looking to ego-hit or self-aggrandise,” executives add of Fenkel and Katz.The work continues to be highly curated. The challenge is to keep that curation going as it grows.