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Andrew G. Vajna

Andrew G. Vajna

Andrew G. Vajna, one of the motion picture industry's most experienced and dedicated executives, is an expert in the financing, development, marketing and selling of motion pictures for worldwide audiences. Vajna launched his career in the entertainment industry with his purchase of motion picture theaters in the Far East. After Vajna negotiated the sales of Panasia to Raymond Chow's Golden Harvest Company in 1976, he and Mario Kassar formed Carolco, specializing in sales, financing and distribution of films worldwide. In less than four years, Carolco became one of the top three foreign sales organizations in motion pictures.

In 1982, Vajna was a founder and then president of the American Film Marketing Association. During that same year, Vajna and Kassar made their film production debut with First Blood. Starring Sylvester Stallone, First Blood became a phenomenal success, grossing $120 million worldwide. It also rocketed Carolco into the forefront of independent production companies. Rambo: First Blood Part II was released in 1985, generating more than $300 million worldwide, making it one of the most profitable films in the history of movie-making.

Vajna was executive producer with Mario Kassar on such films such as Alan Parker's Angel Heart, Rambo III, and Johnny Handsome. Other projects included Music Box, Mountains of the Moon, Total Recall, Air America, Narrow Margin and Jacob's Ladder. Vajna and Kassar financed the production of these pictures overseas by pre-selling the foreign rights.

In December 1989, Vajna sold his interest in Carolco and founded Cinergi Productions, Inc. Cinergi Productions was engaged in the financing, development, production and distribution of major event motion pictures. As part of its business plan, Cinergi formed a strategic alliance with The Walt Disney Company for distribution of Cinergi motion pictures in the United States, Canada and Latin America. Vajna's strategy was to develop long term relationships with certain talent and to produce a steady supply of two to four event pictures each year and pre-sell them overseas using output and other arrangements.

Medicine Man, starring Oscar winner Sean Connery and directed by John McTiernan, was Cinergi's first production in 1992. Christmas 1993 saw the release of Tombstone, a portrayal of the Wyatt Earp/Doc Holiday legend starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer, directed by George Cosmatos. In 1994, Cinergi released Renaissance Man, starring Danny DeVito and directed by Penny Marshall, as well as Color Of Night, starring Bruce Willis and Jane March, directed by Academy Award-nominated director Richard Rush.

The summer of 1995 saw the release of two Cinergi productions. The first was Die Hard: With a Vengeance, which is the third installment of the highly successful Die Hard series. The film starred Bruce Willis, Jeremy Irons and Samuel Jackson and was directed by John McTiernan. The film grossed over $365 million worldwide. The second summer release was Judge Dredd starring Sylvester Stallone and directed by Danny Cannon.

Also in 1995, Cinergi released two more highly-anticipated films. The first was The Scarlet Letter starring Demi Moore, Gary Oldman and Robert Duvall. Based on Nathaniel Hawthorne's story of illicit love in Puritan New England, the film was directed by two-time Academy Award nominee Roland Joffe. Next to be released was Nixon, starring Anthony Hopkins as the beleaguered president. The film chronicles the life and controversial career of Richard M. Nixon, and was directed by Academy Award winner Oliver Stone. Nixon was released in December and received four Academy Award nominations.

Another Cinergi release, Evita, which starred Madonna and Antonio Banderas, won the Golden Globe for Best Picture of 1996. The story of Evita Peron, the wife of Argentina's former dictator Juan Peron, was directed by Alan Parker. Together with Summit Entertainment, Andrew Vajna financed the above pictures overseas by pre-selling the foreign rights.

In 1998, Vajna took Cinergi private by buying out the public stockholders. Thereafter, he re-teamed with his former partner, Mario Kassar, to form C2 Pictures. Together, they intend to once again develop, produce and sell the event-oriented motion pictures for which they are both known. Last year, they produced I Spy starring Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson, and have many other pictures on their current slate.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Andrew G. Vajna Facts

OccupationProducer
BirthdayAugust 1, 1944 (73)
SignLeo
BirthplaceBudapest, Hungary

Selected Filmography

Pilot
Basic Instinct 2
An American Rhapsody
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Szabadság, szerelem / 2006 / Children of Glory
Total Recall
Narrow Margin
Deep Star Six
Mountains of the Moon
Rambo: First Blood II
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