A career in numbers showcases its unique specificity in the details of the journey, and its big-picture reach and impact. This is especially true for a career of varied and in-depth investment ventures and strategic initiatives in the media industry.
700% return in six years, mergers worth millions of dollars, and countless film assets distributed across the globe: looking at businessman and entrepreneur Amir Malin’s career in numbers we see a picture of one of the film business’s strategic leaders developing acuity and vision in all aspects of the film business over his decades of work.
Cinecom Film, an independent film company that became one of the most important studios of the 1980s, was founded by Amir Malin, Ira Deutchman, and John Ives in New York City in 1982.
Cinecom released over forty titles between 1982 and 1991, including its highest-grossing film A Room with A View (1985), an adaptation of E. M. Forester’s novel that was named Best Picture of the Year by the National Board of Review, and grossed over $25 million at the domestic box office.
Cinecom also released Stop Making Sense (1984), a cult classic concert film featuring the band The Talking Heads, and Matewan (1987), an award-winning drama which was re-released by Criterion in 2019. Cinecom was a major part of the rise of independent film in the 1980s.
In 1989, Cinecom was sold to SBK Entertainment World, an entertainment company, and Malin continued to serve as a consultant.
Major independent film production and distribution company October Films was founded in 1991 by Bingham Ray and Jeff Lipsky. Already seasoned in acquisitions and distributions, Amir Malin joined as the President in 1992 as part of an investment by Allen & Company and led product acquisition and strategy.
This included Lars Von Trier’s widely-acclaimed psychological drama Breaking the Waves (1996) and Palm D’Or winner Secrets & Lies (1996) among many others. October Films held a major significance to the landscape of American independent cinema during the 1990s.
Under Malin’s leadership, Universal acquired a major stake in October Films in 1997 in an effort to widen its distribution reach. The studio has since been incorporated into Focus Features, which distributes bold independent and foreign films. The Universal sale returned an average yearly ROI of over 20% to the original investment backers Allen & Company Investors. With the Universal transaction behind him Malin was recruited by Bain Capital to assist in its acquisition of Artisan Entertainment (at that time known as LIVE Entertainment).
Artisan Entertainment was founded in 1983 as USA Home Video Company and at its height was one of the largest mini-major film studios in America. After producing and distributing home videos, the company went through a series of acquisitions and branched out into TV distribution and other retail ventures under the consolidated company LIVE Entertainment.
In the 1990s, LIVE was producing films and financed Quentin Tarantino’s feature debut Reservoir Dogs (1992). Even after further acquisitions and productions throughout the decade, LIVE was straining to return on investments and was acquired and taken private in 1997 by investment company Bain Capital.
LIVE, rebranded as Artisan Entertainment, took a new direction with experienced media investor and business strategist Amir Malin as CEO of the company. Spearheading the home video distributor’s comprehensive financial reboot, Malin expanded their library of 2,500 titles to over 7,000 and focused on high-quality films. These included the high-grossing action film Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and cultural classic It’s A Wonderful Life (1946).
Artisan quickly transformed into a high-velocity production studio that had expanded into multiple new markets in entertainment media. With both high-quality productions and new acquisitions like The Blair Witch Project (1999), Artisan’s financial performance improved and took off.
Artisan was the largest privately held independent film company in the world. If you include publicly held independent film companies then it was number 2, but only as Studio Canal (which is public) is the largest independent film company in the world. Its revenue had ballooned from $120 million at the time of Bain’s acquisition to over $400 million with $44.5 million in net earnings that year.
Amir Malin currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Qualia Capital, an asset manager firm that focuses on the media and entertainment industries, where he has been since 2005. Malin’s history and experience growing Cinecom, October, and Artisan inform his investment strategy expertise in content and business management, with large intellectual property asset portfolios.
Qualia’s principals, led by Malin, bring a wealth of experience and industry knowledge of successful business operations to active investment. Their experience with acquisition and distribution of intellectual property assets allows wide investor returns – and displays a deep profusion of insider knowledge on content assessment and entertainment marketing. Qualia has been leading entertainment and media asset investment for over fifteen years.
In looking at this career in numbers, we can see that in over 35 years in film and media, Malin’s efforts are represented by three incredibly successful company sales and millions of dollars in investment returns that have made an indelible mark and made him a leading figure in business.
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