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Lionsgate Films (formerly known as Cinépix Film Properties) is an American[2] film production and film distribution studio, headquartered in Santa Monica and founded in Canada, and is the flagship division of Lionsgate Entertainment. It is the largest and most successful mini-major film studio in North America. It focuses on foreign and independent films and has distributed various commercially successful film series, including The Hunger Games, Rambo, Divergent, The Punisher (prior to Marvel Studios acquiring its rights back in 2013), John Wick, Saw, Madea, Blair Witch, Now You See Me, Hostel, The Expendables, Sinister, The Twilight Saga and Step Up (both partially, via the firm's 2012 acquisition of two franchise's distributor Summit Entertainment; the latter was distributed by Disney's Touchstone Pictures since its first film).

Lionsgate Films
Formerly
Cinépix Film Properties (1962-1998)
Division
IndustryMotion pictures
PredecessorTrimark Pictures
Artisan Entertainment
Founded1962; 57 years ago (1962)
FoundersJohn Dunning
Andre Link
Frank Giustra
Headquarters,
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
ProductsMotion pictures
ServicesFilm distribution
OwnerLionsgate
DivisionsLionsgate Premiere
Subsidiaries
Websitewww.lionsgate.com/movies/

Contents

History

Cinépix

Cinépix was founded by John Dunning and Andre Link in 1962.[3] Cinépix, based in Montreal, was a Canadian independent motion picture company that released English- and French-language films in Canada and the United States.[4]

Initially a distribution company, Cinépix's first production was the 1969 erotic drama Valérie, which earned $1 million at the box office.[5] Cinépix produced early work by David Cronenberg (Shivers) and Ivan Reitman (Meatballs).[6] The company also distributed art-house films including the grunge rock documentary Hype, Vincent Gallo's Buffalo '66, and SICK: The Life & Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist.[7]

From 1989 to 1994, Cinépix was partners with Famous Players in C/FP Distribution, which was renamed Cinépix Film Properties (C/FP). In 1994, Cinépix bought Famous Players' stake in the organization.[8]

By 1997, Cinépix had a New York-based U.S. distribution arm and owned 56 percent of Ciné-Groupe, an animated film production company.[7]

Lions Gate Films

Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation (LGEC) was formed in the summer of 1997 by Frank Guistra, a banker who had dabbled in feature film financing. LGEC purchased Cinépix and kept its leadership.[7] Cinépix was renamed Lions Gate Films on January 13, 1998[9]. LGEC also purchased the Vancouver-based North Shore Studios, which became Lions Gate Studios.[7] In June 1998, LGE purchased International Movie Group, whose film library included Jean-Claude Van Damme's Kickboxer.[7]

Its first major box office success was American Psycho in 2000, which began a trend of producing and distributing films too controversial for the major American studios, including Lolita (1997). Other notable films included Affliction (1998), Gods and Monsters (1998),[7] Dogma (1999), American Psycho (2000), Cube 2: Hypercube (2002), Open Water (2003), Saw (2004), The Punisher (2004) and the Michael Moore documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004), which had been the studio's highest-grossing film until the release of The Hunger Games in 2012.[10]

In 2000, Giustra left the firm and it was taken over by Jon Feltheimer and Tom Ortenberg. They decided to focus on the profits of videos and DVDs and began buying struggling firms that controlled large libraries. The two most notable acquisitions were Trimark Holdings (650 titles) in 2000[7] and Artisan Entertainment in 2003.[11] The Trimark purchase also included CinemaNow, a broadband streaming website, where Lionsgate could feature its own movies.[7] These two purchases along with others gave Lions Gate a large DVD library, which includes Total Recall, Reservoir Dogs, On Golden Pond, Young Guns, Dirty Dancing and It's a Wonderful Life, in some cases via output deals with StudioCanal, ITC/Carlton, and Republic Pictures (the result of prior licensing deals with Lions Gate's home video predecessor Artisan).[citation needed]

Lions Gate occasionally co-produces films with major studios. For example, Lions Gate teamed with Miramax Films for the 2004 sequel Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights and with Paramount Pictures for 2002's Narc and 2004's The Prince & Me which was given a studio credit. Lions Gate was also a silent partner in 20th Century Fox's 2004 sci-fi film The Day After Tomorrow. Also in 2004, Lions Gate joined forces with United Artists in producing Hotel Rwanda.[12]

On August 1, 2005, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp acquired the entire library of Modern Entertainment.[13][14] On October 17, 2005, Lionsgate acquired Redbus Film Distribution for $35 million[15][16] and became Lionsgate UK on February 23, 2006.[17][18] Following this, Zygi Kamasa, who co-founded Redbus with Simon Franks, became CEO of Lionsgate UK and Europe.

In 2007, Joe Drake became Lionsgate’s co-COO and motion picture group president.[19] Lionsgate cut back its annual production by four in February 2009.[20]

The Lionsgate film The Hunger Games grossed $68.3 million when it premiered at the U.S. box office on March 23, 2012. It was the best opening day ever for a non-sequel and the fifth highest of all time. Of that total, $19.7 million was earned via Thursday midnight screenings.[21] In its first weekend, The Hunger Games grossed $152.5 million, making it Lionsgate's highest-grossing film after just three days.[22]

On January 13, 2012, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp acquired Summit Entertainment, the studio behind the Twilight and Step Up franchises for $412.5 million.[23] On May 3, 2012, Lionsgate Films made an agreement with CodeBlack Enterprises' CEO Jeff Clanagan to create CodeBlack Films, based at Lionsgate.[24] Drake left in 2012 to found Good Universe.[19]

On January 16, 2013, Lionsgate announced a low-budget film division to be led by John Sacchi. The division will release films under $2.5 million. Sacchi has recently looked to acquire such films as Rock Bottom Creek (2012) and other independently made films as well.[25] On Thursday, November 22, 2013, Lions Gate released The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. In its opening weekend, the movie grossed $158 million at the US box office, surpassing its predecessor, which generated $150 million in its opening weekend.[26] The film had a budget of $130 million, breaking even soon after its opening, and making it profitable. Critics highly praised the film; it received a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 89% "certified fresh".[27] The third film in the Hunger Games franchise, Mockingjay- Part 1, was released in 2014. The final film of the franchise, Mockingjay - Part 2, was released in 2015.

On April 1, 2015, according to Deadline, Lions Gate announced it has created its new label, Lionsgate Premiere. This new label will handle up to 15 releases a year, targeting young audiences at theaters and digital outlets. The new label, part of the company’s diversification effort, will incorporate Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment titles and then specialize in "innovative multiplatform and other release strategies" to reach "affinity audiences with branded content and targeted marketing." Marketing and Research SVP Jean McDowell will handle marketing, with distribution to be run by Adam Sorensen, who currently manages Western Sales.[28]

On May 2, 2016, according to Deadline Hollywood, Lions Gate announced it has teaming with eight international companies to launch the GlobalGate Entertainment consortium. GlobalGate will produce and distribute local-language films in markets around the world. Lionsgate said Monday it has partnered with international entertainment executives Paul Presburger, William Pfeiffer and Clifford Werber to launch GlobalGate.[29]

Drake returned in October 2017 as Liongate's film group chairman. The company laid off staff for theatrical marketing and publicity in its New York office and moved to end its participation as a partner in CodeBlack Films in January 2019. The cut backs were due to the failures of Robin Hood and comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me.[19]

Highest-grossing films

Rank Title Year Domestic gross Notes
1 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire 2013 $424,011,746
2 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 2014 $337,000,000
3 The Hunger Games 2012 $408,400,000
4 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 2012 $292,324,737 Distributed by Summit Entertainment.
5 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 2015 $281,723,902
6 The Day After Tomorrow 2004 $186,740,799 Released by 20th Century Fox.
7 La La Land 2016 $151,101,803 Distributed by Summit Entertainment.
8 Divergent 2014 $150,947,895 Distributed by Summit Entertainment.
9 John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum 2019 $143,956,905
10 Wonder 2017 $131,721,894

References

  1. ^ Lieberman, David (2016-05-02). "Lionsgate Partners With Execs At Film Initiative Targeting Global Local Markets". Deadline. Retrieved 2016-11-01.
  2. ^ "LGE Company Snapshot". CorporateInformation. Wright Investors Service. Archived from the original on January 14, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
  3. ^ June 25, Patricia Bailey; 2007. "Andre Link & John Dunning — Feature Film: Maverick producer-distrib team scored at box office". Retrieved 2019-04-24.
  4. ^ Staff, Variety; Staff, Variety (2011-09-23). "John Dunning dies at 84". Variety. Retrieved 2019-04-24.
  5. ^ "John Dunning, Canadian Film Pioneer, Dies at 84". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-04-24.
  6. ^ theodin.co.uk, Philip Beel. "Canuxploitation Article: From Cinépix to Cineplex: The Studios that Dripped Maple Syrup". canuxploitation.com.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h "Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation – Company History". Funding Universe. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  8. ^ 29, Pamela Cuthbert August; 1994. "C/FP buy". playbackonline.ca.
  9. ^ Roman, Monica; Roman, Monica (1998-01-14). "Cinepix Film morphs into Lions Gate Ent". Variety. Retrieved 2019-04-24.
  10. ^ Kilday, Gregg (March 23, 2012). "'Hunger Games' to Pass Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 9/11' as Lionsgate's Top-Grossing Movie". The Hollywood Reporter.
  11. ^ Bates, James (October 28, 2003). "Lions Gate to Buy Artisan Entertainment". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  12. ^ "A man in the middle of madness". Los Angeles Times. 2004-12-22. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  13. ^ "Indiantelevision.com" Lions Gate Entertainment Corp acquires movies from Modern Entertainment indiantelevision.com, Retrieved on June 14, 2012
  14. ^ "Modern Entertainment sells titles to Lions Gate". L.A. Biz. July 14, 2005. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  15. ^ "Strategic Acquisition Enables Lions Gate to Self-Distribute in the UK and Adds to Company's Library and Pipeline". PRNewswire. October 18, 2005.
  16. ^ "Redbus - Sale of Redbus Film Distribution to Lions Gate Entertainment Corp". Slaughter and May. October 17, 2005.
  17. ^ Mitchell, Wendy (February 23, 2006). "Redbus rebranded as Lionsgate UK". Screen Daily.
  18. ^ Dawtrey, Adam (February 23, 2006). "Redbus now Lionsgate". Variety.
  19. ^ a b c Lang, Brent (January 11, 2019). "Lionsgate Laying Off Staff, Ends Codeblack Films Partnership". Variety. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  20. ^ "Lions Gate, Relativity ink distribution deal". Seattle Times. April 27, 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  21. ^ McClintock, Pamela (March 24, 2012). "Box Office Report: 'Hunger Games' Finishes Friday With Massive $68.3 Mil". The Hollywood Reporter.
  22. ^ "Lionsgate The Hunger Games Movies". Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  23. ^ Fritz, Ben (January 13, 2012). "Lions Gate acquires Summit Entertainment for $412.5 million". Los Angeles Times.
  24. ^ Vlessing, Etan (May 3, 2012). "Lionsgate Pacts With CodeBlack CEO Jeff Clanagan". Hollywood Reporter.
  25. ^ McNary, Dave (January 16, 2013). "Lionsgate taps Sacchi to head even-lower budget films arm". Variety.
  26. ^ Steinberg, Jacob. "Hunger Games is a Huge Success, Yet Lions Gate Sells Off". Seeking Alpha. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  27. ^ "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  28. ^ Lieberman, David (1 April 2015). "Lionsgate Introduces Distribution Unit To Target Next-Gen Audiences". Deadline Hollywood.
  29. ^ Lieberman, David (May 2, 2016). "Lionsgate Partners With Execs At Film Initiative Targeting Global Local Markets". Deadine.

External links