SANTA MONICA, CA, October 5, 2015 – Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a premier next generation global content leader, and Skydance, a diversified media company that creates event-level entertainment for global audiences, today announced that the two companies have formed a global television distribution pact. The launch of newly-created label Skydance International, which will feature Skydance Media’s current and emerging premium television properties around the world following their initial U.S. broadcast, augments Lionsgate’s worldwide distribution pipeline and permits the two companies to tap opportunities across the global television marketplace. Lionsgate currently distributes nearly 2,000 hours of television programming around the world.
The global distribution pact will encompass programming led by Skydance’s Emmy-nominated television series Grace and Frankie and critically-acclaimed drama Manhattan (produced in partnership with Lionsgate and Tribune Studios), as well as a number of new properties that Skydance is developing for the international television marketplace. These include Lore, which is executive produced by McG (Supernatural) and written by Zack Stentz (X-Men: First Class), and Madness of Angels, which is inspired by Kate Griffin’s six-book fantasy series. The project is executive produced by Neil Burger (Limitless, Divergent), who is also slated to direct, and written by rising star UK-based writer Ben Vanstone.
“We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with Skydance Media, one of the hottest and most dynamic film and television studios in the industry,” said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution Jim Packer. “The Skydance brand is synonymous with big, bold, quality entertainment events, and their television slate complements our global distribution pipeline. We’re excited to partner with them on all forms of global distribution, from the traditional to the disruptive, and we’ll focus on innovative deals that reflect today’s dynamic television ecosystem.”
“We believe joining together with Lionsgate – one of the most cutting-edge and creative content companies in the world – will strongly position the Skydance Media brand for success as we make our debut in the international television marketplace,” said Skydance Media Founder and Chief Executive Officer David Ellison. “We’ve worked hard to create premium, branded content that will resonate with audiences worldwide, and this new partnership with Lionsgate will accelerate our ability to distribute our shows far and wide across platforms and around the globe in conjunction with the launch of Skydance International.”
“As part of today’s announcement, we are excited to welcome Brandon Zimon to the Skydance Media team as Senior Vice President of International Television Sales and Co-Productions,” added Skydance Chief Operating Officer Jesse Sisgold. “In this important new role, Brandon will be responsible for collaborating with Lionsgate to expand the reach of our new and existing television properties around the world and for independently executing international television acquisitions for Skydance Media. ”
Zimon joins Skydance Media from Sony Pictures Television, where he spent over a decade, most recently as Vice President of International Distribution. He was instrumental in driving the value of a wide catalogue of shows, including the global hit The Blacklist and the Emmy-winning series Breaking Bad, in addition to overseeing third-party acquisitions and co-productions, including the international distribution rights to the Emmy-winning series, Transparent. Zimon reports directly to Sisgold.
Lionsgate is a premier next generation global content leader with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms, video games and international distribution and sales. Lionsgate currently has more than 30 television shows on over 20 different networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men and Nurse Jackie, the broadcast network series Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show, the hit series Orange is the New Black, the critically-acclaimed drama Manhattan and the breakout series The Royals.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first three installments of The Hunger Games franchise, the first two installments of the Divergent franchise, The Age of Adaline, CBS/Lionsgate’s The DUFF, John Wick, Now You See Me, Roadside Attractions’ Love & Mercy and Mr. Holmes, Lionsgate/Codeblack Films’ Addicted and Pantelion Films’ Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.
Lionsgate’s home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rates. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 16,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company’s core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
Skydance is a diversified media company founded by David Ellison in 2010 to create elevated, event-level entertainment for global audiences. The Company brings to life stories of immersive worlds across platforms, including feature film, television, gaming and digital. Among Skydance Media’s commercially and critically successful feature films are Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Terminator Genisys, World War Z, Jack Reacher, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Star Trek Into Darkness and True Grit. Its 2015 feature films, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Terminator Genisys have together grossed over $1 billion at the worldwide box office. Skydance’s future feature film slate includes Star Trek Beyond, the follow-up to Jack Reacher and Geostorm. The Company’s Emmy-nominated television series are Grace and Frankie on Netflix and Manhattan on WGN America.