(Santa Monica, California--September 18, 2012) Building on their multifaceted worldwide partnership and continuing the Lionsgate strategy of creating an international distribution network with blue-chip partners in major territories around the world, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, has signed a multiyear agreement with media giant STUDIOCANAL for Lionsgate films in Germany and Austria, the two companies announced today.
The two companies announced in May that STUDIOCANAL will distribute the next installment of Lionsgate's global blockbuster HUNGER GAMES franchise, THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, as well as announcing the long-term renewal of the agreement under which Lionsgate distributes the STUDIOCANAL library of more than 2,000 titles in North America. This latest agreement extends STUDIOCANAL's distribution of THE HUNGER GAMES franchise in the German-speaking territories to include MOCKINGJAY PART 1 and 2 and encompasses other films from the Lionsgate slate.
Lionsgate and STUDIOCANAL are also partnered in the Elevation Sales home entertainment joint venture in the UK and distribution of the Miramax library worldwide, and the two companies joined forces on the 2010 release of the hit horror film THE LAST EXORCISM.
"STUDIOCANAL epitomizes the kind of blue-chip partner around whom we are building our international distribution network," said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs Patrick Wachsberger and Rob Friedman. "Nobody knows our business better than they do, and their marketing prowess, brand recognition and vision will give us continuity, consistency and leadership in bringing our films to Germany and Austria for years to come."
"We're delighted to expand and extend our multifaceted global partnership with Lionsgate to encompass distribution of their film slate in the German-speaking territories," said Olivier Courson, Chairman of STUDIOCANAL.
"This agreement provides us with a pipeline of some of the most commercially exciting films in the world, including the rest of THE HUNGER GAMES franchise, from a company emerging as a major force in the global marketplace. Lionsgate titles added to our own STUDIOCANAL productions give us great visibility on our 2014-2015 line up," said STUDIOCANAL Germany CEO Rodolphe Buet.
The deal was orchestrated for Lionsgate by Wachsberger, Lionsgate International President Helen Lee Kim and Lionsgate Executive Vice President of International Legal & Business Affairs Michael Meyer, and by CEO Rodolphe Buet and Alexandra Bauermeister EVP Legal & Business Affairs at STUDIOCANAL in Germany.
The agreement complements Summit Entertainment's continuing output deal with longtime partner Telemunchen. Summit was acquired by Lionsgate in January 2012 but the Lionsgate and Summit labels remain separate.
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of primetime cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 23 shows on 16 networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men, the critically acclaimed series Weeds, Nurse Jackie and Boss, the new comedy Anger Management, which has been picked up for another 90 episodes by FX, the upcoming network series Nashville and Next Caller, the syndication successes Tyler Perry's House of Payne, its spinoff Meet the Browns, For Better Or Worse, The Wendy Williams Show, Are We There Yet? and the upcoming Orange Is The New Black, an original series for Netflix.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first installment of The Hunger Games franchise, which has already grossed nearly $700 million at the worldwide box office, The Possession, The Expendables 2, The Cabin in the Woods, Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection and Margin Call. With the January 2012 acquisition of Summit Entertainment, the Company has now added the blockbuster Twilight Saga, which has grossed more than $2.5 billion at the worldwide box office, to its current slate, giving the Company the two premier young adult franchises in the world. Recent Summit hits include Red, Letters to Juliet, Knowing and the Academy Award-winning Best Picture, The Hurt Locker.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 15,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
STUDIOCANAL is a subsidiary of the CANAL+ Group. It is one of Europe's leading companies in the market for co-production, acquisition, distribution and sale of international feature films. STUDIOCANAL is the only studio operating simultaneously in the three main European territories - France, the United Kingdom, Germany – as well as in Australia and New Zealand. The company distributes a total of more than 50 films a year. Additionally, STUDIOCANAL owns one of the most important libraries in the world, with more than 5,000 international titles.
STUDIOCANAL's Production ambitions have recently included TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY, based on John le Carre's bestseller, directed by Tomas Alfredson, starring Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Tom Hardy and produced by Working Title. The film was number one at the UK box-office for 3 weeks and grossed over $85 million worldwide.
This year STUDIOCANAL will finance the Coen's INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, with Justin Timberlake, Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and John Goodman; Susanne Bier's SERENA, starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence; Dan Mazer's hotly anticipated comedy I GIVE IT A YEAR with Rose Byrne and Simon Baker, and TWO FACES OF JANUARY based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac, currently in Production.
Beginning of next year, PADDINGTON, produced by Harry Potter's producer, David Heyman will start shooting; PADDINGTON is based on the famous, and hugely popular, bear in the duffle coat loved by families worldwide.
STUDIOCANAL also has an exclusive deal with Belgian company nWave, a European leader in 3D production. In 2012, STUDIOCANAL will release the sequel to SAMMY's adventures. SAMMY's first film, released in 2010, grossed $85 million worldwide. A documentary, AFRICAN SAFARI 3D will also follow.
Finally, in January 2012, STUDIOCANAL became a major shareholder in Tandem Communications, one of the leading European companies for international primetime Event TV productions and worldwide distribution of quality television programs (PILLARS OF THE EARTH, LABYRINTH, WORLD WITHOUT END…).