Yesterday, 12:50 PM
- Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF -0.3%) has signed a deal to distribute key hit films on streaming platform iQiyi, China's largest.
- The deal covers both subscription and transactional video on demand for a number of higher-profile films from Lions Gate and third parties, including The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2; Allegiant, the next film in the Divergent franchise; Now You See Me 2; and action film Deepwater Horizon.
- IQiyi, controlled by Baidu (BIDU +1.6%), runs video platforms that have more than 500M unique users.
- Meanwhile, Lions Gate also expanded its distribution deal with Metropolitan Film Export in France. That pact now covers films that commence principal photography after Jan. 1, 2016.
Tue, Oct. 6, 9:15 AM
Mon, Oct. 5, 5:31 PM
- Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) and Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF) are in advanced talks about a merger, the Los Angeles Times is reporting -- a move that's been much discussed as investors divined John Malone's intentions.
- Starz is up 1.6% after hours; LGF is up 7.5% in late trading.
- According to the sources, Lions Gate management would run a combined company but find a key role for Starz CEO Chris Albrecht.
- Earlier this year, Malone hinted at a bigger tie-up after taking a minority stake in Lions Gate via a stock swap
- An outright deal isn't the only possible outcome, the Times said; a variety of closer partnerships are part of the discussions as well.
- Previously: Report: Lions Gate was close to Starz buyout (Apr. 29 2015)
- Previously: Maffei: More might come from Malone-Lions Gate relationship (Mar. 09 2015)
- Previously: Starz, Lions Gate deal may presage closer relationship (Feb. 11 2015)
Mon, Oct. 5, 1:39 PM
- Twenty-First Century Fox is trading up (FOX +1.6%, FOXA +2%) after a successful weekend for Matt Damon in The Martian, which easily topped the box office with $55M.
- It seemed like The Martian's weekend even before it hit theaters, with NASA's "water on Mars" announcement last Monday. The agency had been in touch in recent months with director Ridley Scott about their likely findings there. The film added $45M in foreign markets to hit $100M globally in its first weekend.
- Hotel Transylvania 2 (SNE +2.4%), which set a September opening record last week, was in the second position with $33M to bring its cumulative gross to $90.5M. Sicario (LGF +1.6%), which had logged impressive per-screen averages for Lions Gate in very light release the previous two weeks, took $12.1M in its wide release for third place.
- Fox also ran up numbers for its sequel Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, which has a three-week total of $63.2M.
- Wags noted that among Saving Private Ryan, Interstellar and The Martian, U.S. studios have spent hundreds of millions of dollars simply retrieving Matt Damon from somewhere. Maybe a good strategy, as those films have worldwide grosses of $482M, $675M and $100M (so far) respectively.
Mon, Oct. 5, 10:47 AM
- Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF +0.5%) and Skydance Media have come together on a global TV distribution deal that beefs up the Lions Gate pipeline with some emerging premium content.
- The new Skydance International label adds to Lions Gate's worldwide distribution, which currently supplies almost 2,000 hours of programming globally.
- The pact includes critically acclaimed series Grace and Frankie and Manhattan, as well as new international projects including Lore and Madness of Angels.
- Earlier this fall, Lions Gate named Sandra Stern head of its Television Group in a year where it's launching a record 16 original series.
Mon, Sep. 28, 10:55 AM
- Hotel Transylvania 2 nailed a much-needed win for Sony Pictures (SNE -4.1%), grossing $47.5M to set a September opening record and lead the box office over the weekend.
- The film broke its predecessor's record and easily outpaced The Intern (TWX -1.3%), which drew $18.2M as the other key debut of the week.
- It's Sony's biggest opening since early summer 2014, when 22 Jump Street opened with $57M.
- Among second-week holdovers, an expanded release for Everest (CMCSA -1.4%) didn't quite catch up to Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (FOX -0.8%, FOXA -0.9%), which took $14M and the No. 3 spot to Everest's $13.1M. Black Mass (NYSE:TWX) took $11.5M for the No. 5 spot.
- Drug-war story Sicario scored a light $1.8M in its second week for Lions Gate (LGF -2.1%), but with an impressive per-screen average as the film opened in just six theaters and moved to 59 over the weekend. It goes wide next weekend.
Thu, Sep. 17, 5:59 PM
- Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF +2%) has promoted Sandra Stern to president of its Television Group.
- Stern has been the group's COO during a time when the company built up 30 programs appearing on 20 different networks, including Orange is the New Black for Netflix, and ABC's Nashville. The TV Group has grown from $8M in revenue in 2000 to almost $600M last year.
- The company's launching a record 16 new original series this year. "Sandra and [group chairman] Kevin Beggs have complementary business and creative skills that make them a tremendous team in building our television business into one of the financial and strategic pillars of our company," says CEO Jon Feltheimer.
Wed, Sep. 16, 10:20 AM
- With traditional pay TV subscribers on the wane, a potential purchase of Starz (STRZA +5.6%) is not the best way to spend AMC Networks' (AMCX -1.1%) "M&A powder," says Stifel Nicolaus' Benjamin Mogil.
- Adding Starz won't change AMC's affiliate positioning, he writes, though for Starz (up solidly today), the combination makes more sense as a way to accelerate a possible discussion with Lions Gate (LGF +0.9%).
- He rates AMC Networks as a Buy and Starz at Hold.
- A deal here could speed up additional consolidation in the space, writes Macquarie's Amy Yong, who holds a Neutral rating on AMCX and Outperform on STRZA.
Tue, Sep. 15, 5:39 PM
- Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) is up 7% in after-hours trading on news that it's in talks to be acquired by AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX), itself up 2.5% after hours.
- Bloomberg reported the preliminary talks, which come after a few abortive attempts by suitors to acquire Starz in the past year. “They probably ultimately need to combine with others at least from a bundler point of view, if not from an ownership point of view,” John Malone -- Starz's top individual investor -- said last week.
- An AMC deal would require the sign-off of the Dolan family, who control voting power after AMC was spun off from Cablevision four years ago.
- Starz has a market cap of $3.9B and an enterprise value that's grown to more than $5B from $4B last year, during a period when it was often linked to Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF). Shares in Starz are up 26.1% over the past 12 months.
Tue, Sep. 15, 9:03 AM
Wed, Sep. 2, 4:57 PM
- Prestige studio Miramax, previously rumored to be exploring a sale, has hired Morgan Stanley to find a buyer, Bloomberg reports.
- Qatari investment bank QInvest will co-advise on the process, which is said to start formally after the Labor Day holiday. The studio is part-owned by Qatar through the country's sovereign wealth fund.
- Miramax could be looking for up to $1B after its current owners bought it from Disney for $660M in 2010, and bidders could include streaming services like Hulu (CMCSA, DIS, FOX, FOXA), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) or Amazon.com's Instant Video (NASDAQ:AMZN), or studios like MGM or oft-rumored buyer Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF).
- Miramax's most recent release is Mr. Holmes, with Ian McKellen as famed detective Sherlock Holmes, and it currently produces From Dusk Till Dawn, the TV adaptation of the film now in its second season on the El Rey network.
Mon, Aug. 31, 3:44 PM
- Epix's switch of distribution channels from Netflix to Hulu might be good for both Netflix and Epix part-owner Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF -1.6%), judging from analysts' reactions to the switch.
- Netflix stands to save substantially as the deal comes to an end, and it's signaling a shift of emphasis to its original films. Meanwhile, Epix -- run by Studio 3 Partners, a JV between Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount and Lions Gate -- should win Lions Gate a chance to "secure new traditional premium cable distribution, especially with Comcast," says Wunderlich's Matthew Harrigan.
- "Still perceive streaming upside within LGF’s TV business, especially for IP such as Orange is the New Black, which is an anchor for Netflix’s stateside brand image," Harrigan writes.
- The company has 16 new series launching this year, bringing deliveries to well over 30 series, he says. "Given the continuing ramp in this business, we have the $84M estimated F2016 TV profit increasing to $108M in F2017, and $169M in our final F2020. We conservatively do not have TV profit margin moving above 16%."
- Wunderlich has a Buy rating on LGF with a $43 price target; shares are trading currently at $36.64, implying 17% upside.
Sun, Aug. 30, 5:57 PM
- Epix will team with Hulu (CMCSA, DIS, FOX, FOXA) in a distribution deal to replace its pact with Netflix, TheWrap reports.
- Earlier, Netflix posted that its deal with Epix -- a cable/satellite network run by a joint venture of Paramount (VIA, VIAB), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF) -- would lapse at the end of September, meaning some high-profile Hollywood films would cease to be available to Netflix subscribers.
- Epix and Hulu could announce their deal as soon as tonight.
- Updated: Epix confirms a multi-year, non-exclusive deal with Hulu to begin Oct. 1.
Sun, Aug. 30, 3:25 PM
- Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) braced its subscribers for the loss of some hit movies with a blog post saying it's letting its agreement with cable network Epix lapse in September.
- The move will drop films including The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, World War Z and Transformers: Age of Extinction from Netflix's service at the end of next month.
- Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos used his post to emphasize Netflix's rapidly increasing investment in original films, as well as its coming exclusive deal with Disney (and with it, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel content).
- Epix -- owned by a joint venture between Paramount (VIA, VIAB), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF) -- signed a reported $1B exclusive deal in 2010 that allowed for films to appear on Netflix 90 days after debuting on Epix's pay channel. That deal became non-exclusive in 2012, leading Epix to a deal with Amazon.com that year.
Fri, Aug. 28, 11:58 AM
- Take-Two's (TTWO +1.3%) first-person shooter game Borderlands is coming to the big screen, via a collaboration with Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF -0.7%).
- The companies will team with producers Avi and Ari Arad (Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men) to make a film adaptation of the game, which spawned a number of sequels in a franchise that has shipped more than 26M game copies.
- ""Part of our strategy in entering the game space under Peter Levin has been to source new brands with built-in audiences that will translate into great films and television shows," Lions Gate's motion-picture co-chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger said.
Mon, Aug. 24, 1:32 PM
- With summer winding down, box office this weekend was down about 7% Y/Y with a lackluster set of new releases. But Universal's N.W.A picture Straight Outta Compton (NASDAQ:CMCSA) scored again, grossing $26.8M to bring its two-week total to $111.5M despite increasing press mentions charging the film with whitewashing the group's treatment of women.
- Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation (VIA, VIAB) took second place with $11.7M, bringing its four-week total to $157.8M. The new entries followed: Sinister 2 (CMCSA) in third with $10.6M; videogame convert Hitman: Agent 47 (FOX, FOXA) in fourth with $8.2M, and American Ultra (NYSE:LGF) sixth with $5.5M.
- In international markets, Terminator: Genisys (VIA, VIAB) is putting on a rebound, taking the top spot due to a big bow in China. The film has drawn just $89M domestically, but its worldwide total is $353M thanks to foreign markets. It was the fourth-best opening ever for a U.S. film in China.
- Stock movements among film producers have a heavy effect from today's market melt: CMCSA -1.5%; VIA +0.6%; VIAB -0.9%; FOX -2.2%; FOXA -1.9%; LGF -2.3%.
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Lions Gate Entertainment Corp is an entertainment company. The Company is engaged inmotion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, digital distribution and international distribution and sales.
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