Lionsgate has entered a new and expanded multi-year output deal with longstanding partner Nordisk Film in Scandinavia. The agreement covers upcoming Lionsgate and Summit titles including the next two Hunger Games franchise installments; the next three films in the recently-launched Divergent franchise; sequel Now You See Me 2; crime thriller Child 44 and Alex Proyas’ Gods Of Egypt. “Lionsgate and Summit have enjoyed a tremendous relationship with Nordisk over the years, partnering on nearly 200 films, including the launch of the Twilight, Hunger Games and Divergent franchises,” say Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs Patrick Wachsberger and Rob Friedman. “We’re delighted to celebrate the renewal of our output deal with our strongest and most diverse slate ever, and we look forward to expanding our partnership with Nordisk on the production front as well.”
Picturehouse Entertainment will stream the BBC Radio 2 D-Day concert at The Royal Albert Hall live to UK cinemas on June 6. The concert is part of BBC Radio 2’s D-Day activity which culminates in the D-Day 70 Years On special at the Royal Albert. The live cinema broadcast is a means for elderly veterans and others who are unable to travel to London or France to mark the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings. Hosts Jeremy Vine, Dermot O’Leary and Louise Minchin will re-tell the story of key moments of D-Day alongside a cast of actors led by Patrick Stewart as Winston Churchill. The show will go out through Cineworld, Picturehouse, Vue and independent cinemas across the UK and proceeds will be donated to charities including The Royal British Legion. Stewart says, “I am delighted and proud to be part of this anniversary commemoration. Churchill wrote English to be spoken and I have always loved quoting his remark that ‘The greatest virtue is courage, because it makes all the other virtues possible’.”
Mongrel Media has acquired all Canadian rights to Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. The film bowed in Sundance earlier this year and later screened in Berlin. Shot over a dozen years, it stars Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane and Linklater’s daughter Lorelei. In Berlin, it won the directing Silver Bear. Mongrel is planning a platform release, starting July 18, in Canada. The deal was made with Cinetic Media. Set mostly in Houston, Texas, and shot from 2002 to 2013, the film covers 12 years in the life of a family that includes Mason (Coltrane), his older sister (Linklater) and their divorced parents (Hawke and Arquette). Linklater wrote, directed and produced. Cathleen Sutherland also produced with Jonathan Sehring and John Sloss as executive producers.
Grant Ross has been named EVP Global Creative Development and Format Acquisition at Zodiak Media. The former Endemol exec will be responsible for driving Zodiak’s global formats business and will co-chair the company’s new International Development Board together with Joel Karsberg, Chief Creative of Zodiak Nordic, to turn locally produced properties into global formats. Ross’ roles at Endemol included Director of International at Endemol France and Global Head of Acquisitions at Endemol Group.
Fox International Channels’ pan-European strategy of releasing the 4th season of The Walking Dead in multiple markets a day after the U.S. broadcast has paid off. During the premiere period for the show (Part 1 was shown from October to December 2013, and Part 2 from February to April 2014), The Walking Dead attracted almost 25M viewers across 14 markets in Europe, including 9.5M new viewers to all channels. All European Fox channels showing the season had a spike in viewing figures throughout the entire run. FIC is the exclusive owner of the first broadcast window outside the U.S. and aims overall to launch new series globally as close as possible to American schedules.