Nov 4, 2022
Celebrating its 10th anniversary year Los Angeles-based Premiere Entertainment Group (PEG) continues to move aggressively into production and has begun principal photography in Las Vegas on Dermot Mulroney action thriller Ruthless.
The company established by CEO and president Elias Axume has produced 12 high-concept, elevated features since the pandemic as it seeks to broaden its portfolio beyond the core sales business it has built up since launching in 2012.
Besides Ruthless, which follows a high school coach who takes on a human trafficking gang, PEG is in pre-production on Fireflies At El Mozote starring Paz Vega and Mena Suvari. The Salvadoran Civil War drama will shoot in El Salvador with producers Bob Yari (Crash) and Moctesuma Esparza (Selena, The Milagro Beanfield War), a PEG co-owner who established the Maya Cinemas US exhibition chain in 2005.
The production slate includes revenge thriller Palido with Kellan Lutz from The Twilight Saga franchise, Jason Patric and Cam Gigandet in Mexican cartel thriller Shrapnel, and action thriller Mojave Diamonds with MMA stars Cowboy” Cerrone, Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson – all of which are in post-production.
Among the company’s productions since the pandemic are Tom Berenger and Gigandet cyber terror thriller Black Warrant, heist revenge tale Blowback with Randy Couture, and home invasion thriller The Commando starring Mickey Rourke and Michael Jai White.
“Essentially, we are reverse engineering films,” said Axume, who works closely with Esparza and Carlos Rincon, PEG’s SVP of development. “It’s increasingly more difficult to find third-party pick-ups that satisfy buyers which is why we are now producing between four to five films per year, close to the same number that we acquire annually.”
The company maintains it core third-party sales business and introduced Lutz murder mystery thriller What Remains alongside Fireflies At El Mozote to AFM this year. “PEG can option scripts, fully finance projects, and can take partially financed projects to the finish line,” added Rincon. “We work a myriad of ways and can get fairly creative in terms of finding solutions to collaborate on projects that we like and have market potential.”
Axume continued, “Independent films financed through private equity without the guidance of a sales agent can be a crapshoot, especially if the producer lacks market experience. Often those films lack name actors or can be too much of a slow-burn to work for distributors.
Coming up on the 2023 production slate are elevated mystery thriller Released, drug traffic action film Desert Runner, coming-of-age story The Incredible Journey Of Elba, noir thriller Detour, and heist thriller Crooks.