If there’s any curiosity why there’s been so much noise of fleeing projects today at Annapurna, it’s because the studio and its head of film production Chelsea Barnard recently parted ways. We understand it was mutual and amicable and that Barnard was overseeing the Jennifer Lopez’s Hustlers project and Jay Roach’s Roger Ailes pic. Sources close to the company confirmed Barnard’s exit. There are no immediate replacement plans for Barnard’s post, and Annapurna boss Megan Ellison is expected to take a greater hand in the oversee of production. President Marc Weinstock departed Annapurna back in June as Deadline reported. He too was not replaced and his duties delegated to senior leadership.
There were rumblings around town about Annapurna having some financial difficulty. We hear from insiders that they are re-calibrating, and that all is well. The budget on the Jay Roach film was headed north of $35M and the Jennifer Lopez project had been in turnaround for the last month.
To date, Annapurna has had five releases, kicking off with Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit in July 28, 2017 which made $16.7M stateside, down from the Oscar winner’s previous title Zero Dark Thirty ($95.7M domestic) which was produced by Annapurna. This summer’s Sorry to Bother You which Annapurna acquired out of Sundance was a notable spot on the specialty circuit making $17.4M, the label’s highest grossing film to date. Others didn’t fare so well, i.e. Brad’s Status last year ($2.1M), Professor Marston and the Wonder Women ($1.6M) and Joaquin Phoenix-John C. Reilly western The Sisters Brothers is still early on in its limited release counting $730K.
Upcoming for Annapurna is Oscar winner Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk on Nov. 30, Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney movie Vice going wide on Dec. 14. and the Nicole Kidman police drama Destroyer on Christmas Day.
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