SANTA MONICA, Calif. and CHANGSHA, China, March 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a premier next generation global content leader, and Hunan TV & Broadcast Intermediary Co. Ltd. (Hunan) (SHE:000917), one of China's leading media and entertainment companies, have established a partnership that includes a multiyear slate co-financing deal covering qualifying Lionsgate feature films, the two companies announced today. The agreement, which marks another step in Lionsgate's continued growth into key markets around the world, was announced at a press conference today in Changsha, China, by Hunan TV & Broadcasting Chairman Qiu Yun Long and Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer.
Under the terms of the agreement, Hunan's wholly-owned TIK Films subsidiaries will co-finance all qualifying Lionsgate feature films annually for the next three years, including such eagerly-anticipated branded properties as the action-adventure film Gods of Egypt, an epic reimagining of ancient Egypt, Now You See Me 2, the sequel to Lionsgate's 2013 global blockbuster which grossed more than $350 million at the worldwide box office, the supernatural action thriller The Last Witch Hunter, starring Vin Diesel, the critically-acclaimed thriller Sicario and the romantic thriller Age of Adaline, starring Blake Lively and Harrison Ford.
TIK Films, in partnership with LEOMUS Pictures, also has the option to distribute up to four of the co-financed films each year in China. In addition, Lionsgate, TIK and LEOMUS are already planning several feature film co-development and co-production projects in China. LEOMUS recently distributed the hit films Now You See Me and Escape Plan from Lionsgate's Summit Entertainment label in China, where Escape Plan grossed more at the box office ($42 million) than it did in North America.
"We're delighted to expand our relationship with one of the pre-eminent entertainment brands in China to build our film and television presence in that territory as well as to explore opportunities around the world," said Mr. Feltheimer. "This agreement reflects our strategy of teaming with entrepreneurial partners to expand our global operations in key markets while underscoring our commitment to a business model that mitigates risk."
"We're thrilled to partner with Lionsgate, an innovative and forward-looking company that has emerged as a major creative force in the global marketplace," said Mr. Long. "We look forward to joining hands in creating a feature film pipeline filled with some of the most commercially exciting movies in the world as well as exploring other strategic opportunities throughout our complementary film and television businesses."
Lionsgate is working with Hunan CATV Network Group Co., LTD., a subsidiary company of Hunan TV & Broadcast, which reaches over 15 million subscribers. Lionsgate is cooperating with major shareholder Hunan TV, the second most watched broadcaster in China, to explore opportunities for Hunan series outside China.
The deal was orchestrated together by the Lionsgate and Hunan TV team that includes Co-Chief Operating Officer Brian Goldsmith, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chair Patrick Wachsberger, Executive Vice President, International Sales Wendy Reeds, General Counsel & Chief Strategic Officer Wayne Levin, Deputy General Counsel David Friedman, Bruce Tobey of O'Melveny & Myers, Hunan TV & Broadcast Vice President Liu Shabai, TIK Executive Manager Eric Rong, LEOMUS CEO Qiu Jie, and Schuyler Moore of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP.
Financing for the deal was provided by East West Bank and Bank of China.
Lionsgate is a premier next generation global content leader with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, digital distribution, channel platforms and international distribution and sales. The Company currently has more than 30 television shows on over 20 different networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men and Nurse Jackie, the comedy Anger Management, the broadcast network series Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show, the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange is the New Black and new series such as The Royals, Manhattan, Deadbeat, Casual and Chasing Life.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first three installments of The Hunger Games franchise, the first installment of the Divergent franchise, Now You See Me, John Wick, Warm Bodies, CBS Films/Lionsgate's The DUFF, Roadside Attractions' A Most Wanted Man, Lionsgate/Codeblack Films' Addicted and Pantelion Films' Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rates. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 16,000 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. www.lionsgate.com
ABOUT HUNAN TV & BROADCAST INTERMEDIARY CO. LTD.
Hunan TV & Broadcast Intermediary Co. Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Hunan TV & Broadcast") was founded in 1998 and has now developed into a leading cultural media enterprise expanding its business in cable network, media content, investment management, tourism and hotels. The company has achieved a market value of nearly 30 billion RMB and has been listed as one of the "Top 30 China Cultural Enterprises" for six consecutive years.
TIK Films, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hunan TV & Broadcast, has also bloomed into a professional film company integrating film investment, production, marketing and distribution businesses that have executed its brand strategy through nearly 5 years of growth. Every one of its investments in more than 26 movies has been profitable, a remarkable feat within the Chinese film industry. Recently, TIK Films Hong Kong and U.S. were founded establishing a "Beijing-Hong Kong-US" tripartite structure which will greatly consolidate and expand its broadcast media content.
According to the agreement, the cooperation between TIK Films and Lionsgate will not be confined to U.S. or global distribution. This partnership will also extend into coproduction and theme park entertainment.
ABOUT LEOMUS PICTURES
LEOMUS is a rising power and leading distributor in China's film industry, established in 2009 by experienced entrepreneurs and film enthusiasts who are familiar with both American and Chinese business conventions and the film industry. Rooted in the domestic film market, LEOMUS started from the acquisition and distribution business and has expanded into film production, investment, and marketing.
Leomus has acquired and distributed such blockbusters as Drive Angry, Stolen, Now You See Me and Escape Plan as well as invested in The House That Never Dies in China between 2011 and 2014, grossing over 240 million dollars at box office. The Chinese box office of Drive Angry and Escape Plan each surpassed their American box office respectively. For additional information, go to http://www.leomus.com.
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Peter D. Wilkes