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Lionsgate Inks Movie Deal With Chinese Digital Platform

9 Oct, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Lionsgate Oct. 9 announced a multiyear movie license agreement with iQIYI, a Chinese online video platform and subsidiary of Baidu, China’s largest search engine.

The deal covers subscription video-on-demand and transactional VOD rights for Lionsgate theatrical titles, including the "Hunger Games" franchise, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2; the next film in the "Divergent" franchise, Allegiant; Now You See Me 2; and action thriller Deepwater Horizon, with Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson, John Malkovich, Dylan O’Brien and Gina Rodriguez.

The package also includes pending Lionsgate releases Sicario, starring Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin and Emily Blunt; teen thriller Nerve; The Shack, starring Sam Worthington and Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer; and the musical love letter LaLa Land, directed by Oscar-nominated Whiplash filmmaker Damien Chazelle and starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

“[iQIYI] will provide a quality showcase for our slate of high-profile event movies, and our agreement underscores our commitment to innovation and leadership in delivering premium content to online audiences around the world,” Wendy Reeds, EVP of international sales, said in a statement.

Lionsgate’s association with China isn’t new. The Santa Monica, Calif.-based mini-major has been linked to interest by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, in addition to Dalian Wanda Group Co., which acquired U.S. theatrical chain AMC Entertainment for $2.6 billion.

Earlier this year, Hunan TV & Broadcast Intermediary Co. Ltd, a Chinese based media distributor, entered a partnership with Lionsgate for the production and distribution of movies and related content — excluding the "Hunger Games," "Twilight" and "Divergent" franchises.

As part of the agreement, Lionsgate will distribute select Chinese content in foreign markets, including the United States. Hunan, which operates a studio in Hong Kong, would also establish an office in the U.S.

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