SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Universal Pictures, one of the world's leading producers and distributors of filmed entertainment, has acquired distribution rights in Italy to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the next installment of Lionsgate's (NYSE: LGF) blockbuster Hunger Games franchise, it was announced today by Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs Patrick Wachsberger and Rob Friedman.
The first film in the franchise, the global blockbuster The Hunger Games, has already grossed $400 million at the North American box office, the 14th highest-grossing film of all time, and is nearing $650 million at the worldwide box office with a nationwide launch in China upcoming later this week.
"We are delighted to expand our successful international partnership with Universal to Italy on this exciting franchise," said Lionsgate International President Helen Lee Kim, who orchestrated the deal along with Wachsberger. "We have enjoyed a productive relationship with Universal in several territories on such recent Lionsgate and Summit films as the Step Up franchise, What to Expect When You're Expecting and The Cabin in the Woods. The Hunger Games has emerged as a truly global phenomenon, and we believe that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will elevate the franchise to a new level of performance at the international box office."
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will go into production in September and will be released worldwide on November 22, 2013.
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of primetime cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 16 shows on more than 10 networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men, Weeds and Nurse Jackie, along with the powerful drama Boss, the new network series Nashville and Next Caller, the syndication successes Tyler Perry's House of Payne, its spinoff Meet the Browns, The Wendy Williams Show, Are We There Yet? and the upcoming Anger Management, starring Charlie Sheen, and Orange Is The New Black, an original series for Netflix.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first installment of The Hunger Games franchise, which has already grossed nearly $650 million at the worldwide box office, The Expendables, The Lincoln Lawyer, The Cabin in the Woods, Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family and Margin Call. With the January 2012 acquisition of Summit Entertainment, the Company has now added the blockbuster Twilight Saga, which has grossed more than $2.5 billion at the worldwide box office, to its current slate, giving the Company the two premier young adult franchises in the world. Recent Summit hits include Red, Letters to Juliet, Knowing, the Step Up franchise and the Academy Award-winning Best Picture, The Hurt Locker.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 13,000 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.
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