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Lionsgate Finalizes International Operations

12 Apr, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

High-flying minimajor Lionsgate April 12 said it has reorganized its international operations following the January acquisition of Summit Entertainment.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Lionsgate said the restructured foreign team — comprised internally of both Lionsgate and Summit personnel — is led by Patrick Wachsberger, recently appointed co-chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.

The new international operations have no effect on home entertainment, which continues to be led by Lionsgate Motion Picture Group president and co-COO Steve Beeks.

Wachsberger will lead the newly constituted international sales team, handling select territories himself, joined on a worldwide basis by EVP of international sales Anne-Marie Ross and SVP of international sales Crystal Bourbeau, as well as EVP Wendy Reeds, who also heads up sales for the recently launched Celestial Tiger Entertainment venture in Asia.

“This team blends diverse strengths from both companies, and we believe that it reflects the enormous potential that can be achieved by our combined operations going forward,” Wachsberger said in a statement.

Lionsgate’s outgoing head of international, Helen Lee Kim, is leaving the studio later this year. Kim will continue to represent Lionsgate at the upcoming Cannes Film Market and will assist in the transition of her duties to the new team.

Lionsgate is riding high on the current box office juggernaut, The Hunger Games, which to date has generated more than $467 million in global ticket sales, including nearly $310 million domestically.

The first movie based on a trilogy of teen novels by Suzanne Collins, has overshadowed a bit the ongoing success of "The Twilight Saga" franchise. Breaking Dawn — Part 2 is due out this winter. Both films are expected to generate substantial home entertainment revenue.

Indeed, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1 has generated nearly $90 million in DVD sales (excluding Blu-ray Disc) since its Feb. 11 release, according to The-Numbers.com.

Meanwhile, The Hunger Games has propelled Lionsgate to No. 3 with more than 13% of the domestic box office revenue (through April 9) behind Sony Pictures (14%) and No. 1 Universal Studios (16%), according to BoxOfficeMojo.com. Lionsgate thus far has released four movies theatrically in 2012 compared with 10 films for Sony Pictures/Columbia and seven movies for Universal.


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