Following a handful of box office disappointments, Bold Films will be laying off roughly half of its 14 employees.
The layoffs began this past Friday and are the result of underwhelming box office grosses, including the Jake Gyllenhaal film “Stronger.” Sources also say that production on Brady Corbet’s “Vox Lux” has been delayed. Natalie Portman had been attached to star in the drama about the life of a pop star, but her involvement is now in question. It’s unclear if her schedule will be free when shooting on the film begins.
Among those let go are Lisa Zambri, SVP of production and development. However, her counterpart, Jon Oakes, will remain on in the same position. Bold positioned the cuts as necessary moves to cut down on overhead. The company will also cut down on the number of films it produces.
Bold Films has bet on auteur-driven projects, producing the likes of “Nightcrawler” and “Whiplash,” while inking “first look” deals with Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Productions and Jake Gyllenhaal’s Nine Stories Productions. The company is wholly backed by Michel Litvak, a Belgian industrialist, and is run by Gary Michael Waters.
Despite their pedigree, not all of Bold’s projects have connected at the box office. “The Neon Demon,” a Nicolas Winding Refn horror film, sputtered commercially, eking out $3.4 million on a $7 million budget. Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut “Lost River,” another Bold production, was dismissed by critics and only managed to gross just over $600,000 during its theatrical run.