Television

Lionsgate inks co-financing deal with China’s Hunan TV

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MUMBAI: Lionsgate and China’s Hunan TV & Broadcast Intermediary Co. Ltd. have inked a partnership that includes a multiyear slate co-financing deal covering qualifying Lionsgate feature films.

The agreement marks another step in Lionsgate's continued growth into key markets around the world.

Under the terms of the agreement, Hunan's wholly-owned TIK Films subsidiaries will co-finance all qualifying Lionsgate feature films annually for the next three years, including such eagerly-anticipated branded properties as the action-adventure film Gods of Egypt, an epic reimagining of ancient Egypt, Now You See Me 2, the sequel to Lionsgate's 2013 global blockbuster, which grossed more than $350 million at the worldwide box office, the supernatural action thriller The Last Witch Hunter, starring Vin Diesel, the critically-acclaimed thriller Sicario and the romantic thriller Age of Adaline, starring Blake Lively and Harrison Ford. 

TIK Films, in partnership with Leomus Pictures, also has the option to distribute up to four of the co-financed films each year in China. In addition, Lionsgate, TIK and Leomus are already planning several feature film co-development and co-production projects in China. Leomus recently distributed the hit films Now You See Me and Escape Plan from Lionsgate's Summit Entertainment label in China, where Escape Plan grossed more at the box office ($42 million) than it did in North America.

“We're delighted to expand our relationship with one of the pre-eminent entertainment brands in China to build our film and television presence in that territory as well as to explore opportunities around the world. This agreement reflects our strategy of teaming with entrepreneurial partners to expand our global operations in key markets while underscoring our commitment to a business model that mitigates risk,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer.

“We're thrilled to partner with Lionsgate, an innovative and forward-looking company that has emerged as a major creative force in the global marketplace. We look forward to joining hands in creating a feature film pipeline filled with some of the most commercially exciting movies in the world as well as exploring other strategic opportunities throughout our complementary film and television businesses,” added Hunan TV & Broadcasting chairman Qiu Yun Long.

Lionsgate is working with Hunan CATV Network Group Co., LTD., a subsidiary company of Hunan TV & Broadcast, which reaches over 15 million subscribers. Lionsgate is cooperating with major shareholder Hunan TV, the second most watched broadcaster in China, to explore opportunities for Hunan series outside China.

Financing for the deal was provided by East West Bank and Bank of China.

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