Lionsgate Canada has formed a strategic arrangement with industry vet Loewy, leading local exhibitor Cineplex and indie firm Mongrel to handle Canadian theatrical distribution of films produced or acquired by Lionsgate.
The first film expected to be released under the partnership will be Rian Johnson’s starry murder mystery Knives Out with Daniel Craig.
Michael Meyer and Susan Hummel negotiated on behalf of Lionsgate but further terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed. I hear the pact won’t impact headcount at Lionsgate.
The tie-up is an interesting one seeing as Loewy, who left Alliance when the company was bought by Entertainment One in 2013, is seen by some as the godfather of Canadian distribution, and given the clout of theater chain Cineplex and the reputation of distributor Mongrel. A tie-up between a studio distributor and a major exhibitor isn’t an everyday occurrence.
The move will be keenly watched by Canadian kingpin eOne, among others. Lionsgate’s Canadian roots run deep, of course, having been founded in the country two decades ago. Details of who is on the line for what have yet to be disclosed, however. More when we have it.
Joe Drake, chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said of the deal, “The theatrical distribution of our films is in extraordinary hands with Victor Loewy leading a strategic arrangement that combines his immense experience with the distribution infrastructure of Mongrel Media, and the strength of the Cineplex footprint. It’s the perfect team in Canada that ensures we execute on our mission, to create a home where artists can truly thrive and deliver the magic of their storytelling.”
Added Loewy: “I have such deep history with Lionsgate, Mongrel and Cineplex, so it makes perfect sense to partner with these first-class companies to release Lionsgate’s commercially exciting, star-driven theatrical slate.”
Alliance previously bought Maple Pictures from Lionsgate and the two companies also had an output deal in Spain. After Alliance, Loewy did serve a short time as chairman of Canadian outfit Elevation.
“As one of Canada’s leading entertainment and media companies, this strategic alliance maximizes the value of our ecosystem,” said Ellis Jacob, president and CEO of Cineplex. “We are proud to be the country’s only truly national film exhibitor, and it is the combination of our extensive cross-Canada theatre network, media assets like our Pre-Show and digital properties as well as our ability to connect with over nine million Canadians through the SCENE loyalty program that add value to the marketing and promotion of Lionsgate’s already strong film slate.”