SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading diversified global entertainment company, announced today the reorganization of its international feature film operations under recently appointed Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairman Patrick Wachsberger, completing a key element of the integration of Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment following Lionsgate's January 2012 acquisition of Summit.
The new team will be led by a talented group of executives from within the Lionsgate and Summit ranks under the direction of Wachsberger and will continue to service existing distribution partners with films from both the Lionsgate and Summit labels as well as third party films.
"Backed by a tremendous pipeline of films, we believe that this team of entrepreneurial executives is superbly qualified to lead the Lionsgate and Summit brands for years to come in an international marketplace rich with opportunity," said Wachsberger. "This team blends diverse strengths from both companies, and we believe that it reflects the enormous potential that can be achieved by our combined operations going forward."
The new international team reflects new leadership in three areas – International Sales, International Marketing & Publicity and International Distribution. Wachsberger will lead the newly constituted international sales team, handling select territories himself, joined on a worldwide basis by Executive Vice President International Sales Anne-Marie Ross and Senior Vice President International Sales Crystal Bourbeau, as well as Executive Vice President Wendy Reeds, who also heads up sales for the recently launched Celestial Tiger Entertainment (CTE) venture in Asia.
Ross has an 11-year tenure in international sales for Lionsgate and has been instrumental in the international sales and launches of some of Lionsgate's most successful films, including THE HUNGER GAMES and the SAW franchise. She oversees feature film sales for several key European territories as well as Latin America and Japan.
Bourbeau has worked for Lionsgate International since 2007, managing territories in Asia and Eastern Europe, including the fast-growing Russian market. Her responsibilities have also been expanded to include additional European territories such as Spain. Reeds relocated to Hong Kong last year where she serves as Executive Vice President, Content and Distribution, for Celestial Tiger Entertainment, Lionsgate's venture with the Saban Capital Group and Astro's Celestial Pictures. Reeds spearheads all of CTE's content licensing activities worldwide as well as the sales and distribution of Lionsgate's new film and TV releases and library content in Southeast Asia and China.
The restructured international marketing and publicity operations will be overseen by Executive Vice President International Marketing and Publicity Jill Jones and her team. Lionsgate's International filmed entertainment marketing group will work closely with distribution entities around the globe to support the release of Lionsgate, Summit, and third party feature films.
Jones previously served for four years as Senior Vice President, International Marketing and Publicity, for Summit Entertainment. Prior to that, she was Senior Vice President of Corporate and International Publicity for DDA Public Relations and had a six-year stint as Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, for Alliance Atlantis Entertainment.
Executive Vice President of International Distribution Brad Kembel and his team will oversee international distribution operations for the division. Kembel has been a senior international distribution executive for Summit for the past 20 years, overseeing worldwide distribution of theatrical, home entertainment and television content as well as supervising sales support, collections, royalties, and rights administration activities. Prior to his tenure with Summit, Kembel held international distribution positions at Sovereign Pictures and Cineplex Odeon Films.
Lionsgate's veteran outgoing head of international, Helen Lee Kim, has decided to leave the Company later this year. She will continue to represent Lionsgate at the upcoming Cannes Film Market and will assist in the transition of her duties to the new team.
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, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of primetime cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 15 shows on more than 10 networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning "Mad Men," "Weeds" and "Nurse Jackie," along with the powerful drama "Boss" 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 been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first installment of "The Hunger Games" franchise, which achieved the third highest-grossing opening weekend of all time at the North American box office, "The Expendables," "The Lincoln Lawyer," "Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family" and "Margin Call." With the January 2012 acquisition of Summit Entertainment, the Company now has the two leading young adult franchises – the blockbuster "Twilight Saga," which has grossed more than $2.5 billion at the worldwide box office, and "The Hunger Games." Recent Summit hits include "Red," "Letters to Juliet," "Knowing," the "Step Up" franchise and the Academy Award-winning Best Picture, "The Hurt Locker."
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD 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 and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
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Peter D. Wilkes