Global Road Entertainment’s embattled bracing for layoffs

The production company's precarious financial situation grew worse over the weekend as the family adventure 'A.X.L.' bombed in its debut.

Employees at Global Road Entertainment‘s embattled mini-film studio are bracing for layoffs.

Pink slips could be handed out as early as this week as the banks now in control of the film unit consider their options, which include Chapter 11 bankruptcy and selling off various movies in the pipeline. It’s not clear how many employees will be impacted.

Word of the pending layoffs follow another major box-office miss for the mini-studio, officially launched a year ago by U.S.-China broker Donald Tang’s Media Tang Partners, who installed veteran Hollywood studio executive Rob Friedman as CEO.

Over the the weekend, Global Road’s family adventure A.X.L. bombed in its nationwide debut, grossing less than $3 million.

Last week, lenders including East West Bank and Bank of America took over Global Road’s film operation. Tang has been unable to raise the $200 million in funds needed for the film unit. The international sales and TV operations are Global Road are said to be in better standing because they have been generating revenue.

Tang began his foray into Hollywood in earnest in mid-2016 upon buying IM Global and simultaneously launching a TV production fund with the company’s recently hatched IM Global Television unit. A year ago this month, Tang closed a deal to buy North American distributor Open Road Films and hired veteran Hollywood studio chief Friedman to run the combined companies. In October, the indie studio was rebranded Global Road Entertainment.

Global Road is said to have about 120 employees in total. About 50 to 60 are said to work on the film side.

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