ATLANTA and SANTA MONICA, Calif., Aug. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- TNT has landed network television rights to the global blockbuster The Hunger Games and Divergent movie franchises in a sweeping deal with Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), it was announced today by Michael Wright, President, Head of Programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM), and Jim Packer, Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution.
TNT's acquisition includes the network premiere windows for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which opens in theaters this November, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, set for theatrical release in November 2015. The deal also includes network premiere windows for Divergent, which grossed over $150 million at the domestic box office earlier this year, and Insurgent, which is set for theatrical release in March 2015. Under the agreement, TNT will become the first basic cable network with access to all four Divergent films at the same time.
In addition, TNT has secured telecast rights to the first two Hunger Games films – The Hunger Games (2012) and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), the top-grossing domestic theatrical release of 2013 and the 10th highest-grossing domestic release of all time.
The Hunger Games is slated to air on TNT for the first time in winter 2015, and the network will add the second installment, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, in winter 2016. Both films will complement TNT's network premiere launch of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 in 2017, and in 2018 TNT will be able to air all four Hunger Games films concurrently.
TNT's network premiere window for the smash hit Divergent will begin in 2016, with the additional three films in the series coming to the network over the next three years.
"The Hunger Games and Divergent franchises fit perfectly within TNT's brand evolution and expansion into action-packed genre programming," said Wright. "Like our current hits The Last Ship and Legends and the upcoming series The Librarians, the movies in these franchises are ideal for drawing young adults to the network. We look forward to making The Hunger Games and Divergent movies the kind of event programming that will engage and excite fans for years to come."
"We're delighted to launch this partnership with TNT for two of our biggest global franchises," said Packer. "The agreement underscores the breadth and depth of our content portfolio and supplies TNT with blockbuster franchises that will resonate with their audiences for many years to come."
TNT has built a strong reputation when it comes to successfully showcasing high-profile movie franchises, such as Peter Jackson's Oscar®-winning adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. The network landed premiere windows for each of the three films and began presenting the entire trilogy in tandem in 2006. TNT has also secured the rights to the first two films in Jackson's adaptation of The Hobbit, with the first film set to debut on the network next year.
Lionsgate's Hunger Games films are based on the best-selling trilogy by Suzanne Collins, while the Divergent films are based on the best-selling novels by Veronica Roth. Descriptions of both franchises are included below.
The Hunger Games
The first two installments of the global blockbuster Hunger Games franchise have already grossed more than $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office, and it is the first franchise whose initial two installments have grossed more than $400 million at the domestic box office. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was the highest-grossing domestic box office release of 2013 and the 10th highest-grossing domestic release of all time, and Suzanne Collins' best-selling trilogy of books has already sold more than 65 million copies around the world. The next two installments of the franchise, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Parts 1 & 2, will be released on Nov. 21, 2014, and Nov. 20, 2015, respectively, directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Academy Award® winner Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Woody Harrelson.
The first film in the Divergent franchise grossed more than $150 million at the domestic box office and nearly $300 million worldwide, and book sales of Veronica Roth's best-selling trilogy continue to skyrocket, increasing from 17 million in March to nearly 27 million copies today. Insurgent and Allegiant Parts 1 & 2, the next three installments of the Divergent franchise, are slated for release on March 20, 2015, March 18, 2016 and March 24, 2017, respectively. Directed by Robert Schwentke, the films star Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort and Academy Award winners Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts and Octavia Spencer.
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, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. Lionsgate currently has over 30 television shows on more than 20 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 network series Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show and the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange is the New Black.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first two installments of The Hunger Games franchise, the first installment of the recently-launched Divergent franchise, Now You See Me, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, Warm Bodies, Sinister, Roadside Attractions' A Most Wanted Man and Pantelion Films' breakout hit 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 rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 15,000 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.
TNT is television's destination for drama. Seen in 101 million households and ranking among cable's top networks, TNT is home to such original drama series as Rizzoli & Isles, Major Crimes, Falling Skies, The Last Ship, Legends, Murder in the First, Perception, Dallas and Franklin & Bash. TNT's upcoming slate of original scripted dramas includes The Librarians, Public Morals, Proof and Transporter The Series, which will make its U.S. television debut on the network this fall. TNT also features such dramatic unscripted series as Cold Justice and the upcoming On the Menu and Wake Up Call. In addition, TNT is the cable home to popular dramas like Hawaii Five-0, Castle, The Mentalist, Bones and Supernatural; primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards®; blockbuster movies; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR, the NBA and the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship.
TNT is part of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company. Turner Broadcasting creates and programs branded news; entertainment; animation and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
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Peter D. Wilkes