The cop thriller Black and Blue opened with $8M this weekend, which may not sound like a lot but is a pretty good chunk of its reported $12M budget. Numbers like those have taken director Deon Taylor and his production label Hidden Empire Film Group pretty far. His previous film, The Intruder, earned $36M and was budgeted for only $7M, while comedy Meet the Blacks cost $900K and made $9M.
Now Taylor hopes to keep the momentum going with Free Agents, an NFL-based heist flick that Taylor will direct and co-write with Joe Bockol. Lionsgate has stepped up to the plate to distribute the film, banking on Taylor’s consistency and topical subject matter. The film centers on a group of NFL stars who decide to level the playing field after deciding they’ve been exploited by team ownership.
This continues Taylor’s partnership with Lionsgate as they recently picked up his noir thriller, Fatale, which is set to star Hilary Swank. Taylor has found his lane, and is quietly building an empire that could someday rival that of Tyler Perry. Worth keeping an eye on. [Deadline]