Lionsgate launches new specialty distribution label

MUMBAI: As part of the continued diversification of its portfolio of films, Lionsgate has launched a new specialty film distribution label called Lionsgate Premiere.

Marketing initiatives for the new label will be headed by Lionsgate senior vice president of marketing and research Jean McDowell under the supervision of Lionsgate chief marketing officer Tim Palen. Adam Sorensen, currently manager of western sales at Lionsgate, will oversee Lionsgate Premiere's distribution operations.

Lionsgate Premiere, which will release films from both the Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment labels, will extend the reach of the company's motion picture group to new audiences and platforms. It will encompass a diverse slate of up to 15 films annually that will be released in theatres as well as across a broad spectrum of digital platforms.

Lionsgate Premiere will focus on customizing innovative multiplatform and other release strategies for its slate of films in order to capitalize on the fast-changing motion picture environment, reach affinity audiences with branded content and targeted marketing and enhance the profitability of individual films.

Lionsgate Premiere's slate will kick off this fall with the Chinese hit Dragon Blade, whose all-star cast includes Jackie Chan, Adrien Brody and John Cusack. Next up will be the offbeat zom-com and Sundance Film Festival sensation Cooties, starring Rainn Wilson and Elijah Wood and written by Saw franchise co-creator Leigh Whannell. Other Premiere titles will include the comedy Don Verdean, starring Sam Rockwell, Danny McBride and Will Forte; horror/thriller Knock Knock, from Cabin Fever and Hostelwriter/director Eli Roth, starring John Wick'sKeanu Reeves, and the action thriller Extraction, featuring Bruce Willis, Kellen Lutz and MMA fighter-turned-actress Gina Carano.

"Lionsgate Premiere embodies the unique attributes of our motion picture business – our diversity, our focus on audiences in our sweet spot and ability to create release strategies attuned to next generation moviegoers. We're thrilled to launch our newest label with a wide-ranging slate that features films from horror maestros, star-driven action thrillers as well as a blockbuster that has already conquered the Chinese box office," said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger.

"Our new Lionsgate Premiere brand positions us to further expand our portfolio of releases and capitalize on opportunities to deliver an exciting slate of films to next generation audiences. We have put in place a dynamic marketing and distribution team that will ensure that the Lionsgate Premiere brand is distinguished by provocative and original storytelling, innovative marketing campaigns and forward-looking multiplatform and other release strategies that maintain our leadership at the cutting edge of industry innovation," said Lionsgate co-chief operating officer and Motion Picture Group president Steve Beeks.

Before his recent promotion, McDowell served as vice president of research for the studio.

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