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Lionsgate Acquires ‘Down A Dark Hall’ From ‘Twilight’ Producers & Temple Hill

By | Wednesday July 30, 2014 @ 10:19am PDT

Lionsgate Acquires ‘Down A Dark Hall’ From ‘Twilight’ Producers & Temple HillLionsgate has acquired rights to Down A Dark Hall based on the 1974 YA bestseller from Lois Duncan (I Know What You Did Last Summer) with Rodrigo Cortés attached to direct. Screenwriter Michael Goldbach wrote the original adaptation for the screen, and Chris Sparling (Sea of Trees, Buried) has come aboard to also write on the film. Twilight author Stephenie Meyer and Meghan Hibbett will produce via their Fickle Fish Films along with Temple Hill Entertainment’s Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen. Meyer optioned the book last year and brought on Goldbach to write the adaptation.
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Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer Made $63.6M Last Year, +406% With New Contract

By | Tuesday July 29, 2014 @ 2:22pm PDT

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer Made $63.6M Last Year, +406% With New ContractThe company is careful to note in the proxy filed today at the SEC that CEO Jon Feltheimer‘s new package looks especially big because it has to count the full value of equity that actually vests over several years. Still, the sum for the fiscal year ending in March is extraordinary — and likely will make him one of the nation’s top paid CEOs this year. The Lionsgate chief’s package consists of: $1.5M salary, $11.7M stock awards, $41.5M option awards, $8.8M non-equity incentives, and $197,201 in other compensation. The “other” category includes $23,884 in club membership dues and $170,385 for personal use of the company aircraft.

Lionsgate’s board credits Feltheimer for leading “another strong year for the Company,” which included hits led by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Now You See Me as well as gains at Epix and a new partnership with CBS to run TVGN. Lionsgate shares only rose 6%  in the fiscal year, though, as investors began to wonder whether the company could sustain its hot streak after 2015 when the Hunger Games series ends.

Last year, Vice Chairman Michael Burns’ compensation stood out, at $28.2M with a new contract. This year it came in at $8.5M.

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1′

Hot Trailer: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1′Lionsgate has released the minute-long teaser trailer for its Hunger Games and Catching Fire sequel Mockingjay – Part 1, which it tantalized Comic-Con fans with this weekend in San Diego. In the third installment of the dystopian action franchise, Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) plot the next move for their rebellion and its iconic new poster girl, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence).

Catch all of Deadline’s Comic-Con 2014 coverage here.

Lionsgate built an impressive off-site fan experience at Comic-Con this year. Rather than unveil its latest look at Mockingjay in Hall H, the studio partnered with Samsung on a slickly-outfitted space designed like the Capitol, located inside the Hard Rock Hotel, where fans walked through interactive Hunger Games and Samsung co-branded activities and got the first look at the below teaser. The film hits theaters November 21. Watch now: Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Dear White People’

Hot Trailer: ‘Dear White People’Written and directed by Justin Simien, Dear White People takes a satirical look at race relations in the age of Obama. Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson, Teyonah Parris, Brandon P. Bell, Kyle Gallner, Malcolm Barrett, Brittany Curran, Marque Richardson, and Dennis Haysbert star in the Sundance prize winner that follows a group of black students as they navigate campus life and racial politics at a predominantly white college. Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions will release the film October 17. Check out the first official trailer:

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Alibaba, Lionsgate In China Streaming Deal; Discovery Western Europe Hires BBC Veteran; More

Global Showbiz Briefs: Alibaba, Lionsgate In China Streaming Deal; Discovery Western Europe Hires BBC Veteran; MoreIn a further push into China’s entertainment sphere, e-commerce giant Alibaba has pacted with Lionsgate to launch Lionsgate Entertainment World, a subscription streaming service for the mainland. The service will be available exclusively through Alibaba’s set-top boxes and will give users access to high-profile Lionsgate titles including Divergent (which has not had a theatrical release in China), pics from the Twilight and Hunger Games franchises, and TV series The Royals, Nashville and Mad Men. The deal gives Lionsgate bigger exposure in the fast-growing Chinese market where many consumers watch content online — which has traditionally flown lower under the radar of the Middle Kingdom’s famous censors. Alibaba filed for a U.S. IPO earlier this year and recently took a majority stake in ChinaVision Media Group, now Alibaba Pictures Group, as part of its bid to expand. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company has also recently approached Chinese film studios about creating or acquiring content for its online service, and that it is eyeing further investment in local studios. Launch of Lionsgate Entertainment World is expected next month. David U. Lee, founder and president of Leeding Media, helped orchestrate the agreement. Read More »

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J.C. Chandor To Helm ‘Deepwater Horizon’, Gulf Oil Rig Explosion Survival Tale

Mike Fleming

J.C. Chandor To Helm ‘Deepwater Horizon’, Gulf Oil Rig Explosion Survival TaleMargin Call writer-director J.C. Chandor is in talks to next helm Deepwater Horizon, the big-scale drama being mobilized by Lionsgate, Summit Entertainment and Participant Media for a winter shoot. The drama focuses on the April 20, 2010 explosion of the oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that caused a massive offshore oil spill that created the second-largest U.S. environmental disaster. Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian are producing. Matthew Michael Carnahan wrote the most recent draft.

jc chandorThe film took root at Summit and Participant two years ago, when they acquired feature rights to The New York Times article titled “Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hour,” published on December 25, 2010 and written by David Barstow, David Rohde, and Stephanie Saul. There was a heavy bidding battle for the property. Summit and Participant Media teamed on the deal and Matthew Sand wrote the first draft. The rig was owned and operated by Transocean and drilling for BP in the Macondo Prospect oil field about 40 miles southeast of the Louisiana coast. The movie isn’t a morality tale as much as it is the survival story and the courage shown by those who worked on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. More than 100 were on the rig when things turned bad. Despite their attempts to prevent disaster, the rig blew, and the explosion killed 11 workers and injured 16 others. Read More »

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David Heyman To Produce, James Schamus Adapting Lionsgate’s Jesus Mythbuster ‘Zealot’

David Heyman To Produce, James Schamus Adapting Lionsgate’s Jesus Mythbuster ‘Zealot’EXCLUSIVE: Religion-themed pics are all the rage, and I’ve learned that Gravity and Harry Potter producer David Heyman is set to produce the adaptation of Reza Aslan’s Zealot: The Life And Times Of Jesus Of Nazareth. The bestseller was acquired by Lionsgate in December, and former Focus Features chief James Schamus is penning the adaptation.

Iranian-American writer and scholar Aslan’s book was published in 2013 and named one of the best of the year by Publishers Weekly. It’s a historical account of the life of Jesus, analyzing the various religious perspectives on him as well as the creation of Christianity. Set in 1st century Palestine, the story challenges long-held assumptions about the Galilean. Zealot“Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Dr. Aslan sheds light on one of history’s most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived,” Lionsgate said when it picked up the title. Aslan added at the time that his objective in writing the book was to “illuminate the life of Jesus in a humanistic, as opposed to religious, context.” While Schamus pens the transfer, I hear that top directors have expressed interest.

Heyman will produce with Jeff Clifford. The pair also is teamed on The Queen Of The Tearling, the adaptation of Erika Johansen’s upcoming novel that’s part of a trilogy to be published by HarperCollins this year. Mark L Smith, who co-wrote Alejandro … Read More »

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Lionsgate Extends Distribution Alliance With StudioCanal

By | Monday July 7, 2014 @ 8:02am PDT

Lionsgate Extends Distribution Alliance With StudioCanalThe Berlin-based media giant will continue to distribute Lionsgate films in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in the new multi-year agreement, the companies say this morning. The output deal begins in Germany on November 20 with the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1. It also will include the upcoming Johnny Depp film Mortdecai, and the live action Power Rangers films. Under the previous arrangement, Studiocanal “was a major contributor to The Hunger Games franchise’s evolution into a global phenomenon,” Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-chairs Patrick Wachsberger and Rob Friedman say in this morning’s release. The second film in the series, Catching Fire, “more than doubled the box office performance of the first Hunger Games film in Germany.”

Concurrently, Studiocanal Germany extended its TV licensing deal with ProSiebenSat.1 which serves free TV channels in Germany, Austria, and German-speaking Switzerland.  Lionsgate releases will become the “centerpiece” of the TV arrangements, the companies say.

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Hot Trailer: Kristen Wiig & Bill Hader In ‘The Skeleton Twins’

By | Monday June 30, 2014 @ 3:46pm PDT

Hot Trailer: Kristen Wiig & Bill Hader In ‘The Skeleton Twins’Twins Maggie and Milo have been estranged for a decade, but a surprise reunion has them re-examining their lives and relationship in this R-rated dramedy. Longtime Saturday Night Live colleagues Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader star as the titular sibs in The Skeleton Twins, which won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for Craig Johnson and Mark Heyman. Johnson also directed. Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell and Boyd Holbrook co-star. Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions will open the film, which counts the Duplass brother among its exec producers, in theaters on September 19 — the same day fellow SNL veteran Tina Fey’s This Is Where I Leave You bows wide. Here’s a look:

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Hot Trailer: Bruce Willis & Jason Patric In ‘The Prince’

By | Thursday June 26, 2014 @ 6:30pm PDT

Hot Trailer: Bruce Willis & Jason Patric In ‘The Prince’Jason Patric stars in the ensemble action thriller as a long-retired assassin who is pulled back into the life when someone grabs his daughter. Waiting for him in New Orleans is crime boss Omar (Bruce Willis), who has a score to settle that goes back 20 years. John Cusack, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Jessica Lowndes, Johnathon Schaech, Gia Mantegna and South Korean actor-singer Rain (aka Jung Ji-hoon) co-star in The Prince from Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films, Grindstone Entertainment and director Brian A. Miller. Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore penned the pic, which opens day-and-date August 22 in theaters and VOD. Check it out:

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Hot Teaser Trailer: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1′

By | Wednesday June 25, 2014 @ 8:25pm PDT

Hot Teaser Trailer: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1′“Panem today, Panem tomorrow, Panem forever.” That’s how President Snow (Donald Sutherland) ends his menacing monologue in this teaser for the third installment of the blockbuster YA-adapted franchise. Bottom line in his Capitol TV address: Obey. Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 hits theaters November 21. Here’s our first taste:

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Mel Gibson Set For Karlovy Vary Honor; Lionsgate Taps London-Based Sales Directors

By | Tuesday June 24, 2014 @ 10:00pm PDT

Global Showbiz Briefs: Mel Gibson Set For Karlovy Vary Honor; Lionsgate Taps London-Based Sales DirectorsKarlovy Vary Fest To Present Its Highest Award To Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson will receive the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival‘s top award for his “many years of artistic engagement in international cinema”. The actor-helmer-producer will present a screening of the 2006 film Apocalypto, his most recent directorial effort. Gibson’s next acting gig is in action-comedy sequel The Expendables 3, and he is filming the lead role in Blood Father. The 49th Karlovy Vary fest is set for July 4-12 in the Czech Republic resort town west of Prague.

Lionsgate Hires Pair Of Sales Directors In UK
LionsgateLogoLionsgate said today that it has tapped Mark James as Director of Sales, Central & Eastern Europe, and Fabio-Etienne Tinchant as Director of Sales for Greece, Turkey, Africa, Middle-East, Spain and Portugal. The pair will be based in the mini-major’s London office, reporting to Roberta Ibba-Hartog. James was Sales Manager CEE & Middle East at CBS and before that served as NBC Universal Channels Acquisitions Manager for CEE. Tinchant was ITV Global Entertainment’s Sales Director for South East EMEA.

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‘Think Like A Man’ Duo To Script Lionsgate’s ‘Instructions Not Included’ Remake

‘Think Like A Man’ Duo To Script Lionsgate’s ‘Instructions Not Included’ RemakeEXCLUSIVE: As the sequel to their 2012 Steve Harvey book adaptation Think Like A Man hits theaters today, the writing team of Keith Merryman and David A. Newman have been hired to adapt another hit property. They’ll script Lionsgate’s remake of the Spanish-language comedy Instructions Not Included, about a playboy whose life is rocked when an old fling leaves a baby on his doorstep. The original film starred Mexican superstar Eugenio Derbez and became the highest-grossing Spanish-language film to ever be released in the U.S. when it opened via Lionsgate’s Pantelion last year.

Keith Merryman  David NewmanMerryman and Newman co-wrote 2011 rom-com Friends With Benefits prior to adapting the first Think Like A Man picture, which took in a $96M box office for Screen Gems. The pair were then tapped to write sequel Think Like A Man Too, which opens today and has already scored $1.8M in late night Thursday showings. The Instructions Not Included remake will be overseen by John Sacchi and Mike Paseornek for Lionsgate. The studio also recently tapped Merryman and Newman to rewrite Summit’s romantic comedy Kicked, Bitten and Scratched based on Amy Sutherland’s books set at an animal facility. The writers are repped by APA, Circle of Confusion and SMGSB.

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Tech Briefs: Lionsgate Elevates Thomas Hughes to EVP Worldwide Digital Distribution; Dates Set For CES 2015; More

By | Wednesday June 18, 2014 @ 7:27pm PDT

Tech Briefs: Lionsgate Elevates Thomas Hughes to EVP Worldwide Digital Distribution; Dates Set For CES 2015; MoreLionsgate has promoted Thomas Hughes, a sign, the company says, of how much importance it places on emerging online and alternate video-delivery platforms. As EVP Worldwide Digital Distribution, Hughes will oversee sales and distribution efforts in on-demand and digital video, including more than 25 digital retailers, mobile platforms and multichannel video providers. He’ll be reporting to Jim Packer, Lionsgate’s Thomas HughesPresident of Worldwide TV & Digital Distribution, and continue to work closely with international TV exec Peter Iacono on global digital and VOD markets. Hughes had been SVP Worldwide Digital, and previously served under Packer at MGM as VP Worldwide Digital. Among his notable projects at Lionsgate has been the pioneering day-and-date releases of Arbitrage and Margin Call on VOD and in theaters.  

Consumer Electronics Show Gets A 2015 Date
Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 3.18.59 PMCES, the mammoth electronics confab that overruns the Las Vegas Convention Center and so much of the rest of that city each year, has set its dates for 2015. The Consumer Electronics Association, which puts on the show, says it will be run from JAnuary 6-9. For more info or to get signed up really, really, really early, go to CESweb.org. The CES site for the event already has info for hotel rooms, registration, and so much else. No link to the site for orthopedic walking shoes you’ll need after hiking across … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Expendables 3′

Hot Trailer: ‘Expendables 3′Last month, we saw a big swath of the Expendables 3 crew yukking it up during a massive stunt in Cannes. Today, they’re back with the first full-length trailer for the Millennium Films threequel. This episode reunites key cast members including Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren and Randy Couture. It also adds Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Kelsey Grammer, Antonio Banderas, Kellan Lutz and others. Director Patrick Hughes plants the band on a quest for revenge after one of their men is murdered on what should have been an easy job. Deep in enemy territory, they face an unexpected threat. The film starts its international rollout on August 13 and Lionsgate releases in the States on August 15. It’s going out with a PG-13 which Stallone said in Cannes was “to reach as many people as possible. It’s very close to an R, believe me, it’s right there. But I think we owe it to the next generation. We thought we’d join that club for a while.”

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Lionsgate Acquires North American, UK Distribution Rights To Nicholas Sparks’ Novel Adaptation ‘The Choice’

By | Tuesday June 10, 2014 @ 11:42am PDT
Mike Fleming

sparkyEXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate has acquired North American and UK distribution rights to The Choice, an adaptation of the 2007 Nicholas Sparks novel that has a script by Bryan Sipe, with Sparks, Theresa Park and Peter Safran producing. Production begins in the fall. The deal, which began percolating during the Cannes Film Festival market, is similar in construct to the deal that Paramount made for Story Of Your Life, and the $12 million deal The Weinstein Company made on The Lion. This is for less money, but Lionsgate basically has bought a fully developed film. It is the first time that Sparks has gone this route; he usually auctions his new fiction and gets millions in guaranteed fees. He wanted instead to incubate the project before shopping it, and take part as an investor in the film.

Related:
Cannes: ‘Lion’ To Roar In $12 Million TWC Deal After Auction
Cannes: Paramount Confirms ‘Story Of Your Life’ Acquisition

The Choice tells the story of a long love affair that begins when Travis Parker and Gabby Holland first met as neighbors in a small coastal town and end up pursuing a relationship that neither could have foreseen. It spans a decade and traces the evolution of a love affair that is ultimately tested by life’s most defining events. Sparks’ The Best Of Me and The Longest Ride are currently in production. This is Lionsgate’s first project with the author, who with Park formed Nicholas Sparks Productions and recently acquired rights to make a movie on the life of Chicago Bears running back Gale Sayers. Read More »

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Lionsgate EVP Television Chris Selak Re-Ups With Multi-Year Deal

By | Wednesday June 4, 2014 @ 10:33am PDT

ChrisSelakChris Selak, who has served as Lionsgate’s EVP Television since joining in 2011, has signed a new multi-year agreement to continue at the company. During her tenure she has overseen growth in the division spearheading productions like ABC’s Nashville and Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black, both recently renewed for third seasons, as well NBC’s miniseries Rosemary’s Baby and with Debmar-Mercury Charlie Sheen’s 10-90 FX comedy Anger Management. “Working with Chris is a joy,” said Lionsgate_newlogo__130418225246-200x107__130915073826Lionsgate TV Group chairman Kevin Beggs in announcing the new deal. “Her keen eye for talent and material, her executive prowess, and the breadth and depth of her industry relationships have played a pivotal role in growing our television business, and we are looking forward to continued success together.” Read More »

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DeadlineNow: Lionsgate Upbeat On Profits, But Stock Still Slides (Video)

By | Friday May 30, 2014 @ 1:07pm PDT
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Lionsgate Sees Future Profit Gains

Lionsgate predicts a 25% increase in profits over the next three years and says not to worry about stock price drop. Deadline's David Lieberman reports.

Related: Lionsgate Predicts Big Profit Increase, But Stock Still Falls On Earnings Miss

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DeadlineNow Morning Report: ‘Maleficent’ Opens Strong, Sony’s VFX Arm Moving To BC, Lionsgate Shares Down (Video)

By | Friday May 30, 2014 @ 11:06am PDT
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Morning Report, Friday May 30

Disney's 'Maleficent' eyeing $70 in opening weekend, Sony's Imageworks leaving LA for Vancouver, Lionsgate predicting big increase in profits, but stocks are down. Dominic Patten reports.

Related:
BOX OFFICE PREVIEW: Disney’s ‘Maleficent’ Opens To Magnificent $4.2M Late Nights; Seth MacFarlane’s ‘A Million Ways To Die In The West’ Looks To Tonight’s Numbers
Sony Imageworks’ Flight To Vancouver Latest Blow In VFX Subsidies Battle
Lionsgate Predicts Big Profit Increase, But Stock Still Falls On Earnings Miss

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