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Lionsgate in 'After Dark' Deal

27 Sep, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Seeking to further cement its reputation as the pre-eminent distributor of horror films, Lionsgate Sept. 27 announced it had signed a three-year production and distribution deal with After Dark Films.

The Santa Monica, Calif.-based mini-major boasts an impressive horror catalog that includes The Devil's Rejects, See No Evil (Nov. 28) and the “Saw” franchise, among others.

Financial terms of the deal, which includes cable television, free TV, pay-per-view (PPV), video-on-demand (VOD) and international, in addition to DVD, were not disclosed.

Beverly Hills, Calif.-based After Dark will supply Lionsgate with an undisclosed number of wide-release and specialty films annually. Both companies will split marketing and distribution costs. They will also co-produce films.

After Dark significantly raised its profile in May following the successful self-release (day-and-date against Mission: Impossible III) of An American Haunting, which grossed more than $16 million theatrically.

“After Dark has already established a distinctive signature in the marketplace, and we look to them as an important supplier of independent, commercially strong motion picture product as we continue to organically and cost-effectively grow our film slate,” said Lionsgate vice chairman Michael Burns. “ADF will help us continue to expand our wide-release slate with exciting independent product that complements our current business model.”

Lionsgate streets Haunting, which stars Donald Sutherland, Sissy Spacek and James D'Arcy, on DVD Oct. 24 and Saw III theatrically on Halloween.

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