Robert L. Johnson, founder of BET and owner of the NBA Charlotte Bobcats, today announced that it has entered into a new venture with The Weinstein Company to create a film company that will produce titles in the African-American family comedy genre. The announcement was made jointly today by Robert L. Johnson and Bob and Harvey Weinstein, co-chairmen of The Weinstein Company.
RLJ will launch Our Stories Films shortly and the firm will be headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in New York City. Our Stories titles will be theatrically distributed by The Weinstein Company’s Dimension Films and on DVD by Genius Products. Under the agreement, TWC will have an equity stake in the venture. Robert L. Johnson will run Our Stories and will control the decisions to produce, acquire and finance film projects. JP Morgan Chase has committed to financing the venture with up to $175 million under terms to be negotiated.
“We are thrilled to partner with Harvey and Bob Weinstein to fulfill this vision,” stated Robert L. Johnson, Chairman of Our Stories Films, “Never before has an African-American had ‘green light authority’ at a studio combined with this quality of financing and a distribution partner that has a proven track record in successful urban films.”
Bob and Harvey Weinstein stated, “We are proud to be behind this venture and are confident in Bob Johnson’s taste and his ability to identify projects that will be successful. We are committed to releasing a slate of films focused in the African-American family genre and to working with Our Stories to launch their exciting new brand.”
John W. Miller, Managing Director of JP Morgan Chase, stated “This is a project that is long overdue in Hollywood and we are honored to be a part of making it happen. We could not be more excited about working with Bob Johnson, a partner who clearly understands the financial realities of the film business, and what it takes to market urban-based consumers.”