LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sony Corp.'s movie studio says it is launching a film production joint venture with Tom Rothman, the former chief executive of rival Fox Filmed Entertainment.

The venture is to be called TriStar Productions, and will produce up to four movies per year. TriStar Pictures, an existing banner under the Sony Pictures umbrella, will continue to release other films acquired by Sony.

TriStar Productions will also develop TV series for Sony Pictures Television.

Sony is providing financing for the films and will keep worldwide distribution rights.

In 18 years at Fox, Rothman oversaw hits including "Avatar." He left at the end of last year in a reorganization that put Jim Gianopulos in charge of the movie studio.