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Lionsgate Launches Digital Label Lionsgate Premiere with a Slate of B Movies

Lionsgate Launches Digital Label Lionsgate Premiere with a Slate of B Movies

Continuing its nimble “diversification” of its portfolio of films, Lionsgate has launched new distribution label Lionsgate Premiere. In other words, rather than release a bunch of B programmers in theaters at enormous marketing expense, Lionsgate is bowing to the inevitable multiplatform release model in an effort to target the once-reliable demo that has stopped turning out in theaters–next generation males. The initial Premiere slate includes horror titles, star-driven action thrillers and a Chinese action hit.

Lionsgate specialty distributor Roadside Attractions has been able to innovate in the VOD/theatrical space. This other label will explore the digital release arena. Lionsgate Premiere will release films from both Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment labels and reach out to new audiences and platforms. They’re planning on a release slate of up to 15 films a year; each will get a customized multiplatform release across a broad spectrum of digital platforms; some will go to theatres. 

Lionsgate marketing exec Jean McDowell will spearhead marketing initiatives for the new label 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’s slate will kick off this fall with the Chinese hit “Dragon Blade,” starring Jackie Chan, Adrien Brody and John Cusack. Next up will be Sundance entry “Cooties,” starring Rainn Wilson and Elijah Wood and written by “Saw” franchise co-creator Leigh Whannell. Also in the pipeline is comedy “Don Verdean,” starring Sam Rockwell, Danny McBride and Will Forte; horror/thriller “Knock Knock,” from “Cabin Fever” and “Hostel” writer/director Eli Roth, starring “John Wick”‘s Keanu Reeves, and the action thriller “Extraction,” featuring Bruce Willis, Kellen Lutz and MMA fighter-turned-actress Gina Carano.

Combine all of Lionsgate’s labels–like Disney and Fox and now Sony, this is the new studio model–and the company is set to release about 30 to 40 movies a year (one way or the other): there’s Lionsgate and Summit, the recent distribution partnership with CBS Films, Pantelion Films’ joint venture with Televisa, the Codeblack Pictures urban label, product from Lionsgate UK, specialty distributor Roadside Attractions and now, Lionsgate Premiere.

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