Lionsgate Calms Investors With Talk About Charlie Sheen, 'Hunger Games' And 'Twilight'

Based on this morning’s nearly 6%-plus pop in Lionsgate’s share price, you’d never know how badly the company’s fiscal Q3 report released last night fell short of analyst forecasts. The market is forward looking, though, and Lionsgate execs filled their morning conference call with upbeat talk about their movie and TV plans. CEO Jon Feltheimer has high hopes for Charlie Sheen’s upcoming series on FX, Anger Management. The first 10 episodes begin production March 19. If they do well, then it “will be one of our most profitable series ever,” Feltheimer says, adding that Sheen “resonates with audiences around the world.” The company expects to have Anger Management double run in syndication much earlier than usual, and to have repeats on FX within 2 1/2 years. “We would be shooting it about twice as fast as you’d typically shoot a network show,” Feltheimer said. Now that its acquisition of Summit Entertainment has closed, the company is also cheering tonight’s home video release of Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1; the second-to-last Twilight installment will be out earlier than usual to coincide with Valentine’s Day. Lionsgate expects it to sell about as well as the previous film from the series, Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Many stores, including several Walmarts, will stay open past midnight to accomodate fans who can’t wait. Trailers for Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 2 will debut at showings of The Hunger Games beginning on its opening night. Not surprisingly, Lionsgate co-chair Rob Friedman says that if author Stephenie Meyer wants to write another Twilight installment, then “we’ll be there to support her.” (more…)

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