Italian financier Giancarlo Parretti’s design for building a Hollywood movie empire moved forward Monday with the announcement that Menahem Golan has resigned as an executive of Cannon Group. Golan and Yoram Globus headed the Los Angeles-based film company from 1979 until the Parretti group took control last April.
Golan will set up a new independent production company with about $160 million from Cannon under a four-year agreement, the company said.
This arrangement will give Cannon’s controlling shareholders, who are led by Parretti, a freer hand to fit the production firm into a mosaic of companies and film assets Parretti is busily assembling.
Other parts of Parretti’s structure include New World Entertainment, whose acquisition was announced Friday, and Pathe Entertainment, which the Parretti group founded last month. Meanwhile, the group is reported to be a potential buyer of assets from De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, which is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
The Cannon announcement did not mention Globus’ future. The two Israeli-born cousins have been heading up Cannon Entertainment as a subsidiary of Cannon Group since Parretti and a partner, Florio Fiorini, took over the troubled parent firm. However, it was considered likely that Globus would remain as an executive in some capacity with the Parretti organization.
Parretti and Fiorini appeared to start on this new path last month by creating Pathe and installing a well-known film maker, Alan Ladd Jr., as chairman. Ladd had resigned as head of the MGM unit of MGM/UA Entertainment after becoming disenchanted with changes undertaken by controlling shareholder Kirk Kerkorian.
Conceivably, Cannon, Pathe and New World could be combined formally, or their assets shuffled in a variety of ways. Cannon’s announcements have given little information about the sources of financing for its plans.
Cannon is to commit at least $159.6 million to Golan’s new company to finance 17 motion pictures at an average budget of $8 million and provide $3 million a year for operating expenses--plus a $6-million fund for developing film projects. Cannon is to receive worldwide distribution rights for all pictures produced.
Golan, who personally has directed a number of Cannon movies, is to have creative control and 20% of the net profits of each film made by his new company.
In addition, Cannon agreed to sell Golan the name and logo of 21st Century Distribution Corp. Cannon had acquired the film distributing firm in January from Parretti, Fiorini, Golan and Globus.