(Vancouver, BC--November 28, 2012) As part of its strategy of establishing output agreements with leading distributors around the world, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, has forged an output deal with Russia's West Company for distribution of Lionsgate titles in Russia and the other nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region, the two companies announced today.
The announcement came on the heels of the blockbuster opening of Summit Entertainment's THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN – PART 2, which was distributed by West Company in Russia and the other CIS nations and grossed a franchise-best $22 million in its opening weekend in that territory, the best nonholiday opening day in the territory's history and the second biggest opening in the territory all time for any film. The film also drew three million admissions in its opening weekend, more than any other film in the territory's history.
"We're delighted to expand and extend Lionsgate's longstanding relationship with West Company in what has become one of our top territories," said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger. "Our Lionsgate and Summit labels have both successfully partnered with West Company on numerous films in the past, including the blockbuster TWILIGHT franchise. 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."
"We're thrilled to continue working with Patrick, Rob and the entire Lionsgate team," said Tigran Dokhalov, President of West Company. "This output agreement provides us with a consistent pipeline of some of the most commercially exciting films in the world from a studio that has emerged as a major force in the global marketplace."
West Company has previously partnered with Lionsgate on titles such as WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING, POSSESSION, SILENT HILL 2 and with Summit on the distribution of the TWILIGHT and STEP UP franchises in the CIS as well as distribution of the upcoming third party titles TRANSCENDENCE, PRISONERS, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES and PAWN SACRIFICE.
The deal with West Company adds to Lionsgate's recent series of output agreements with leading partners such as StudioCanal in Germany, Nordisk in Scandinavia, Alliance's Aurum Producciones S.A. in Spain, Metropolitan in France, Belga Films in Benelux and Roadshow Films in Australia as well as a joint venture distribution partnership with IDC in Latin America.
The deal was shepherded by Lionsgate Senior Vice President of International Crystal Bourbeau and Maitreya Yasuda, Lionsgate Executive Vice President of International Contracts & Legal Affairs.
Summit Entertainment will continue its longstanding output agreement with Central Partnership in the CIS. Lionsgate acquired Summit in January 2012, but the Lionsgate and Summit labels continue to operate on a separate basis.
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 25 shows on 18 networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men, the critically acclaimed series Weeds, Nurse Jackie, the new comedy Anger Management, which has been picked up for another 90 episodes by FX, the broadcast network series Nashville, which has been picked up for a full 22 episode season by ABC, the syndication successes Tyler Perry's House of Payne, its spinoff Meet the Browns, 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 grossed nearly $700 million at the worldwide box office, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, which achieved the biggest worldwide opening weekend in TWILIGHT franchise history, The Possession, Sinister, The Expendables 2, The Cabin in the Woods, Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection and Arbitrage. With the January 2012 acquisition of Summit Entertainment, the Company has now added the blockbuster Twilight Saga, which has grossed more than $3.0 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.
ABOUT WEST COMPANY:
West Company – a major independent feature film distribution company in Russia and the CIS territories -- was founded in 1994 by Tigran Dokhalov. The company has worked with Summit Entertainment since 1995 on titles like Color Of Night, Tombstone, Nixon, Evita, Up Close and Personal, Bound, American Pie and U-571. The company owns one of the oldest video labels, West Video. The company has had output relationships with Castle Rock (1996-1999), Largo Entertainment (1995-2001), New Line International (1997-1999), Miramax International (1998-2005) and TWC (2005-2008). In 2012 West Company ranked number 6 in the Russian theatrical market after all major studios with an approximate market share of 6%.