Annapurna Interactive has published some great games over the past few years, including What Remains of Edith Finch, Gorogoa, Donut County, and the widely acclaimed Outer Wilds. But its parent, the film company Annapurna Pictures, isn't faring quite as well. According to Hollywood Reporter, the company is exploring bankruptcy options following the poor box office performance of films including The Sisters Brothers (which I thought looked fun) and Destroyer.
Annapurna Pictures has dropped two projects that were approved last year, including the Jennifer Lopez film Hustlers, and has also parted ways with its domestic marketing president Marc Weinstock and film chief Chelsea Barnard. A company rep acknowledged that the Ellison family, which owns the company, is negotiating to restructure its deals with the banks (it's tough keeping the lights on at a boutique film production company when you're only the seventh-wealthiest person on the planet, I guess) but said "they remain in full support of the company and are dedicated to Annapurna's future."
Following the publication of the Hollywood Reporter story, founder Megan Ellison sent a memo to employees characterizing the negotiations as business as usual.
"Restructuring deals with financial institutions is not uncommon, yet the process is usually handled without a spotlight on it. Fortunately/unfortunately, people like to write about me and my family," Ellison wrote.
"That said, it is of tremendous importance to me that you all know we are as committed as ever to this company and are in full support of our future. Regardless of whatever comes out in the press, the truth is that we are well on our continued path towards success. There will always be speculation, misinformation and personal jabs in the press—that’s part of the business. But know, none of that matters to me. What does is your sense of security and protecting the special community and culture at Annapurna. I believe in what we make and have no intention of stopping any time soon."
Annapurna Interactive has not responded to requests for comment on how the restructuring could impact its future operations, but the company reassured followers on Twitter that "we're not going anywhere!"
pic.twitter.com/Y6kSA23LaAAugust 7, 2019