Relativity Media

Relativity Media, LLC
Founded May 18, 2004 (2004-05-18)
Founders Lynwood Spinks
Ryan Kavanaugh
Headquarters Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Key people
  • Ryan Kavanaugh (Co-Chairman & CEO)
Owner YuuZoo (33%)[1]
Number of employees
Approximately 350 (2013)[2]
  • Studios
  • Home Entertainment
  • International
  • Sports[3]
  • Digital Studios
  • Music
  • Education

Relativity Media LLC is an American media company headquartered in Beverly Hills, California, founded in 2004 by Lynwood Spinks and Ryan Kavanaugh. The studio was the third largest mini-major globally until bankruptcy on July 30, 2015. Its full-scale film studio acquires, develops, produces and distributes films. The company's partners and financial institutions have invested $20 billion as of 2012 in entertainment investments with partners such as Citibank, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and others. Relativity Media also works in fashion, sports, digital and music.[4]

On July 30, 2015, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California after lawsuits and missing loan payments. [5][6][7][8] In March 2016, the company emerged from the bankruptcy.[9]


The studio was founded by Ryan Kavanaugh and Lynwood Spinks in 2004 as a middleman company arranging multi-film slate deals with studios then arranging financial support through banks. Relativity Media would receive film equity, producer's credit and a fee. Initially, Stark Investments, a Wisconsin-based hedge fund, funded the company's single-picture business. By 2007, these investors stopped making movie-finance deals. Elliott Management, a $16 billion New York–based hedge fund run by Paul Singer, then took a minority share of the company plus access to around $1 billion in capital and a revolving credit line.[10]

On January 4, 2009, the studio acquired the genre label Rogue from Universal, for $150 million.[11] Relativity oversaw Rogue's 2009 film offerings, which consisted of Last House On The Left, The Unborn, Come Out Fighting, and My Soul to Take, as well as more than 30 projects in development. The deal also included the Rogue film library, featuring such films as Assault On Precinct 13 and The Strangers.[12][13] On August 14, 2011, it was reported that Relativity was investing in SkyLand Film & Television Cultural Development Ltd, a China-based production company, signaling new opportunities in the Chinese market. One of the first arrangements was that the movie 21 and Over was partially filmed in Dongshigu, China.[14] On May 18, 2012, it was reported that Relativity was in talks to buy German producer-distributor Senator Entertainment.[15] In 2010, Relativity Media ventured into India with the help of Asian billionaire Keyur Patel who also owns two major TV Networks and has major investments in India in satellite, theatre chain and media productions.[16]

On July 6, 2010, Relativity and Netflix announced a five-year-plus Pay-TV deal. The first two films to stream on Netflix were The Fighter and Skyline.[17]

On July 23, 2010, Relativity acquired the 45-person marketing and distribution staff of Starz' Overture Films, making it a "Mini-Major".[18] The studio distributed its first film on December 3, 2010. The Warrior's Way was directed by Sngmoo Lee and starring Jang Dong-gun, Geoffrey Rush and Kate Bosworth. On May 20, 2012, it was reported that Relativity and EuropaCorp signed a co-production and co-financing deal on two movies and Relativity will distribute in U.S.[19][20] Relativity also has co-production deals with Atlas Entertainment and Virgin Produced.

In September 2011, Robbie Brenner was promoted from Executive Vice President, Production to President, Production.[21]

On November 27, 2011 it was reported Ron Burkle loaned $200 million to Relativity for Immortals and Mirror Mirror.[22]

On January 23, 2012, Burkle purchased a large equity stake in Relativity Media from Elliot Capital Management (which was the second largest shareholder after Ryan Kavanaugh) for at least $800 million.[23][24] On May 31, 2012 Relativity and Ron Burkle announced they raised $350 million in funding for films and expansion. Ron Burkle will also join the board of Relativity, along with Jason Colodne and Jason Beckman who are partners at Colbeck Capital.[25][26]

In July 2012, Relativity merged its Rogue Sports, a basketball agency with Maximum Sports Management, a football agency, and SFX Baseball into Relativity Sports.[27] On December 19, Relativity announced a new division, Relativity International.[28]

On January 6, 2016, Relativity Media acquired Trigger Street Productions. Owners Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti were given the roles chairman and president of Relativity Studios, respectively.[29] That March, Spacey announced that he would not accept Relativity's offer; Brunetti's position is still in place.[30]

On January 26, 2016, Relativity Television, Relativity's former television division was rebranded as Critical Content after the post-bankruptcy.[31]

On September 8, 2016, it launched R2 Entertainment which will be based in Canada, and will be an indie film speciality label focused on releasing films with budgets under $15 million.It will be co-headed by Mark Kassen and Dana Brunetti[32]


"Relativity Music Group" redirects here. For the Relativity Entertainment Distribution/Sony record label with original releases in the 1980s and 1990s, see Relativity Records.

Relativity Media has seven divisions: Relativity Studios, Relativity Media Home Entertainment, Relativity International, Relativity Sports, Relativity Digital Studios, Relativity Music and Relativity Education. It also has four subsidiaries: Rogue, Trigger Street Productions, Madvine and R2 Entertainment[33]

Relativity Studios

Relativity's film production division was its first and remains its largest division.[34] Relativity Studios has produced, distributed or structured financing for nearly 200 motion pictures, generating more than $17 billion in worldwide box-office revenue and earning 60 Academy Awards nominations.[35]

Relativity Media Home Entertainment

Relativity Media Home Entertainment offers access to Relativity titles across all major digital download, video-on-demand and DVD/Blu-ray platforms. In addition to the studio’s theatrical films, the division also releases select titles from Relativity’s partner companies.[35]

Relativity International

Relativity International oversees global sales and distribution management of both the studio’s own films as well as third-party releases. To date, its pictures have grossed approximately $1 billion at foreign box offices.[36]

Relativity Sports

Relativity Sports is one of the largest professional sports agencies in the world, providing more than 300 NBA, NFL and MLB athletes with services ranging from contract negotiation to custom film and television content production.[37] Relativity Sports and its agents have negotiated contracts totaling in excess of $2.5 billion.[27][38]

Relativity Digital Studios

Relativity Digital Studios is a production and graphics team that produce, direct and edit web series and create special effects. In addition, the division creates with internet personalities campaigns in support of Relativity films and develops branded entertainment campaigns that marry brand partners with relevant Relativity divisions.[39]

Relativity Music

Relativity Music provides in-house music supervision for films, in addition to releasing soundtracks and score albums from both major and studios and TV networks.[35]

Relativity Education

Relativity Education offers an array of film, media and performing arts programs, ranging from long-term programs to summer workshops.[35]



  2. Block, Alex Ben (20 January 2013). "Relativity Media Lays Off Ten". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  3. Block, Alex Ben (July 16, 2012). "Relativity Media, Ron Burkle Launch Sports Division". Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  4. McNary, Dave (July 2, 2014). "Relativity Media Launching Digital Division for Brands, Hires Chief Marketing Officer". Variety. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  5. "Relativity Media Chapter 11 Petition" (PDF). PacerMonitor. PacerMonitor. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  6. Patten, Dominic; Fleming Jr., Mike. (30 July 2015). "Ryan Kavanaugh's Relativity Media Finally Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy". Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  7. "Chapter 11 Petition" (PDF). PacerMonitor. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  8. "Relativity Creditors Reach Settlement Over Big Hits Like 'Bridesmaids,' 'Fast and Furious 6'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-03-03.
  9. Liberman, David (March 18, 2016). "Relativity Emerges From Bankruptcy After Judge Rules It Has Met Conditions". Retrieved March 18, 2016.
  10. DiGiacomo, Frank (March 2010). "The Theory of Relativity". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  11. Cieply, Michael (4 January 2009). "Universal Sells Rogue for $150 Million". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  12. Finke, Nikki (20 October 2008). "Relativity Bargaining To Acquire Rogue". Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  13. Finke, Nikki (4 January 2009). "Relativity Media Buys Rogue Pictures". Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  14. Fritz, Ben (August 14, 2011). "Relativity Media deal opens film door to China". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  15. Roxborough, Scott (18 May 2012). "Cannes 2012: Relativity Media Set to Buy German Film Studio Senator Entertainment (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  16. Buxbaum, Mara (May 5, 2010). "Ryan Kavanaugh's Relativity Partners with Keyur Patel to Launch New Indian Production & Distribution Company, Relativity Media India". PRNewswire. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  17. Fritz, Ben (6 July 2010). "Netflix challenging HBO and Showtime as it signs distribution deal with Relativity Media". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  18. Finke, Nikki (23 July 2010). "Relativity Takes Over Overture from Starz". Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  19. Keslassy, Elsa; Hopewell, John (20 May 2012). "EuropaCorp, Relativity ink for co-prods deal, includes U.S. distribution". Variety. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  20. "Relativity Deal For Luc Besson's EuropaCorp".
  21. Kit, Borys (2011-09-30). "Relativity Promotes Tucker Tooley, Robbie Brenner". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  22. Ryan Kavanaugh’s 9 Lives: $200M Loan From Ron Burkle Saves 'Immortals' (Exclusive)
  23. PR (January 23, 2012). "It's Official: Ron Burkle Acquires "Significant" Equity Stake in Relativity". Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  24. Paul Bond (June 28, 2012). "Ron Burkle Closes Multiple Investments in Relativity Media". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
  25. body Relativity Closes $350 Million in Company Funding
  26. Relativity Borrows $350 Million More for Movies and Expansion
  27. 1 2 "New Sports Power: Relativity Media, Ron Burkle Form Relativity Sports". The Wrap. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
  28. body Relativity Media Launches Relativity Foreign, Expanding the Company's International Scope and Reach
  29. Fleming Jr., Mike (6 January 2016). "Relativity Media Acquires Trigger Street; Sets Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti To Run Studio As It Emerges From Chapter 11". Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  30. Relativity Television Rebrands as Critical Content, Post-Bankruptcy Joshua Rich, Retrieved on July 27, 2016
  33. Guinto, Joseph. "Moneyball for the Movies". American Way Magazine. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  34. 1 2 3 4 Relativity | Film Finance ::IMDBPro
  35. "Relativity Taps International Sales Exec". Variety.
  36. Gruman, Andrew. "Sanders one of three NBA players in 'Movie 43'". Fox Sports Wisconsin. FOX. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  37. Abrams, Rachel. "Relativity raises $150 mil from investors". Variety. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
  38. "Ron Burkle`s Yucaipa Acquires a Significant Equity Stake in Relativity Media". Reuters. January 23, 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2013.

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