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FilmDistrict Distribution LLC
Company typePrivate
FoundedAugust 2010; 13 years ago (2010-08)[1]
FounderGraham King
Timothy Headington
Peter Schlessel
Bob Berney
DefunctSeptember 23, 2014; 9 years ago (2014-09-23)
FateMerged into Focus Features
Focus Features
Content Partners LLC
Headquarters1540 2nd Street
Suite 200
Los Angeles, California, USA
Key people
Peter Schlessel (CEO)
Adrian Alperovich (COO)
Christine Birch (President of Marketing)
Jim Orr (President of Distribution)
Lia Buman (EVP of Acquisitions)
Bob Berney (President of Theatrical Distribution)
ProductsMotion pictures
ServicesFilm production
Film distribution
Film financing
OwnerComcast (2013–2014)
Number of employees
ParentFocus Features
(NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment)
(ultimately owned by Comcast, 2013–2014)

FilmDistrict Distribution LLC was an American independent[1] motion picture company based in Los Angeles. It specialized in acquisitions, distribution, production, and financing. It was founded in September 2010 by Bob Berney and Peter Schlessel in partnership with Graham King and Timothy Headington.[1]

FilmDistrict's releases were distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment for home media, with the exception of Red Dawn, which was released on home media by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. FilmDistrict was merged into Focus Features in 2014. Soul Surfer, Looper, Evil Dead and Pompeii were retained by TriStar Pictures after 2014.


FilmDistrict acquired and released between four and eight wide release, commercial titles per year. This includes select titles from GK Films and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions.[2][3] In December 2010, FilmDistrict and Netflix signed a Pay-TV deal.[4]

FilmDistrict partnered with TriStar Pictures on select films such as Soul Surfer and Looper. FilmDistrict's CEO Peter Schlessel also made alternative distribution arrangements for their film releases. In 2012, Schlessel closed a three-picture distribution deal for their 2012 films to go through Open Road Films. Open Road released Lockout, the Luc Besson-produced sci-fi action movie that stars Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace, on April 13, 2012. Open Road also released the Red Dawn remake on November 21, 2012. On Open Road's official website they list both the Red Dawn remake and Playing the Field, even though Open Road was never involved in distributing those two films.[5]

On March 23, 2012, Peter Schlessel announced that FilmDistrict hired Christine Birch as President of Marketing as the company rebuilt its distribution team. She worked on The Help, Real Steel and War Horse when she was at DreamWorks.[6] On April 12, 2012, Schlessel announced Jim Orr has joined FilmDistrict as the new President of Distribution. He held similar positions when he was at MGM and Paramount Pictures.[7] At the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, FilmDistrict bought the U.S. rights for romantic thriller Dead Man Down[8] and, from Intrepid Pictures, Oculus.[9] On May 31, 2012, they have hired three new executives: Tracy Pollard (Senior VP of Creative Advertising), Brad Goldberg (Senior VP of Media), and Anna Baxter (Senior VP of Digital Marketing). FilmDistrict also announced that Adrian Alperovich has been promoted from President of Acquisitions and Operations to COO.[10] On June 25, 2012 FilmDistrict announced they have hired Elissa Greer as Senior Vice President of Publicity.[11]

In April 2013, FilmDistrict announced the launch of a unit, High Top Releasing, which "will provide distribution-for-hire services including sales, in-theatre marketing and print control support, film rental negotiation and collection capabilities to independent producers who have the ability to provide their own prints-and-advertising and marketing resources."[12]

On October 2, 2013, it was announced that Peter Schlessel would be replacing James Schamus as CEO of Focus Features effective January 2014, and FilmDistrict was shut down as a distributor. Future FilmDistrict titles will be absorbed and released under Focus Features, the first being That Awkward Moment.[13] FilmDistrict's last film is Paul W. S. Anderson's Pompeii, which the company produced and financed with German-based Constantin Film. TriStar Pictures handled the U.S. distribution. High Top Releasing later co-released Eli Roth's The Green Inferno with Blumhouse Tilt.

In 2020, the rights to FilmDistrict's library were purchased by Content Partners, an investment company who also owns Revolution Studios.[14]



Release Date Title Notes
September 14, 2010 Insidious FilmDistrict's first release; co-production with Blumhouse Productions, Alliance Films, Stage 6 Films and IM Global
April 8, 2011 Soul Surfer co-production with TriStar Pictures, Mandalay Pictures, Enticing Entertainment and Brookwell/McNamara Entertainment
August 26, 2011 Don't Be Afraid of the Dark co-production with Miramax
October 7, 2011 Drive co-production with Sierra/Affinity, Bold Films and OddLot Entertainment
November 4, 2011 The Rum Diary co-production with GK Films and Infinitum Nihil
December 2, 2011 In the Land of Blood and Honey co-production with GK Films
April 13, 2012 Lockout co-production with Canal+, Ciné+ and EuropaCorp; theatrically released by Open Road Films
June 8, 2012 Safety Not Guaranteed co-production with Big Beach
September 28, 2012 Looper US co-distribution with TriStar Pictures; production by Endgame Entertainment, FilmNation Entertainment and DMG Entertainment
November 21, 2012 Red Dawn co-production with Contrafilm, United Artists and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
December 7, 2012 Playing for Keeps co-production with Millennium Films
January 25, 2013 Parker co-production with Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Incentive Filmed Entertainment
March 8, 2013 Dead Man Down co-production with IM Global, WWE Studios and Original Film
March 22, 2013 Olympus Has Fallen co-production with Millennium Films and Nu Image
April 5, 2013 Evil Dead co-production with TriStar Pictures and Ghost House Pictures
September 13, 2013 Insidious: Chapter 2 US distribution only, co-production with Entertainment One, Blumhouse Productions and Stage 6 Films
November 27, 2013 Oldboy co-production with 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks and Good Universe
February 21, 2014 Pompeii co-production with TriStar Pictures, Summit Entertainment, Constantin Film and Impact Pictures
September 23, 2014 Wer FilmDistrict's final film, co-production with Sierra Pictures, Incentive Filmed Entertainment, Prototype, and Room 101, Inc.

Films under High Top Releasing[edit]

Release Date Title Notes
September 6, 2013 The Ultimate Life co-production with ReelWorks Studios, LLC
October 18, 2013 I'm in Love with a Church Girl co-production with RGM NewBreed
April 18, 2014 Make Your Move co-production with CJ Entertainment, Robert Cort Productions, and SM Entertainment
September 25, 2015 The Green Inferno co-production with BH Tilt, Worldview Entertainment, and Dragonfly Entertainment
May 13, 2016 The Darkness co-production with BH Tilt and Chapter One Films
December 2, 2016 Incarnate co-production with BH Tilt, IM Global, WWE Studios, and Maniac Productions
November 18, 2016 The Take co-production with StudioCanal, Anton Capital Entertainment, Amazon Prime Instant Video, and Anonymous Content


  1. ^ a b c "About Us". Archived from the original on 2012-12-25. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  2. ^ Kilday, Gregg (September 27, 2010). "King's FilmDistrict taps Bob Berney". The Hollywood Reporter.
  3. ^ "filmdistributorguide – Film District". Archived from the original on 2013-02-11. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
  4. ^ FilmDistrict Netflix Retrieved July 6, 2010
  5. ^ Open Road Films (June 28, 2012). "Playing the field". Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
  6. ^ Christine Birch Joins FilmDistrict as Marketing President
  7. ^ "FilmDistrict Hires Jim Orr As President Of Distribution". 12 April 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
  8. ^ Fleming, Mike (2012-05-17). "FilmDistrict Buys U.S. Rights To Colin Farrell-Noomi Rapace Pic 'Dead Man Down'". Retrieved 2013-01-09.
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike (2012-05-16). "FilmDistrict Acquires 'Oculus': Cannes". Retrieved 2013-01-09.
  10. ^ Kilday, Gregg (2012-05-31). "FilmDistrict Names Three New Marketing Executives". Retrieved 2013-01-09.
  11. ^ "FilmDistrict Hires New Line's Elissa Greer As SVP Publicity". 25 June 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Focus Features Hires Peter Schlessel to Replace James Schamus as CEO". October 2, 2013. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  14. ^ McNary, Dave (December 3, 2020). "'Olympus Has Fallen,' 'Insidious' Bought in FilmDistrict Library Deal by Content Partners (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved September 11, 2022.

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