Agreement Unites the Two Companies’ Complementary Strengths on
Up to 12 Wide-Release Films
LOS ANGELES AND SANTA MONICA, CALIF. – Nov. 13, 2014 – Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a premier next-generation global content leader, and CBS Films, a multifaceted feature film studio releasing quality films in all genres, have formed a multi-year distribution partnership which will begin with the 2015 release of the teen comedy The DUFF, the two companies announced today.
Under the agreement, CBS Films will acquire or produce the films and shepherd the marketing efforts while Lionsgate oversees distribution initiatives across all media, including theatrical and home entertainment platforms. In addition, Lionsgate will handle exclusive international sales for all titles under the agreement with the exception of The DUFF.
The agreement gives CBS Films access to Lionsgate’s distribution prowess as well as its global sales infrastructure, while Lionsgate will receive a new and consistent source of branded quality wide-release films for its theatrical and home entertainment pipelines. Outside of this new strategic arrangement, CBS Films will continue to acquire, produce and self-distribute its own limited releases.
“Making movies is only half of the equation – today’s marketplace demands a strategic approach to marketing and distribution that is fluid and creative, and no company has demonstrated more vision and innovation than Lionsgate,” said CBS Films President Terry Press. “As we build our homegrown slate and expand our efforts in the acquisition space, we’re thrilled to partner with the outstanding Lionsgate team on a plan that provides the flexibility to handle these ambitions.”
“CBS Films has emerged as a creative force that will serve as a commercially exciting and reliable source of quality mainstream theatrical releases for years to come,” said Lionsgate Co-Chief Operating Officer and Motion Picture Group President Steve Beeks. “Our partnership unites two companies with powerful brands, complementary strengths and similar entrepreneurial cultures in a distribution agreement that extends the terrific Lionsgate/CBS relationship.”
Lionsgate and CBS are also partnered in TVGN, currently being rebranded as POP. Additionally, the two companies joined forces on the critically acclaimed romantic comedy Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
The first film to be released under the new agreement is the high school comedy The DUFF, based on the bestselling novel by Kody Keplinger and directed by Ari Sandel from a screenplay by Josh Cagan. McG, Mary Viola and Susan Cartsonis produced The DUFF, with Lane Bishop serving as executive producer.
The film follows Bianca (Mae Whitman), a high school senior whose world is shattered when a charming jock (Robbie Amell) informs her that the student body knows her as The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to her prettier, more popular friends (Skyler Samuels and Bianca Santos).
Set for release in early 2015, the film also stars Bella Thorne, Nick Eversman, Ken Jeong and Allison Janney. The first teaser trailer for The DUFF will appear in theaters on Lionsgate’s global blockbuster The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 next week.
About CBS Films:
CBS Films is a division of CBS Corporation. The division develops, finances, acquires, produces and releases theatrical feature films spanning all genres. For more information, log on to www.cbsfilms.com.
Lionsgate, home to The Hunger Games, Twilight and Divergent franchises, 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, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. Lionsgate 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 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 Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the first installment of the Divergent franchise, Now You See Me, John Wick, Warm Bodies, The Possession, Sinister, 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.
* * *
Peter D. Wilkes
Photo Credit: Guy D’Alema
From left to right: Bianca Santos, Skyler Samuels, Robbie Amell, Mae Whitman and Bella Thorne in THE DUFF.