In a sign of how dramatically the independent film business has changed, the Film Department on Monday filed for a public stock offering worth up to $85 million to pay debt and expand into distribution and marketing.
The small film financier, which was founded in 2007 by industry veterans Mark Gill and Neil Sacker, has released only one movie while racking up $34 million in losses and more than $40 million in debt, according to its initial public offering registration.
The firm raised $200 million in 2007, when capital markets were flush, with a goal of producing four to six movies per year. Those ambitious plans fell short for reasons including the Writers Guild of America strike, increasing production costs and the bad economy, the filing said.
The one movie the Film Department released, "Law Abiding Citizen," grossed a solid $72 million domestically. It has not struck a domestic distribution deal for the other movie it produced, "The Rebound," starring Catherine Zeta-Jones.