SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Continuing one of the most remarkable collaborations in entertainment, LIONSGATE® (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, and media superstar Tyler Perry announced today that their first look partnership will be extended through a new multi-year arrangement for films and home entertainment. Lionsgate has been the iconic filmmaker's home since his breakthrough theatrical box office hit Diary Of A Mad Black Woman revolutionized the film world in February 2005.
Lionsgate will continue to distribute Tyler Perry's films and is already slated to release TYLER PERRY'S MADEA'S BIG HAPPY FAMILY on April 22, 2011 and the upcoming Perry produced WE THE PEEPLES. Future projects will include two additional Madea franchise films, with the option of additional films with Perry attached as a producer, writer, director and/or star, to be made in conjunction with Perry's production companies 34th Street Films, Very Perry Films, and Tyler Perry Studios. Lionsgate will also continue to distribute Perry's enormously popular DVD's based on his hit films and from his large catalog of plays and other material. The deal was negotiated on Perry's behalf by Matt Johnson from Ziffren Brittenham and WME.
"Tyler Perry is one of the most powerful and unique entertainment brands in the world today, with a fan base that is virtually unrivalled in its loyalty and passion," said Lionsgate Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer. "Lionsgate and Tyler have grown together for many years, and we look forward to pushing the envelopes of our businesses together for many years to come. Tyler is a remarkable creative force, and it is a privilege to support his efforts to continue to enlarge his audience and extend his creative reach."
Added President of Motion Picture Development and Production Michael Paseornek, "We know that audiences want more Madea, and we are thrilled that Tyler continues to respond to them. We are also excited to see where the journey that started with producing and presenting PRECIOUS and continued with his adaptation of FOR COLORED GIRLS takes Tyler and Lionsgate in the future. We're inspired that he has chosen to mentor up and coming filmmakers and will be producing additional projects of all genres on their behalf, like the upcoming fish out of water comedy WE THE PEEPLES. Most of all, we are delighted that Tyler remains part of our Lionsgate family and we can continue to serve as the platform for his singular and resonant voice."
"Together, Lionsgate and I have built the ideal filmmaker/studio relationship, and I'm thrilled that it will be continuing. We share an entrepreneurial spirit and have a great business rapport. But more importantly, Lionsgate has been incredibly affirming of my relationship with my audience - I've always had the artistic freedom to speak what I want, how I want, and when I want through my films," said Perry.
Tyler Perry's 10 films for Lionsgate in the past six years have grossed more than $520 million at the North American box office alone, and his films, stage plays and DVD's have sold more than 40 million DVD and digital units. Perry also produces two hit television shows, Tyler Perry's House of Payne and its spinoff, Meet The Browns, which are distributed by Lionsgate's Debmar-Mercury and continue to establish new standards of distribution and syndication success.
About Tyler Perry
From the moment he burst onto the entertainment scene almost ten years ago, Tyler Perry has single-handedly changed the landscape of stage, screen and television with bravado, confidence and tremendous commercial success.
Born into poverty and raised in a household scarred by abuse, Perry's strength, faith and perseverance would later form the foundations of his plays, films, books and shows. A simple piece of advice from Oprah set his career in motion as a diary of his daily thoughts and experiences led to his writing of a musical, I Know I've Been Changed, in 1992. Five years later with no money left, sleeping in seedy motels and his car, Perry's faith in himself and God only got stronger, allowing him to forge ahead. In 1998, his perseverance paid off when the play began a limited church run. The community came out in droves and Perry never looked back as he began an incredible run of eight plays in eight years.
Madea first debuted in 2000's I Can Do Bad All By Myself and spawned three more plays leading to Perry's jump to the big screen with 2005's Diary of a Mad Black Woman, which debuted at #1 nationwide. He followed with Madea's Family Reunion, Daddy's Little Girls, Why Did I Get Married?, Meet the Browns, The Family That Preys, I Can Do Bad All by Myself, Why Did I Get Married Too?, and For Colored Girls, which were all met with massive fan support and commercial success. In 2006, Perry's first book, Don't Make A Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea's Uninhibited Commentaries On Life and Love, shot to the top of the New York Times bestseller list and claimed two Quill Book Awards. In 2007, Perry expanded his brand to television with the series House of Payne, the highest-rated first-run syndicated cable show of all time and followed that up with Meet the Browns, the second highest debut ever on cable, after House of Payne. Today, Perry is the producer of 18 of the top 25 television shows in African-American households. Perry has also signed on to produce Lionsgate upcoming comedy We the Peeples and will play the title character in Rob Cohen's I, Alex Cross.
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution and new channel platforms. 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 assets. Lionsgate currently has 15 shows on more than 10 networks spanning its prime time production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as "Mad Men", "Weeds" and "Nurse Jackie" along with recent series such as "Blue Mountain State" and the syndication successes "Tyler Perry's House Of Payne", its spinoff "Meet The Browns", "The Wendy Williams Show" and "Are We There Yet?".
Its feature film business has generated more than half a billion dollars at the North American box office in the past year, fueled by such hits as THE EXPENDABLES, which was #1 at the North American box office for two weeks, THE LAST EXORCISM, TYLER PERRY'S WHY DID I GET MARRIED TOO?, KICK ASS and the critically-acclaimed PRECIOUS, which won two Academy Awards®. The Company's home entertainment business has grown to more than 7% market share and is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 13,000 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, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
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Peter D. Wilkes