I first reported this on March 27th (Lionsgate About To Do Big Relativity Deal). It took Variety until April 13th to even confirm it. Here’s today’s announcement:
SANTA MONICA, CA (April 27, 2009) – LIONSGATE® (NYSE: LGF), a leading next generation filmed entertainment studio, and Relativity Media, a premier media and entertainment company, announced today that they have finalized a new multi-picture, multi-year deal under which Lionsgate will acquire U.S. distribution rights for up to five Relativity Media productions per year. The agreement builds upon the successful relationship established by the companies during the past two years, when they partnered on the critical and commercial hits THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM, 3:10 TO YUMA and THE BANK JOB. The announcement was jointly made by Joe Drake, Lionsgate President, Motion Picture Group, and Co-Chief Operating Officer, and Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity Media.
Said Drake, “Ryan Kavanaugh and his colleagues at Relativity Media have built an extraordinary company that is one of the industry’s most prolific suppliers of broad-appeal, talent-driven motion pictures. This agreement solidifies the long-term relationship we built together through successful partnerships on 3:10 TO YUMA, THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM and THE BANK JOB. We are thrilled to bring these new movies into the Lionsgate family, adding to the tally of first-rate productions that will define the Lionsgate release slate going forward.”
Said Kavanaugh, “This deal represents a big step in the evolution of a partnership between two forward-thinking companies. Lionsgate is defined by its keen ability to take smart risks on compelling films. Lionsgate treats its distribution of films as an owner, thinking creatively about how to approach every film uniquely and maximize the value of each and every project. These films are in great hands thanks to this relationship.”
The first title to be released under the new agreement is BROTHERS, the highly anticipated new film directed by six-time Academy Award® nominee Jim Sheridan (IN AMERICA, MY LEFT FOOT). Tobey Maguire, Academy Award® nominee Jake Gyllenhaal and Academy Award® nominee Natalie Portman star in this drama about the rivalry and ultimate redemption of two brothers in love with the same woman. Based on the award-winning 2004 film by Danish writer/director Susanne Bier, BROTHERS is expected to be released by Lionsgate later this year. It will be followed by the supernatural thriller SEASON OF THE WITCH and the action/comedy THE SPY NEXT DOOR, both of which are currently in postproduction. Directed by Dominic Sena (GONE IN 60 SECONDS), SEASON OF THE WITCH stars Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman and introduces Claire Foy in the story of 14th Century knights transporting a girl suspected of being the witch who has spread the Black Plague. SEASON OF THE WITCH marks Relativity’s first film in their output arrangement with Charles Roven’s Atlas Entertainment. Directed by Brian Levant (ARE WE THERE YET?), THE SPY NEXT DOOR stars Jackie Chan as a mild-mannered suburbanite who agrees to babysit his neighbor’s unruly kids, only to have them accidentally blow his cover as a secret agent. Additional titles will be announced at a future date.
The deal was negotiated for Lionsgate by Jason Constantine, President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions, Wendy Jaffe, Executive Vice President Business & Legal Affairs, Acquisitions and Co-Productions, and Sean Kisker, Executive Vice President, Strategic Planning & Operations, Motion Picture Group; and by Ryan Kavanaugh, Chief Executive Officer, Tucker Tooley, President of Production, Andrew Marcus, Chief Operating Officer, and Linda Benjamin, Executive Vice President Business & Legal Affairs on behalf of Relativity Media.