Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate Entertainment are in discussions about a possible merger, according to Bloomberg, which cited two unidentified sources with knowledge of the situation. With the first part of the Twilight vampire franchise’s finale coming off a hot worldwide opening, talks that have previously broken down over money and control issues may be heating up again. There also have been rumblings that other companies are interested in a deal with Summit or Lionsgate either separately or in some kind of combination. All the discussions are preliminary and speculative and could easily fall apart. Lionsgate has a fairly large library of movies and TV content that would be vastly enriched by Summit’s TheTwilight Saga franchise. The latest movie, Breaking Dawn Part 1, has generated more than $220 million domestically in its first two weekends plus nearly $270 million overseas. The franchise has grossed in excess of $1 billion. Breaking Dawn Part 2 will be released next year. Lionsgate has its own potential hit franchise based on a comparable set of young-adult novels in The Hunger Games. The first movie opens in March. Lionsgate also has an active TV division that produces Mad Men, Nurse Jackie, Weeds and Boss, among others. An analyst cited by Bloomberg said The Hunger Games and its sequels could generate between $220 million-$733 million in additional cash flow over the next few years.
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