EXCLUSIVE: In the latest of a series of deals to create an international distribution network with top-tier partners offshore, Lionsgate has made a multi-year deal with StudioCanal to release Lionsgate films in Germany and Austria. This comes after the companies arranged earlier for StudioCanal to release The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and renewing an arrangement where Lionsgate distributes StudioCanal’s 2,000+ library titles in North America. The new deal gives StudioCanal releasing rights for The Hunger Games finales Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2 in German speaking countries, and encompasses other films from the Lionsgate slate. Deal follows one made last week with Village Roadshow for Australia.
While Lionsgate acquired Summit in January, the Summit film slate isn’t part of this arrangement.
Lionsgate and StudioCanal have history together; they are also partnered in the Elevation Sales home entertainment joint venture in the UK and distribution of the Miramax library worldwide, and the two companies joined forces on the 2010 release of the hit horror The Last Exorcism.
“StudioCanal epitomizes the kind of blue-chip partner around whom we are building our international distribution network,” said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs Patrick Wachsberger and Rob Friedman. “Nobody knows our business better than they do, and their marketing prowess, brand recognition and vision will give us continuity, consistency and leadership in bringing our films to Germany and Austria for years to come.”
In a statement, StudioCanal chairman Olivier Courson said: “We’re delighted to expand and extend our multifaceted global partnership with Lionsgate to encompass distribution of their film slate in the German-speaking territories.”
“This agreement provides us with a pipeline of some of the most commercially exciting films in the world, including the rest of The Hunger Games franchise, from a company emerging as a major force in the global marketplace. Lionsgate titles added to our own StudioCanal productions give us great visibility on our 2014-2015 line up,” continued StudioCanal Germany CEO Rodolphe Buet.
The deal was orchestrated for Lionsgate by Wachsberger, Lionsgate International President Helen Lee Kim and Lionsgate Executive Vice President of International Legal & Business Affairs Michael Meyer, and by CEO Rodolphe Buet and Alexandra Bauermeister EVP Legal & Business Affairs at StudioCanal in Germany. The agreement complements Summit Entertainment’s continuing output deal with longtime partner Telemunchen.