Movies

Eros, Lionsgate form distribution venture

MUMBAI: Eros International and US independent film and television studio Lionsgate have agreed to form a distribution joint venture in South Asia.

The venture will sell content across all formats including cinema, home entertainment, television and new media. The aim is to become a leading aggregator of western content for the Indian market, selling it in original and dubbed language versions within South Asia.


The announcement was made today at Cannes Film Festival by Eros International chairman and CEO Kishore Lulla and Lionsgate Co-Chairman and CEO Jon Feltheimer.



The joint venture is designed to combine the respective strengths of the two partners by allowing Lionsgate to monetise its library and new films within South Asia using the distribution network and infrastructure of Eros International.



In addition, Lionsgate will acquire North American home entertainment distribution rights to 20 select titles from Eros‘s library that have most potential for a wide mainstream release in North America. Eros has a library of over 1900 film titles.



With this deal, the two partners aim to monetise their respective libraries through one another‘s networks and distribution channels.


Said Lulla, "With this joint venture with Lionsgate, we can now leverage our respective distribution networks and help monetize and unlock value from our deep content libraries. We believe that Eros‘s initiative in aggregating and distributing Western content, particularly format and remake rights custom-tailored to Indian consumers, will give us a distinct competitive advantage in the South Asian market place. It will allow us to benefit from the growing box office, home entertainment, television market and digital new media opportunities. This also demonstrates our commitment to our content partners to showcase the best of Indian entertainment to as wide an audience as possible in North America through this alliance."


The venture will also explore the production of Indian formats and remakes based on Lionsgate and third-party film catalogues. It has plans to create crossover films that will tap into India‘s local language market as well as audiences outside India.



Said Feltheimer, "Our partnership with Eros is a superb opportunity to extend the Lionsgate brand to more than a billion new consumers worldwide as well as providing a platform for Eros content through our established network in North America. This venture reflects Lionsgate‘s growth strategy on two levels- it continues the process of leveraging content already paid for into new distribution platforms, digital and traditional, around the world, and it extends our commitment to partnering with some of the top content owners and distributors around the globe.”



India, the second largest English speaking nation in the world, has a population of over 1.3 billion and a 400 million consuming middle class.


Eros’s partnership with Lionsgate follows its recent collaboration with Sony Pictures Entertainment, in September 2007, to co-invest in, jointly develop and produce a slate of Hindi and crossover films with broader appeal to be released in India and around the world.

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