OWN: THE OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK Acquires Academy Award(R)-Nominated Box Office Hit PRECIOUS from Lionsgate Film Has Grossed More Than $45 Million At North American Box Office and Earned Six Academy Award® Nominations, Including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress And Best Director

LOS ANGELES, March 1 /PRNewswire/ -- OWN: THE OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK has acquired television rights to the critically acclaimed, box office hit PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE from Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF). OWN Chief Executive Officer Christina Norman and Lionsgate Television President of Programming & Production Kevin Beggs made the announcement today. OWN has licensed the first broadcast window behind pay television beginning Summer 2012.

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PRECIOUS has garnered more than $45 million at the North American box office, expanded to more than 650 theatres nationwide, and earned six Academy Award® nominations including Best Picture, Best Actress (newcomer Gabourey Sidibe), Best Supporting Actress (Mo'Nique), Best Director (Lee Daniels), Best Adapted Screenplay (Geoffrey Fletcher) and Best Editing (Joe Klotz).  

The film has already won a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award® for Best Supporting Actress (Mo'Nique) along with the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award for the film  (Lee Daniels, Gary Magness and Sarah Siegel-Magness), a Directors Guild nomination for Lee Daniels as Best Director and a Writers Guild nomination for Geoffrey Fletcher (Best Adapted Screenplay).  Additionally, the film has been named to AFI's list of 10 best films of the year and dozens of year-end critics' 10 Best lists.

Set in 1987, PRECIOUS is a dramatic, vividly realized story of a Harlem teenager who overcomes tremendous obstacles to discover her own worth, beauty and potential.  PRECIOUS is a Lee Daniels Entertainment/Smokewood Entertainment Group production presented by Lionsgate in association with Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry. The film is directed by Lee Daniels from a screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher based on the book Push, a novel by Sapphire. The film stars Mo'Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd, Lenny Kravitz and introduces Gabourey Sidibe. PRECIOUS was produced by Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness. Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Lisa Cortes and Tom Heller are Executive Producers; Simone Sheffield serves as Co-Executive Producer; Mark G. Mathis is Co-Producer; and Andrew Sforzini and Asger Hussain serves as Associate Producers.

"PRECIOUS is the perfect film for OWN," said Norman.  "It's a powerful film of self-discovery and empowerment, and I know it will resonate deeply with our audience."

"OWN's licensing of PRECIOUS epitomizes our strategy of supplying quality content to cable networks hungry for fresh programming to build their brands and serve their target audiences," said Beggs.  "We are pleased to be in business with OWN, and we are very proud of PRECIOUS and confident that, as its commercial success and critical recognition continue to grow, it will become an icon of our culture."

The deal includes several films from Lionsgate's vast library of more than 12,000 motion picture and television titles.

About OWN: THE OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK

A joint venture between Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications, OWN: THE OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK is a multi-platform media company designed to entertain, inform, and inspire people to live their best lives. OWN will debut in January 2011 in approximately 80 million homes, on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel. The venture also will include the award-winning digital platform, Oprah.com. For more information, please visit www.oprah.com/own.

About Lionsgate

Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) is the leading next generation studio with a strong and diversified presence in the production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment, video-on-demand and digitally delivered content. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of prime time cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming through Debmar-Mercury and an array of channel platform assets, including TV Guide Network in partnership with JPMorgan's One Equity Partners, the Epix multiplatform channel with partners Viacom and MGM, the FEARnet branded horror channel with partners Comcast and Sony, and the KIX and Thrill branded action and horror channels in Asia.  Its feature film business has generated more than $400 million at the North American box office in the past year, including such recent hits as PRECIOUS, which has grossed more than $45 million at the North American box office and earned six Academy Award nominations, DAYBREAKERS and BROTHERS.  The Company's home entertainment business has grown to more than 7% market share and is an industry leader in its box office-to-DVD revenue conversion rate.  Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 12,000 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 brand remains synonymous with original, daring, and quality entertainment in markets around the world.  

SOURCE OWN: THE OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK



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