Lionsgate has struck a deal with CBS Films to distribute the company’s wide release films over the course of the next three years, covering four films annually, Variety has reported.
CBS Films will retain all marketing responsibilities as well as a small distribution staff to continue releasing specialty films and acquisitions. The first film involved in the deal will be “The Duff,” a high-school comedy directed by Ari Sandel and starring Mae Whitman and Bella Throne.
Variety and others have speculated that this business maneuver will lead to an eventual merger between Lionsgate and CBS Corp., citing CBS Corp. chief Les Moonves’ desire to own a movie studio.
This is most likely a good move on the part of CBS Films. As we previously reported, 2014 has been CBS Films’ lowest- grossing year in its five year history, with its only moderate success story being the holdover grosses from the Coens’ “Inside Llewyn Davis.”