Andrew Vajna

Producer
Andrew Vajna began his entertainment career in film exhibition by purchasing theaters in the Far East. He later moved into acquisition and distribution, mainly through his Panasia Films Limited, which he founded in Hong ... Read more »
Born: 07/31/1944 in Budapest, HU

Filmography

Producer (32)

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles 2007 - 2009 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction 2006 (Movie)

(Producer)

Freedom's Fury 2006 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Szabadsag, Szerelem 2006 (Movie)

(Producer)

I Spy 2002 (Movie)

(Producer)

A Holocaust Szemei 1999 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Die Hard With A Vengeance 1995 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Judge Dredd 1995 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Nixon 1995 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Scarlet Letter 1995 (Movie)

(Producer)

Color of Night 1994 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Tombstone 1993 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Medicine Man 1992 (Movie)

(Producer)

Air America 1990 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Jacob's Ladder 1990 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Mountains of the Moon 1990 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Narrow Margin 1990 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Total Recall 1990 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

DeepStar Six 1989 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Johnny Handsome 1989 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Iron Eagle II 1988 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Iron Eagle II 1988 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Rambo III 1988 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Red Heat 1988 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Angel Heart 1987 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Extreme Prejudice 1987 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Rambo: First Blood Part II 1985 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

First Blood 1982 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Victory 1981 (Movie)

(Associate Producer)

The Amateur 1980 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Changeling 1978 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Silent Partner 1977 (Movie)

(Producer)
Actor (2)

My America 2011 (Movie)

(Himself)

Masters of Fantasy: Paul Verhoeven 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Andrew Vajna began his entertainment career in film exhibition by purchasing theaters in the Far East. He later moved into acquisition and distribution, mainly through his Panasia Films Limited, which he founded in Hong Kong. While in business there, he met Mario Kassar, with whom Vajna would make the move to the big time in Hollywood. In 1976, Vajna sold Panasia to Raymond Chow's Golden Harvest Company, and he and Kassar founded Carolco Pictures.<p>At first, Carolco specialized in the financing, distribution and sales of films, doing especially well in foreign markets. Vajna and Kassar also began collaborating with other producers, making their debut working with Joel Michaels and Garth Drabinsky on two fairly worthy Canadian films, the cat-and-mouse crime drama, "The Silent Partner" (1978) and the horror film "The Changeling" (1979). They tried for something bigger with their first full-fledged US credit, but the war drama "Escape to Victory" (1981), in which they first worked with Sylvester Stallone, was not one of director John Huston's better efforts. After a few more minor efforts, Carolco hit the box-office jackpot with "First Blood" (1982) and even more so with its sequel "Rambo: First Blood Part II" (1985), both violent, hyper-macho Vietnam War genre fare which struck a chord with action- mongering fans if not with critics. Vajna and Kassar continued in a similar vein with greater and lesser degrees of success, working with stars like Nick Nolte, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Louis Gossett Jr on such films as "Extreme Prejudice" (1987), "Rambo III" (1988), "Red Heat" (1988), "Iron Eagle II" (1988) and "Total Recall" (1990). Two of the duo's best and least typical films were a return to horror for the surprisingly haunting "Jacob's Ladder" (1990) and the compelling historical biopic of explorer Sir Richard Burton, "Mountains of the Moon" (1990).<p>Although Vajna served as producer on all of these films, he sold his share of Carolco in 1989 and ended his collaboration with Kassar. By 1990, Vajna had set up a new company, Cinergi Productions, and had arranged an exclusive five-year distribution deal with Disney to handle the two or three pictures per year his boutique-sized operation would create. He also set up the Summit Group, a joint venture among Cinergi, Bernd Eichinger's Constantin Films and Arnon Milchan's Regency International to handle foreign sales and distribution on their own and selected other projects. Vajna's first Cinergi production through Disney was "Medicine Man" (1992); it was not especially well received by critics but Sean Connery helped boost it to modest box-office success. Vajna has produced his films in a grand manner somewhat atypical for the careful budgeting style of Disney. He has also tried to broaden the range of his films' subject matter. Vajna missed, though, with the erotic thriller "Color of Night" (1994), Oliver Stone's biopic "Nixon" and a misguided remake of "The Scarlet Letter" (both 1995). Indeed, his most popular Cinergi film was an example of his old mainstay, the action sequel, "Die Hard with a Vengeance" (also 1995).

EDUCATION

University of California at Los Angeles

Los Angeles , California

Milestones

1998

Reteamed with Mario Kassar

1997

Cinergi Pictures Entertainment, Inc liquidated; Disney purchased the film library

1992

First Cinergi release, "Medicine Man"

1991

Created the Summit Group, a joint venture among Cinergi, Constantin Films (headed by Bernd Eichinger) and Regency Intl. (headed by Arnon Milchan) to handle foreign distribution rights for films they produce, as well as select other films

1990

Formed Cinergi Productions Inc.

1990

Release of last Carolco Productions he was associated with as executive producer: "Air America", "The Narrow Margin", "Mountains of the Moon", "Total Recall" and "Jacob's Ladder"

1990

Arranged an exclusive five-year distribution and co-financing deal with Disney

1989

Sold interest in Carolco to Kassar (Decemember)

1982

Founder and first president of American Film Marketing Association

1978

First feature as producer, "The Silent Partner" (also first Carolco production)

1976

Founded Carolco, financing and distribution company with Mario Kassar (later moved into production)

Founded Panasia Film, Ltd., distribution, acquisition and film representation company, in Hong Kong (sold to Raymond Chow's Golden Harvest Company, 1976)

Formed Intercom, a Budapest-based distribution and production company

Began career as exhibitor in Far East

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