Daily Journal Quotes Christopher Spicer on Fourth-Quarter Entertainment Deals

Christopher Spicer, a partner in Akin Gump’s entertainment and media practice, has been quoted in the Daily Journal article “Hollywood dealmakers say uncertainty is boosting business,” addressing what is shaping up as a busy fourth quarter for dealmaking.

Spicer, who has six or seven deals expected to close before the end of 2015, said the need to finalize transactions is greater at this time of year. His pending deals range from “a small investment in a foreign language film” to a “pretty large launch of a franchise.” Spicer also noted that he’s been busy with cross-border deals involving Chinese investors.

Tentpole films and low-budget projects, according to Spicer, are the current favorite choices of film financiers as they opt for extremes. Features costing $20-50 million, he said, are falling by the wayside. “It’s very, very difficult to get those financed,” he said, adding that Netflix series deals are filling the gap, replacing “the traditional indie model $25 million film.”

Spicer said, previously, the time and resources involved in financing a film kept his clients from being interested in low-budget projects. Recently, however, more investors are considering films in the neighborhood of $5 million, and banks are doing more prints and advertising loans for films.