Lionsgate Introduces Distribution Unit To Target Next-Gen Audiences

Lionsgate Premiere will handle up to 15 releases a year, targeting young audiences at theaters and digital outlets, the studio says this morning. The new label, part of the company’s diversification effort, will incorporate Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment titles and then specialize in “innovative multiplatform and other release strategies” to reach “affinity audiences with branded content and targeted marketing.” Marketing and Research SVP Jean McDowell will handle marketing, with distribution to be run by Adam Sorensen, who currently manages Western Sales.

Lionsgate Premiere “positions us to further expand our portfolio of releases and capitalize on opportunities to deliver an exciting slate of films to next generation audiences,” Motion Picture Group President Steve Beeks says. “We have put in place a dynamic marketing and distribution team that will ensure that the Lionsgate Premiere brand is distinguished by provocative and original storytelling, innovative marketing campaigns and forward-looking multiplatform and other release strategies that maintain our leadership at the cutting edge of industry innovation.”

The new label will kick off this fall with the release of a Chinese hit, Dragon Blade, which stars Jackie Chan, Adrien Brody and John Cusack. That will be followed by Cooties, which the studio calls an “offbeat zom-com” that stars Rainn Wilson and Elijah Wood. Other Lionsgate Premiere releases will include Don Verdean, a comedy starring Sam Rockwell, Danny McBride and Will Forte; Knock Knock, a horror/thriller starring Keanu Reeves; and Extraction, an action-thriller that features Bruce Willis, Kellen Lutz and former MMA fighter Gina Carano.

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