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Report: Lionsgate, Summit Renew Merger Talks

28 Nov, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Lionsgate and privately held “Twilight” studio Summit Entertainment have reportedly renewed merger talks.

The discussions rekindled despite past differences over the price of the deal and management control, according to Bloomberg, which cited two sources familiar with the situation.

Summit just released The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1, which has topped the domestic box office for two weeks running generating more than $221 million in ticket sales.

The “Twilight” franchise has generated more than $1 billion for Summit, which was formed in 2007 by former Paramount Pictures executive Rob Friedman.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Lionsgate, which produces the critically acclaimed “Mad Men” series and co-owns pay-TV platform Epix, has high hopes for March theatrical release The Hunger Games, starring 2010 Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence. The movie is based on a popular young-adult book trilogy and is considered a possible successor to the “Twilight” franchise.

Lionsgate lost $24.6 million during its most recent fiscal period.

Representatives from Summit and Lionsgate were not immediately available for comment.

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