Cutting Edge Group, which has invested in more than 200 films, is forming the Cutting Edge Originals banner to develop and produce music-themed feature films.
âCutting Edge Originals is about great stories that will depend on great music,â said CEG topper Philip Moross. âThis model was perfected by the late Robert Stigwood with âSaturday Night Feverâ and âGrease,â and weâre aiming just as high.â
The production shingle is launching at Cannes with producer-financier James Gibb and Tara Moross, CEGâs current head of business development, as co-toppers.
Five-year-old CEG has invested in âThe Kingâs Speech,â âDrive,â âLooperâ and âEnd of Watchâ in exchange for music publishing rights.
It handles scoring, clearances and music supervision in a film, then recoups from soundtrack and sheet-music sales; licensing and royalties from international ticket sales and TV deals; and rights in TV commercials.
Earlier this year, CEG raised $100 million in equity as part of a strategy to become the worldâs predominant vertically-integrated film music services company and then acquired film-TV soundtrack label Varese Sarabande Records.
The template for Cutting Edge Originals grew out of British comedy-musical âUnfinished Song,â starring Terence Stamp, Gemma Arterton and Vanessa Redgrave, produced by Philip Moross and Ken Marshall. âSongâ has grossed $3 million in the U.K. since its February opening and will be released by the Weinstein Co. in the U.S. on June 21.
Moross told Variety that music-themed films such as âThe Bodyguard,â âThe Commitmentsâ and âPitch Perfectâ had convinced him that audiences will support such fare â and noted that the soundtracks offer a second generator of revenues.
âPitch Perfectâ was a surprise success last year with more than $100 million in global box office for Universal, which has started work on a sequel.