Lionsgate Plans ‘My Little Pony’ With Kristin Chenoweth, VR For ‘John Wick’

The My Little Pony production for 2017 builds on Lionsgate’s relationship with Hasbro, which already includes a planned movie based on Monopoly, studio CEO Jon Feltheimer told analysts this morning.

The animated movie — the first for Hasbro’s Allspark Pictures — is “currently in production,” he says. Kristin Chenoweth will “voice an all new My Little Pony character in the film.” This production and Monopoly “will be repeatable franchises.”

Lionsgate will distribute and market Pony globally except in China.

The CEO added that Lionsgate plans a virtual reality game for John Wick, which he says “is evolving into one of our newest action franchises.” The deal with Starbreeze will create what the companies call a “first-person shooter game based on the world and characters of the John Wick films and centered around the infamous Continental Hotel.”

Lionsgate also says it’s close to completing a multipicture deal with Studio Canal that will include Robinson Crusoe.

While Feltheimer led with the announcements, analysts — still shaken by this week’s sell-off in media stocks — wanted to know how Lionsgate likely will fare if many pay TV subscribers cut the cord, or switch to skinny bundles.

“We have a simple plan, to be one of the foremost producers of premium content,” he says. “The bottom line is people are watching more content and spending more dollars across more distribution platforms than ever before…We’re well positioned to meet this challenge.”

TV Group Chairman Kevin Beggs pointed to opportunities in digital: Although Netflix is “a clear category leader” in the U.S., “that leaves opportunities for competitors such as Amazon and Hulu to catch up…They’re each going to need a network-defining scripted series.” In addition, “many of the international buyers in France and Germany are looking for English speaking series.”

Will Lionsgate see the downturn in media values as an opportunity to buy assets?  While they “become more interesting,” Vice Chairman Michael Burns says, “we are disciplined in what we buy.”

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