Thursday, December 22, 2011



National Geographic Films, which is associated with the hit documentary “March of the Penguins” in 2005, is shutting down, according to two individuals with knowledge of the independent studio.
The studio has brought in a scant $1.7 million in revenue this year, with five films in release including “The Last Lion,” “The First Grader” and “Life in a Day.”
So what is going to happen you ask?

The individuals said that the New York-based operation was shutting down, and that president Daniel Battsek was negotiating an exit.

Neither Battsek nor spokespersons for National Geographic Films were immediately available when TheWrap reached out for comment. 
National Geographic Films is a division of National Geographic Entertainment, created in 2007 and combining Cinema Ventures, Feature Films, Kids Entertainment, Home Entertainment and Music & Radio into a single division headed by David Beal.
Battsek joined the company in January 2010 after leaving Miramax when Disney put that unit up for sale.
The weak showing at the box office this year and tepid development seemed out of step with expectations for the studio.  National Geographic had a deep source of funding from Abu Dhabi’s Imagenation, which put up $100 million to form a joint venture for movies in 2008.
When a company like this shuts down its often done quietly, with little fanfare and no announcements. No comments, TV ad buys, no internet ad buys, no production diaries (hey what did happen to them BTW?), no movie trailers announcing the shutdown. Rather just a quiet article on a third party website.

It's the way Hollywood works. 

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