Picturehouse is in the process of detaching from HBO to become a New Line subsidiary, reports Variety.
The company launched in 2005 as a 50-50 venture of New Line and HBO. The distributor has thrived with non-HBO titles such as Pan’s Labyrinth and La Vie en Rose but struggled with many of the HBO-backed pics, among them Rocket Science and The Notorious Bettie Page.
The irritant of late has been Sugar, the followup to Half Nelson from directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden. Set for a hotly anticipated screening at Sundance, it is financed by HBO, which historically would have meant Picturehouse would be its likely home.
But HBO began shopping the film to other distributors and spreading the word ahead of Sundance that it wouldn’t need to go through Picturehouse. The management shuffle at HBO in the wake of topper Chris Albrecht’s abrupt exit was also a factor.