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Lionsgate Bows 'Premiere' Distribution Label

1 Apr, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Unit to release 15 movies annually targeting niche audiences via alternative channels

Lionsgate is launching a specialty film distribution label called “Lionsgate Premiere,” with the purpose of releasing about 15 Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment titles annually through alternative channels, including digital, according to Steve Beeks, co-COO and motion picture group president.

Lionsgate Premiere aims to focus on customizing multiplatform release strategies for the movies to capitalize on changing consumer habits, including reaching affinity audiences with branded content and targeted marketing.

Marketing initiatives will be headed by Jean McDowell, SVP of marketing and research under the supervision of chief marketing officer Tim Palen. Adam Sorensen, currently manager of western sales at Lionsgate, will oversee distribution operations.

The label kicks off this fall with Chinese actioner Dragon Blade, starring Jackie Chan, Adrien Brody and John Cusack; and popular Sundance Film Festival title Cooties, starring Rainn Wilson and Elijah Wood and written by "Saw" franchise co-creator Leigh Whannell. Other Premiere titles include comedy Don Verdean, starring Sam Rockwell, Danny McBride and Will Forte; horror/thriller Knock Knock, from Cabin Fever and Hostel writer-director Eli Roth, starring Keanu Reeves; and the action thriller Extraction, featuring Bruce Willis, Kellen Lutz and MMA fighter-turned-actress Gina Carano.

“Our new Premiere brand positions us to further expand our portfolio of releases and capitalize on opportunities to deliver an exciting slate of films to next-generation audiences,” Beeks said in a statement.

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