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Lionsgate Names Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger Co-Chairs

20 Jan, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Lionsgate Jan. 20 named Summit Entertainment joint chief executives Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger co-chairs of the minimajor’s motion picture group. They report to Lionsgate co-chairman and CEO Jon Feltheimer and vice chairman Michael Burns.

Feltheimer said that Joe Drake, co-COO and former president of the motion picture group, would remain with Lionsgate to help launch the March 23 theatrical release of The Hunger Games – the studio’s highly touted potential movie franchise. Drake, who joined Lionsgate in 2007, was instrumental in the acquisition and development of Hunger Games, which is based on a series of young adult novels.

Friedman and Wachsberger, who helped up Summit Entertainment into a major movie producer with the $2.5 billion “Twilight” franchise in 2007, will oversee all aspects of Lionsgate's domestic and international feature film acquisition, production and distribution business, as well as the home entertainment releases of theatrical feature films.

“We believe that the feature film slates and home entertainment operations of the combined company will have unparalleled resonance for audiences, creative talent and buyers around the world,” Friedman and Wachsberger said in a statement.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Lionsgate’s vaunted home entertainment remains headed by co-COO Steve Beeks, according to a studio source. It remains to be seen what role Steve Nickerson, president of Summit Home Entertainment, will play in the merged company.

“[Beeks] continues to run all aspects of the home entertanment business as he always has,” said the source.


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