Vancouver’s Rainmaker Entertainment has sold off its animation division to China’s Xing Xing Digital Corp, two days after its top executive said she was stepping down.
The deal will see the Beijing-based cartoon shop take over the Canuck studio’s real estate leases and some C$7m (US$6.7m) in debts, Rainmaker said yesterday.
This follows word that president and executive producer Catherine Winder is leaving her post at the end of June, just eight months after she took over from previous boss Warren Franklin.
Rainmaker did not return calls for comment, though a statement notes the deal will allow the company to take part in gross revenues connected to Escape From Planet Earth, its first feature film and the subject of a US$50m lawsuit.
Escape’s writer/director Tony Leech and producer Brian Inerfeld are suing The Weinstein Company (TWC) over the animated sci-fi comedy, alleging it sabotaged the project through overspending, repeated rewrites and other actions.
Rainmaker was hired by TWC to work on the picture and is also named as a defendant in the case, which is working its way through a New York court.
The movie was due in theatres this year but is now expected sometime in 2013. Rainmaker has downplayed any connection between the case and recent events at its head office. The deal with Xing Xing is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.