Los Angeles-based Alcon Entertainment develops, finances and produces feature films for broad and diverse audiences.
The Company was born out of a business plan written by co-founders and co-CEOs Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove for FEDEX Founder, Chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith, who ultimately agreed to personally finance the Company, which was officially incorporated in January of 1997.
To this day, that plan's fundamental concept remains the core principal of Alcon's business philosophy in that the Company integrates the optimal incentives and fiscal accountability of independent filmmaking with the principal assets of a major studio alliance.
Alcon is an independent film company in the truest sense given that the Company secures its financial resources independently, thus enabling it to focus on and produce economical, cost-effective content, while offering filmmakers and creative talent a streamlined, non-bureaucratic environment in which to work. Early in its history, Alcon established a long-term distribution arrangement with Warner Bros. Under the terms of the deal, Warner Bros distributes the films Alcon finances and produces while the two companies work closely in the marketing of the films.
Alcon offers the considerable advantages of a truly "independent" film environment while concurrently capitalizing on the most important attribute offered by a major studio, namely: access to a powerful, worldwide distribution pipeline. This dynamic combination has allowed Alcon to consistently minimize costs, remain nimble, streamlined, and "filmmaker friendly," while at the same time maximizing each of its films' revenues through Warner Brothers' distribution mechanism. Most crucially, Alcon Entertainment determines its own destiny by retaining ownership of the films it finances/produces.
Today, Alcon Entertainment is one of the most enduring, well-respected independent film companies in the world. It controls a 20-title library and has generated over $2 billion in revenues throughout its history. The list of successful films the Company has financed, and/or produced span multiple genres from family classics such as MY DOG SKIP and the recent hit DOLPHIN TALE to thrillers such as INSOMNIA (director Christopher Nolan's first studio distributed film) and THE BOOK OF ELI, starring Denzel Washington, to dramas such as the Academy Award nominated THE BLIND SIDE, which is the highest grossing sports-themed film in history.
Additionally, for a film company, Alcon has maintained nearly unprecedented corporate stability. Messrs. Kosove and Johnson, Alcon's co-founders, remain the company's co-CEO's. Fred Smith continues as Alcon's Chairman and majority shareholder, and Warner Brothers and Alcon continue to have an output arrangement that currently extends through 2015. Many of Alcon's senior executives have been with the company from its early days, including: CFO and COO, Scott Parish; President of Worldwide Marketing, Richard Ingber; Executive Vice President of Development Steve Wegner and Senior Vice President of Physical Production, Yolanda Cochran.
Alcon has recently begun to expand beyond its core activities of film finance and production into the related businesses of both television and talent management. Sharon Hall, a highly respected television executive who was previously head of drama at Sony Television, is President of the newly formed Alcon Television. The Company also recently formed Alcon Management Enterprises (AME), a holding company for as many as six or seven talent management companies that Alcon may acquire in the next few years. The first acquisition under the AME banner was Madhouse Entertainment, run by partners Robyn Meisinger and Adam Kolbrenner. Madhouse is a successful boutique literary management firm representing over 50 film and television writers.
For those interested in Greek mythology, Alcon was a companion of Hercules and an archer who never missed his target. Johnson and Kosove decided on the name for Alcon Entertainment while perusing a book entitled "Obscure Greek Heroes."