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Lionsgate Diversifies With Indie Titles

15 Feb, 2008 By: Billy Gil

Starting Out in the Evening

Lionsgate, the mini-major long known as a horror haven, has lately been diversifying its product with adventurous independent films. Similarly to its Bella, which has ties to both arthouse and faith-based film fans, two newly announced Lionsgate titles also appeal to a varied audience.

In Wristcutters: A Love Story, a guy offs himself and seeks out his ex-girlfriend, who also has ended her own life, in purgatory, which in the reality of the film is just a slightly-skewed version of the guy's real life. According to Lionsgate, which is releasing the film on DVD March 25 (prebook Feb. 27) at $26.98, this is just the kind of product the company is seeking.

“It's actually a love story,” said Chela Johnson, VP of marketing for Lionsgate. “You can look at it as a depressing topic, or you can look at it in the complete opposite way.”

Wristcutters stars Patrick Fugit (Almost Famous) and Shannyn Sossamon (One Missed Call) and features an appearance by singer Tom Waits. The DVD includes a commentary track, a making-of featurette, deleted scenes, and Fugit's on-set photo gallery.

Lionsgate also has slated Starting Out in the Evening, due April 22 (prebook March 26) at $27.98. The film was an official selection of the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival, and features such acclaimed actors as Frank Langella, Lauren Ambrose and Lili Taylor.

The film tells the story of an aging writer/professor who is cajoled by his student to revisit his life and his writing. The DVD includes a commentary track with director Andrew Wagner.

The character-driven film is indicative of Lionsgate's broadening approach beyond horror and catalog product.

“We're definitely going to be branching out [beyond niche horror],” Johnson said.

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