The same day mini-major announced that its movies will stream in China, the co-chairman of Lionsgate‘s Motion Picture Group have been tapped to receive the Motion Picture Showmanship Award. The ICG Publicists Guild will honor Patrick Wachsberger and Rob Friedman for their career achievements. “These are two of the nicest guys in the business, and they have an uncanny ability to find the right property and make a success of it,” ICG President Steven Poster said. Lionsgate is in theaters with the Robert Redford starrer All Is Lost and has mega-sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opening November 22. The execs will receive the award February 28 during the 51st annual Publicists Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
Lionsgate’s Patrick Wachsberger & Rob Friedman Set For Motion Picture Showman Of The Year Award From Publicists Guild
UPDATE: Lionsgate’s announcement today of a reorganization of international operations looks to be one of the final elements to its integration of Summit. But the impact of the companies’ consolidation has yet to be fully borne out on an international scale. The upcoming Cannes Film Festival should be a good indicator of the future shape of the new entity. Following the departure in February of Summit International president David Garret – announced during the EFM in Berlin – Lionsgate today confirmed speculation that head of international Helen Lee Kim is also departing. She will remain through the Cannes market which runs from May 16-25, however, and is expected to fully exit near the end of the year. After laying off about 80 staff across the two companies in March, I hear that no further firings came as a result of today’s restructure.
Deadline readers already know this news. But here’s the official announcement:
SANTA MONICA, Calif., and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 20, 2012 /CNW/ – Following Lionsgate’s (NYSE: LGF) acquisition of Summit Entertainment last Friday, the Company has named Summit Co-Chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger as Co-Chairs of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group, it was announced today.
Friedman and Wachsberger will oversee all aspects of Lionsgate’s domestic and international feature film acquisition, production and distribution business as well as the home entertainment releases of theatrical feature films.
“Rob and Patrick have built a remarkable organization at Summit, and they possess all the entrepreneurial leadership qualities that define our Lionsgate culture,” said Lionsgate Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer and Vice Chairman Michael Burns. “They are two of the most talented motion picture executives in our industry, and they have a history of building successful companies. Their addition to our senior management team should accelerate our continued growth into a global media powerhouse.” Friedman and Wachsberger will report to Feltheimer.
Rob Friedman & Patrick Wachsberger Sign Lionsgate Employment Contracts; Joe Drake Stays To Run ‘The Hunger Games’
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that after some protracted negotiations Summit Entertainment co-chiefs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger today signed their respective employment contracts with Lionsgate. Until that happened there was nothing binding the pair to Summit’s new parent company. An announcement will come down tomorrow. Meanwhile, I’ve also learned that Lionsgate’s current movie chief Joe Drake has decided to stay and continue shepherding The Hunger Games, the studio’s hoped-for blockbuster franchise whose first installment comes out on March 23rd. Drake will be reporting to Lionsgate chairman Jon Feltheimer and vice chairman Michael Burns. The two independent movie studios will operate separately for some time with Summit a standalone label not unlike New Line and Warner Bros. Friedman will run domestic and Wachsberger will run foreign along the same division of labor they had at Summit and together run the movie division for Lionsgate. The new product pipeline of Lionsgate-Summit will be 10 to 14 movies a year. Meanwhile Friedman and Wachsberger are still very busy with Summit business: the studio’s Now You See Me starts production immediately, while Man On A Ledge releases January 27th, followed by the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 DVD selling February 11th.
EXCLUSIVE: It escaped almost everybody’s notice that Colony Capital’s Tom Barrack and his buddy and business associate Rob Lowe attended the November 14th premiere of Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1. There appeared no reason for the pair to be there: they had no stake in the film, and they are not teenage girls. They did pose on the Red Carpet for a photo with Summit co-chairmen Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger (see right). And they did have a very good reason to be there, Deadline has learned. Because Santa Monica-based Colony Capital is exploring a deal in which Barrack would take a large equity stake in Summit Entertainment.
Until now, the only potential marriage partner poised for Summit has been Lionsgate, with the two companies engaged in a long and public flirtation to merge. We are told that Colony Capital is not proposing a merger. Instead, Summit would be a friendly takeover target, with the braintrust continuing to run the show, and Summit investors cashing out. There are two ways to proceed being mulled by Colony Capital right now. Barrack is a key owner of Miramax, and in one scenario, Barrack would meld the assets of Summit with a Miramax library. The other scenario has Colony Capital setting up a different company to take a large equity stake in Summit and leave it as a freestanding mini-studio. Barrack and Lowe (yes, Lowe is very much part of this and his …
EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment has set Scott Speer to direct the fourth installment of the Step Up franchise. Like the last one, Step Up 4 will be done in 3D. The new film will be set in the backdrop of Miami. Speer is replacing Wade Robson, who dropped out for personal reasons that would have kept him from making the planned summer start date. The script’s being written by Jenny Mayer and produced by Offspring Entertainment’s Jennifer Gibgot and Adam Shankman, along with Summit’s Patrick Wachsberger and Erik Feig. Jon Chu, who directed the last two Step Up installments, will be exec producer. Speer is a music video/commercials director who has helmed vids for Jordin Sparks, Will.I.Am, Jason Derulo and Orianthi Lacey, and he also collaborated with Chu on the TV episodes The LXD: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers. He’s repped by WME and Principato Young.
Summit Entertainment product will continue to flow through Canada and the UK via distributor Entertainment One. The two parties have extended their output distribution arrangement through 2015. eOne expects to release as many as eight Summit films each year in those territories, including the final two installments of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. The deal was announced this morning by eOne president/CEO Darren Throop and Summit co-chairmen Patrick Wachsberger and Rob Friedman.
“Summit is pulling out because the process has gone on way too long and it’s become a distraction for the business,” an insider tells me this morning. Summit toppers Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger are still in acquisition mode, and the company will continuing looking for good deals in what is a very depressed showbiz marketplace where bargains are plentiful — especially film and TV libraries. The fundamental issue which MGM creditors had with Summit is that they would have had to give up too much equity in order involve the mini-major which remains flush with cash thanks to the Twilight franchise. “I’m not sure that Summit bowing out changes the Spyglass situation,” my insider added. For months now, Hollywood has known that Spyglass is the bigger creditors’ frontrunner to control MGM, which seems finally poised to plunge itself into a prepackaged bankruptcy, and then emerge with Spyglass partners Roger Birnbaum and Gary Barber starting production for the studio. But Summit has remained very much under consideration and hadn’t heard they’re out of it — at least not yet. So Summit decided to pull the plug on its own.
This lead group of MGM creditors (Anchorage Advisors, Highland Capital Management, and Davidson Kempner Capital Management who have banded together) would have Spyglass plan transform MGM into a pure production company and close down its marketing and distribution divisions. Coupled with the equity that Spyglass would bring to the table, a streamlined MGM would lower its debt and have a shot at …