Neon Strikes Partnership With Waypoint Entertainment to Finance Mid-Budget Movies

Neon, the studio that backed Oscar-winners “Anatomy of a Fall” and “Parasite,” has ironed out a deal with Waypoint Entertainment, the ​production company behind “The Favourite” and “The Nice Guys,” to bring more mid-budget movies to the big screen.

The deal follows the company’s collaboration on the Hunter Schafer-led horror movie “Cuckoo,” which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and SXSW. Waypoint’s investment will allow Neon to expand its production and distribution efforts, something it’s been attempting to do since the New York-based distributor explored a sale in 2022 as a way to grow its business. Though a deal with investor Steven Rales, the wealthy businessman who founded the production company Indian Paintbrush, never came to fruition, Neon has managed to bolster its footprint. It recently launched an international sales division to handle the global distribution of its films.

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“Our joint venture will focus on the underserved market of larger independent films, specifically in the $10 million-plus range that often get overlooked by studios and streamers,” said Ken Kao, co-founder and president of Waypoint, in a statement. “This collaboration echoes our mutual ethos of championing films with innovative storytelling and ensuring they resonate deeply with hungry audiences.”

Further details on the slate of films will be announced at a later date.

“Ken Kao and the Waypoint team have long demonstrated their commitment and unique ability to create bold, beautiful cinema,” said Neon’s founder and CEO, Tom Quinn. “We’re beyond thrilled to join forces and continue to ramp up Neon’s production of films from the most revelatory, groundbreaking auteurs around the globe.”

Though Neon has a solid track record in backing awards fare, recent releases like Michael Mann’s “Ferrari” and Ava DuVernay’s “Origin” failed to get Oscar attention after misfiring at the box office. The studio’s upcoming slate includes Steven Soderbergh’s ghost thriller “Presence” and Pamela Adlon’s comedy “Babes.”

Waypoint is executive producing a modern adaptation of “Hamlet” starring Riz Ahmed, as well as Nick Rowland’s crime thriller “She Rides Shotgun,” led by Taron Egerton.

The deal was negotiated by Ryan Friscia and Emily Thomas for Neon with Waypoint’s Josh Rosenbaum and Alan Sacks at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.

(Pictured above: the creative team of “Cuckoo.”)

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