Lionsgate Entertainment

By Charles Reiff

Lionsgate production logo, courtesy of www.hollywoodreporter.com

Founded in 1997, Lionsgate is now a global entertainment corporation that handles film production and distribution, as well as television programming and syndication. Lionsgate also has a strong presence in home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, and new channel platforms.

Once known as Lions Gate Entertainment, the corporation changed its name to “Lionsgate” in 2005. The company stated in a release: “The simplification of Lions Gate into the single word ‘Lionsgate’ represents the ongoing unification of the company’s diversified motion picture, television, home entertainment, family entertainment, documentary film, music publishing and video-on-demand businesses into a single, highly recognizable brand” [13].

Lionsgate has grown immensely in the past few years. In the past decade alone, it has increased revenues eightfold, from $180 million to almost $1.6 billion, its theatrical box office market share tenfold, the size of its library by a multiple of 15, and its television revenues are now 50 times what they once were, from $8 million in 2000 to $351 million in 2011 [1].

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games, courtesy of imdb.com

Lionsgate enjoyed unprecedented success with its film The Hunger Games, which has earned $686.5 million around the world in the few months since its March 23rd premier, grossing $408 million at the North American box office. This puts it at the 3rd largest U.S. film of the year and the 13th highest grossing film of all time [12].

 

Key Executives [2]

Jon Feltheimer: Chief Executive Officer and Director

James Keegan: Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administration Officer

Dr. Mark H. Rachesky, M.D.: Chairman of the Board

Michael Burns: Vice Chairman and Director

Wayne Levin: General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Corporate Operations

Brian Goldsmith: Co-Chief Operating Oficer

Steven Beeks: Co-Chief Operating Officer and President, Motion Picture Group

 

Recent News

September

The Possession, courtesy of imdb.com

September 3rd, 2012

Lionsgate’s The Possession, a terrifying horror film about a young girl who’s body has been taken over by an evil spirit, was the top ticket seller at the box office over Labor Day weekend. The horror film grossed $21.3 million over the four day-weekend, making it the second-highest Labor Day opening ever, behind only Halloween, which opened with $30.6 million during 2007’s Labor Day weekend. The film was produced by Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures with a budget of only $14 million, and stars Jeffery Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick.

To read the full LA Times article on 2012’s labor day weekend ticket sales, click here [11].

 September 17th, 2012

Celestial Tiger Entertainment, one of the largest independent entertainment companies in Asia, announced that it has expanded its content distribution deal with Lionsgate to cover all of East Asia. Now Lionsgate will be represented by Celestial Tiger Entertainment in Greater China and Southeast Asia, and CTE will be distributing all Lionsgate television content and feature films to Japan and Korea [8].

To read the full article by Yahoo! Finance, click here [8].

October

October 5th, 2012

Brian Goldsmith, after serving as executive vice president of corporate development and strategy since 2008, was promoted to co-chief operating officer, alongside Steve Beeks, to handle corporate development for the studio’s platform of channels and digital projects [7]. Goldsmith was recognized for his work in Lionsgate’s acquisition of Summit Entertainment in January, as well as the partnerships with Viacom and MGM in the Epix channel, Sony and Comcast in the FEARnet channel, as well as the output deal with Celestial Tiger Entertainment in Asia [7]. “Brian played a leadership role in many of the initiatives that made 2012 a transformative year for us,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer and vice chairman Michael Burns [7].

For the full article from Variety, click here [7].

October 30th, 2012

Domino’s, a leading pizza franchise that specializes in lightning-fast delivery, made a video-on-demand deal with Lionsgate U.K., in which customers who order pizza from the Domino’s website will also be able to instantly watch Lionsgate titles online. Domino’s sales and marketing director Simon Wallis is excited about their move with the video-on-demand service, as he described pizza and film as “a match made in heaven” [9]. Touching on the service’s universal appeal, Wallis said: “we pride ourselves on offering a vast choice when it comes to pizza, and the same is true of Domino’s Pizza Box Office–whether you’re into action, horror, or romantic comedies, there’s something for every pizza-eating occasion” [9]

Domino’s “Pizza Box Office” venture with Lionsgate, courtesy of tqs.com

To read the full Variety article, click here [9].

 

November

November 1st, 2012

Lionsgate has made a strong active effort to sign output deals with major distributors. On November 1st the company announced a partnership with Belgium’s Belga Films for release of the studio’s titles in the Benelux. Jerome de Bethune, COO of Belga Films, said “this output agreement provides us with a consistent pipeline of some of the most commercially exiting films in the world, including the next three installments of the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise” [4].

Lionsgate has forged output deals with StudioCanal in Germany, Nordisk Films in Scandanavia, Alliance’s Aurum Producciones in Spain, Roadshow Pictures in Australia and Metropolitan Filmworks in France.

To read the full Hollywood Reporter article on the deal with Belga Films, click here [4].

To read the full Hollywood Reporter article on the deal with Metropolitan Filmworks, click here [5].

Michael Burns, courtesy of www.hollywoodreporter.com

November 5th, 2012 

Lionsgate vice chairman, Michael Burns, announced the extension of his contract through October 2017. Burns, after acquiring Summit Entertainment and having such great success with The Hunger Games, is maintaining his position as vice chairman for another five years. “We’re delighted that Michael will continue to help guide Lionsgate’s growth through 2017,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer [6].

To read the full article from The Hollywood Reporter, click here [6].

November 28th, 2012

Lionsgate, in an attempt to further create an international distribution network with top partners around the world, announced yet another output deal, this time with Russia’s West Company. The deal will allow Lionsgate films and television shows to be distributed in Russia and other nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region.”Our Lionsgate and Summit labels have both successfully partnered with West Company on numerous films in the past, including the blockbusterTwlight franchise,” said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachberger [11]. “This new output agreement for Lionsgate titles is a natural evolution of our alliance that promises significant benefits for both our companies for many years to come” [11].

To read the full press release from Yahoo! Finance, click here.

December

December 3rd, 2012

The weekend from Friday, November 30th to Sunday, December 2nd was the third weekend in a row that Breaking Dawn – Part 2–the final installment of the teen vampire Twilight saga from Lionsgate–led U.S. and Canadian ticket sales, outselling both the James Bond film Skyfall and Lincoln. As of December 3rd, according to Bloomberg’s website, this fifth film in the series has taken in $254.6 million in domestic sales, exploiting a post-Thanksgiving lull in big releases to stay on top of the box-office standings. The five Twilight films have taken in $1.33 billion in domestic theaters, according to Box Office Mojo, making it the eighth most successful film franchise of all time [10].

 

Works Cited

[1] Lionsgate http://investors.lionsgate.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=62796&p=irol-homeprofile

[2] Daily Finance http://www.dailyfinance.com/quote/nyse/lions-gate-entertainment-corp-usa/lgf/key-executives?source=esadlfltnal0001

[3] Paul Bond http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/hunger-games-boosts-lionsgate-stock-388322

[4] Etan Vlessing http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/lionsgate-inks-output-deal-belgiums-385221

[5] Etan Vlessing http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/lionsgate-signs-output-deal-frances-384726

[6] Etan Vlessing http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/lionsgate-vice-chair-michael-burns-contract-2017-386348 

[7] Jill Goldsmith http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118060342

[8] Yahoo! Finance http://finance.yahoo.com/news/celestial-tiger-entertainment-expands-content-130000096.html

[9] Variety Newsroom http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118061416

[10] Box Office Mojo http://boxofficemojo.com/search/?q=twilight

[11] Amy Kaufman http://articles.latimes.com/2012/sep/03/entertainment/la-et-ct-box-office-possession-oogieloves-lawless-20120903

[12] Yahoo! Finance http://finance.yahoo.com/news/epix-kicks-off-2013-worldwide-150000018.html

[13] Brian Brooks http://www.indiewire.com/article/film_company_lions_gate_is_now_lionsgate

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