The partnership combines the expertise of Icon, a company formed by Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey, which has launched a grassroots, faith-based marketing effort with Newmarket Films, an independent marketing and distribution company known for its carefully crafted marketing campaigns and aggressive release strategies. Icon will distribute the film through their distribution arm Icon Film Distribution in both the UK and Australia/New Zealand.
"I have known and worked with Will Tyrer and Chris Ball over the years and they get where we are coming from," commented Bruce Davey. "They, and Bob Berney, are as passionate as we are about this film, and I know they will make a great contribution to the release of 'The Passion of Christ'."
The Co-Founders of Newmarket Capital Group have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Icon, having financed the company's critically acclaimed Hamlet and other projects.
William Tyrer, partner and co-founder of Newmarket Capital Group, the parent company of Newmarket Films added: "We are pleased to expand our relationship with Icon to a new platform with this theatrical release. We are uniquely qualified to carefully handle this artistic achievement and honored to have the opportunity to be involved with such an important film."
The deal was negotiated by Bruce Davey, Icon Productions and William Tyrer, Newmarket Films and Jeff Berg, ICM.
Icon Productions, Inc. is an independent motion picture production company, which was founded in August 1989. It has theatrical distribution arms in the UK and Australia/New Zealand (IFD), and internally funds all of its development and packaging costs, allowing it to retain creative control of projects through production. Films produced by Icon include the soon-to-be-released "The Singing Detective," starring Robert Downey Jr., the critically acclaimed "We Were Solders" and the box-office sensation "What Women Want," as well as the five-time Academy Award winning film "Braveheart."
Newmarket Films, a New York-based theatrical distribution and marketing company, was launched in August of 2002. Currently in theatres is Niki Caro's magical "Whale Rider," a breakthrough hit and Audience Award favorite (Toronto, Sundance, Rotterdam, Seattle and San Francisco) approaching the $21 million mark at the box office. Newmarket Films' upcoming slate includes Patty Jenkins' "Monster," starring Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci, scheduled for an Oscar-qualifying run in December along with Anders Thomas Jensen's wicked Danish delight, "The Green Butchers," and Bronwen Hughes' "Stander" starring Thomas Jane and based on the true story of "modern-day Robin Hood" Andre Stander, scheduled for release in 2004.