Universal Appeal Reaches Summit18 May, 2007 By: Thomas K. Arnold
Summit Entertainment LLC, the new studio that counts former Paramount Pictures COO Rob Friedman as one of its principles, has signed a “service relationship” with Universal Studios Home Entertainment to distribute its home entertainment product throughout the United States.
In addition to the physical distribution of Summit DVDs, Universal will provide the studio with credit collection services and access to its Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) data. Summit will handle all sales, marketing, distribution strategy and retailer relationships.
Summit COO Bob Hayward called Universal “an innovator in the field of home entertainment” and said the deal provides his company with “the right infrastructure … to bring quality filmed entertainment product to the domestic marketplace.”
Summit Entertainment LLC launched last month with more than $1 billion in funding from Merrill Lynch and other investors. The studio evolved from one of the world's most prominent foreign sales organizations, Summit Entertainment. Friedman is CEO of the new studio, while Patrick Wachsberger, president and CEO of the sales organization, is studio president. The two share the title of co-chairman. The studio plans to release 10 to 12 films annually and will handle all aspects of marketing and distribution for both its internally developed films and its acquisitions.