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Lionsgate get 'Bratz'

10 Nov, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold

“Bratz” is coming to Lionsgate.

The independent studio Thursday announced both a theatrical film and a series of animated direct-to-DVD features based on the sassy dolls.

U.S. distribution rights to the live-action film, tentatively titled Bratz: The Movie, have been acquired from Crystal Sky Pictures, which is financing the Sean McNamara-helmed film. Production will start in February 2007.

Lionsgate also has cut a deal with MGA Entertainment for exclusive North American home entertainment distribution rights to future Bratz DVDs.

First up: Bratz Fashion Pixiez, an all-new animated, direct-to-DVD release slotted for spring 2007 release. Each Bratz DVD will be supported by all-new lines of dolls and toys based on the movie.

“There is no company that has a better pulse on what today's girl is looking for than MGA,” said Lionsgate president Steve Beeks. “Bratz has been a phenomenal success story; it's amazing to realize that the property is only five years old when considering its incredible popularity and penetration in the marketplace.”

Since the introduction of Bratz in 2001, the market has supported a Bratz magazine; a top-rated animated series on 4 KidsTV; several DVDs and video games; various footwear, clothing and accessories lines; and a No. 1 album on Billboard's children's chart.

One of the producers of Bratz: The Movie is Avi Arad, the former Marvel chief who partnered with Lionsgate on two film deals based on Marvel Comics characters, one a line of live-action films beginning with the April 2004 theatrical release The Punisher and the other a series of animated direct-to-DVD features that kicked off with the February 2006 release of Ultimate Avengers—The Movie.

“We forged a terrific relationship with Avi Arad making The Punisher and the direct-to-DVD Marvel Animated Feature series, and we're thrilled to be working with him at his new production company,” Beeks said.

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