Craig Ferguson intends to step up production activity as his Green Mountain West production banner under an overall deal inked with Lionsgate Television.
Pact calls for Green Mountain to develop scripted and unscripted series for the studio. Green Mountain had been based at CBS, where it fielded a range of development projects. Ferguson’s “Late Late Show” producer Michael Naidus will work with the company on projects, along with Green Mountain prexy Phil Cottone. Ferguson may wind up writing, directing or acting in various projects.
“Craig is one of the most creative minds in comedy, and we’re extremely proud that he’s chosen Lionsgate as his home for this next chapter in his remarkable career,” said Lionsgate TV Group chairman Kevin Beggs. “We’re looking forward to creating great television together.”
Ferguson’s overall deal with Lionsgate has been in the works even as he pursued a deal for a syndicated talkshow with Tribune Broadcasting and Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury distribution unit. Tribune’s major-market stations committed to an early-evening half-hour hosted by Ferguson, but the plan for a national launch in the fall was tabled earlier this month amid resistance from other crucial station owners including the Sinclair Broadcast Group.
Debmar-Mercury also distribs the syndicated gameshow “Celebrity Name Game,” which Ferguson hosts. The FremantleMedia North America strip is in the midst of its first season and has been renewed for a sophomore round in 2015-16.
NBC has ordered the comedy pilot “Cuckoo,” based on the BBC3 series that starred Andy Samberg as an offbeat American who marries into a British family.
The U.S. rendition comes from Lionsgate TV and will be spearheaded by showrunner-exec producer Tim Long (“The Simpsons”). “Cuckoo” creators Robin French and Kieron Quirke are on board as writers and exec producers, along with Ash Atalla.
“Cuckoo” has aired two seasons to date on BBC3, although Samberg exited after the end of the first season in 2013 because of his commitment to Fox’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
The British version featured Greg Davies as the stern father of a woman who returns home married to a “spiritual ninja” after spending a year in America. In the second season, the Cuckoo character goes missing, and Samberg’s void was filled by actor Taylor Lautner in a different role.
Samberg is not expected to be involved in the U.S. rendition.
Okay, this is more like it, forget Mortdecai:
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. is in advanced negotiations with China's Hunan TV & Broadcast Intermediary Co. Ltd. for a three-year film making deal worth $1.5 billion.
The deal includes film production and distribution, with Santa Monica-based Lionsgate helping to distribute Chinese films produced by Hunan TV to other countries, Reuters reported, citing a regulatory filing by Hunan TV with the Shenzhen stock exchange.
In turn, the Hunan-based company, which owns a film making unit in Hong Kong and is the second-largest broadcaster in China after China Central Television, plans to set up a unit in the United States.
The deal also includes local film production in China and television initiatives, while Lionsgate, the studio behind the "Hunger Games" franchise, could also co-produce movies with Hunan TV, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Hunan TV plans to contribute about 25 percent of the $1.5 billion investment in the venture, the L.A. Times said.
The deal marks the latest among Chinese companies that are seeking to expand in Hollywood, while U.S. studios look to gain a greater share of China's box office. The country's theatrical film market is the second largest in the world next to the U.S., with total ticket sales up 36 percent to $4.8 billion last year, the Times said.
Last year, Shanghai investment firm Fosun International Ltd., agreed to invest about $200 million in Studio 8, a film company started by former Warner Bros. Pictures Group President Jeff Robinov. In 2012, Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co. bought the U.S. theater chain AMC for $2.6 billion. Wanda's billionaire chairman, Wang Jianlin, told Bloomberg in December that his company held talks to buy stakes in Lionsgate and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.
Lionsgate last summer partnered with China's Alibaba Group to launch a subscription video streaming service for mainland China called Lionsgate Entertainment World.
1. Mockingjay Part 1 $333,180,638
2. Guardians of the Galaxy $333,172,112
January 20th will be the day MJ1 passes Guardians Of The Galaxy for Domestic box office.
MJ1 Japan debut now in June? Might as well make that one 3D also.
It was kind of funny watching Icahn & Burns from an old interview. Icahn seemed awfully frustrated.
Forecasting strong performances by Lionsgate’s young adult franchises, Standard and Poor’s has upgraded the studio’s corporate rating to BB- from B+.
“We believe the ‘Hunger Games’ franchise’s continued success (with the last film scheduled for release on Nov. 20, 2016) and the potential success of the ‘Divergent’ franchise (which has three films scheduled for release March 2015 through 2017) could provide greater predictability for Lionsgate’s profitability and credit profile for the next few years,” analysts Naveen Sarma and Chris Valentine wrote.
The BB- rating is one level below the top speculative grade of BB+. The analysts also gave the studio a “stable” outlook in a note published Tuesday.
“The stable outlook reflects our expectations that Lionsgate will broaden its cash flow base by firmly establishing new film franchises, expanding its film library cash flow, and growing its TV production segment profitably — all of which could reduce earnings volatility,” they said.
The analysts added that the biggest near-term risk to their rating is Lionsgate’s ability to replace the “Hunger Games” franchise, which has generated over $2.2 billion worldwide from its three titles. “Divergent” grossed about $290 million worldwide last year.
The agency also said Lionsgate’s expansion of TV production — which includes “Orange Is the New Black” and “Anger Management” — has the potential for “recurring profitability” if it produces shows that move into syndication.
Two weeks before the start of the Sundance Film Festival, one of its highest-profile titles has secured distribution, as Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions will partner on the release of Craig Zobel’s “Z For Zachariah,” which stars Margot Robbie, Chris Pine and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Grindstone Entertainment will present the sci-fi thriller, which was executive produced by the company’s Barry Brooker and Stan Wertlieb.
While its involvement had never been reported, Lionsgate has actually had the project for some time, though the company only recently decided on its release plans.
20th Century Fox $1,769,074,641
Buena Vista $1,594,747,815
Warner Bros. $1,539,194,502
Sony / Columbia $1,248,705,407
Weinstein Company $214,586,718
Lionsgate #7 domestic box office for 2014. Both 20th Century Fox & Paramount surged ahead from last year.
John Wick was #3 domestic for LGF.
2015 will have Insurgent, Now You See Me 2 & MJ2. IMO, Insurgent will beat Divergent by up to 20% domestic.
Studio Gross-2014 Gross-2013 Gross Diff %Diff # Movies-2014 # Movies-2013 # Movies-Diff
20th Century Fox $1,769,074,641 $1,048,487,972 +$720,586,669 +68.7% 22 19 +3
Fox Searchlight $143,886,138 $114,493,279 +$29,392,859 +25.7% 11 11 0
Focus Features $125,037,340 $100,833,422 +$24,203,918 +24.0% 12 10 +2
Paramount $1,044,205,963 $940,800,479 +$103,405,484 +11.0% 18 16 +2
Open Road Films $162,580,765 $147,030,215 +$15,550,550 +10.6 9 8 +1
Sony / Columbia $1,248,705,407 $1,130,532,356 +$118,173,051 +10.5% 22 20 +2
Buena Vista $1,594,747,815 $1,676,516,403 -$81,768,588 -4.9% 17 17 0
Warner Bros. $1,539,194,502 $1,836,728,154 -$297,533,652 -16.2% 31 34 -3
Relativity $186,297,002 $241,273,949 -$54,976,947 -22.8% 12 9 +3
Universal $1,098,299,588 $1,426,941,314 -$328,641,726 -23.0% 18 19 -1
Lionsgate $730,295,180 $1,058,045,291 -$327,750,111 -31.0% 22 26 -4
Weinstein Company $214,586,718 $488,899,775 -$274,313,057 -56.1% 19 21 -2
FilmDistrict $3,134 $214,935,000 -$214,931,866 -100.0% 1 7 -6
TOTALS: $9,856,914,193 $10,425,517,609 -$568,603,416 #$%$ 214 217 -3
"Mockingjay, Part 1" is showing very good staying power compared to the likes of "Guardians Of The Galaxy" & "Harry Potter/Deathy Hallows, Part 1". Based on the domestic daily box office, it's looking like MJ1 will pass Guardians about January 16th. We still have China for the foreign box office also.
Here is the full list of top 20 pirated movies of the year ranked by number of downloads (along with studio and original theatrical release date):
1. "The Wolf of Wall Street": 30.035 million (Paramount, Dec. 25, 2013)
2. "Frozen": 29.919 million (Disney, Nov. 27, 2013)
3. "RoboCop"*: 29.879 million (MGM, Feb. 12, 2014; and Orion, July 17, 1987)
4. "Gravity": 29.357 million (Warner Bros., Oct. 4, 2013)
5. "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug": 27.627 million (Warner Bros., Dec. 13, 2013)
6. "Thor: The Dark World": 25.749 million (Disney/Marvel, Nov. 8, 2013)
7. "Captain America: The Winter Soldier": 25.628 million (Disney/Marvel, April 4, 2014)
8. "The Legend of Hercules": 25.137 million (Summit, Jan. 10, 2014)
9. "X-Men: Days of Future Past": 24.380 million (20th Century Fox, May 23, 2014)
10. "12 Years a Slave": 23.653 million (Fox Searchlight, Oct. 18, 2013)
11. "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire": 23.543 million (Lionsgate, Nov. 22, 2013)
12. "American Hustle": 23.143 million (Sony/Columbia, Dec. 13, 2013)
13. "300: Rise of an Empire": 23.096 million (Warner Bros., March 7, 2014)
14. "Transformers: Age of Extinction": 21.65 million (Paramount, June 27, 2014)
15. "Godzilla": 20.956 million (Warner Bros., May 16, 2014)
16. "Noah": 20.334 million (Paramount, March 28, 2014) 17. "Divergent": 20.312 million (Lionsgate, March 21, 2014)
18. "Edge of Tomorrow": 20.299 million (Warner Bros., June 6, 2014)
19. "Captain Phillips": 19.817 million (Sony/Columbia, Oct. 11, 2013)
20. "Lone Survivor": 19.130 million (Universal, Dec. 25, 2013)
* Combines data for both 1987 and 2014 versions. Source: Excipio
I have to agree regarding Mortdecai based on the previews that I've seen. Although, on occasion, a movie that seems too dumb to do well has actually done well at the box office. I'm hoping such is the case with Mortdecai. I'm just not banking on it.
According to CBS News, even future VOD and DVD releases could be in jeopardy. In any case we'll find out eventually.
Even though The Interview and Mockingjay demographics don't line up evenly, more young males might be watching Mockingjay on Christmas than would have before. In fact, all top ten movies will benefit from Sony's action.