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Type Public (NYSELGF)
Founded United States Los Angeles, California (1974) (original company)
Canada Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (1995) (current company)
Headquarters United States Santa Monica, California, USA[1]
Key people Robert Altman (original founder)
Frank Giustra (founder of current company)
Jon Feltheimer (CEO)
Steve Beeks (President)
Michael R. Burns (Vice Chairman)
Industry Entertainment
Products Motion Pictures, television programming, home video, family entertainment, video-on-demand, digital distribution
Revenue $1.466 billion USD (2009) [2]
Operating income $141.219 million USD (2009)
Net income $162.98 million USD (2009)

Lionsgate is a Canadian/American entertainment company that has existed in different incarntions. The current company was initiated in Vancouver, British Columbia and is now headquartered in Santa Monica, California, USA.[2][3] As of 2007, it is the most commercially successful independent film and television distribution company in North America.[4]



The company's roots can be traced back to the original, and now-defunct, Los Angeles-based studio and production company run by filmmaker Robert Altman in the 1970s, which the director called Lion's Gate Films.[5] Altman named the company for a hometown landmark - Greater Vancouver's Lion's gate. The term Lion's gate reflects the Lions, a pair of mountain peaks north of Vancouver, where Altman shot his 1969 feature, That Cold Day in the Park. Among the films made by Altman's original company include 3 Women and A Wedding. The original company also ventured into television production--its most notable show being Faerie Tale Theatre. Altman then sold his company to Jonathan Taplin.

The current version of Lionsgate was initiated in 1995 by Frank Giustra, a Vancouver investment banker hoping to capitalize on the growing film industry in his home town. The company bought a number of small production facilities and distributors, including Montreal-based Cinepix Film Productions (CFP), Trimark Pictures and, most notably, Artisan Entertainment (which itself had formerly been LIVE Entertainment, and before that, Vestron Pictures).

They had sold off their Canadian distribution rights to the formed Maple Pictures, founded and co-owned by two former Lions Gate executives, Brad Pelman and Laurie May.[6]

Its first major box office success was American Psycho in 2000, which began a trend of producing and distributing films too controversial for the major American studios. Other notable films included Affliction, Gods and Monsters, Dogma, Saw and the Michael Moore documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, which became the studio's highest grossing film.

Lionsgate, along with MGM and Paramount Pictures/Viacom, is also a co-owner of Epix, a new pay TV movie channel which debuted on October 30, 2009 on Verizon FiOS IPTV systems, that will rival HBO and Showtime.[7]

Lionsgate has introduced a new family film label, Lions Gate Family Entertainment. The first film that will be released under this label will be Alpha and Omega. Lionsgate Family Entertainment will be combined with live-action and animated films.

In 2009, Lionsgate, along with Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros., Paramount, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, made a stake for Hulu (owned by News Corporation, NBC Universal/General Electric, and The Walt Disney Company) for its movies and TV shows. Lionsgate also stated they would be starting work in music albums, later in 2011.[8]

The distribution of selected recent non-in-house films for pay-per-view and on-demand are under the supervision of NBC Universal Television Distribution under Universal Pictures (Universal formally held home video and television rights to many of the early Lionsgate films), while all others are distributed for both cable and broadcast television through Debmar-Mercury, Lionsgate's syndicated division.























Lionsgate Television produced such series as The Dead Zone, Five Days to Midnight, Weeds, Nurse Jackie, Tyler Perry's House of Payne and the Emmy Award-winning Mad Men. Lionsgate also recently acquired TV syndication firm Debmar-Mercury with 20th Television handling ad-sales. Lions Gate also owns the TV Guide Network.


  • The Lionsgate studio properties in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada were sold to a private company and are now called North Shore Studios, and no longer have an affiliation with Lionsgate Entertainment. In 2006, the company acquired land in Rio Rancho, New Mexico for construction of a new studio facility. The former Lionsgate office located in Toronto is now owned by the Canadian arm of Lions Gate Entertainment, Maple Pictures.


Lionsgate has a home video library of more than 8000 films (many the result of output deals with other studios), including such titles as Dirty Dancing, Joshua Tree, Total Recall, On Golden Pond and the Rambo series. Lionsgate also distributes Will & Grace and other NBC programs, Mattel's Barbie-branded videos and Clifford the Big Red Dog videos from the Scholastic Corporation and is also the current home video distributor of HiT Entertainment titles, including Barney & Friends, Thomas and Friends and Fraggle Rock.

Video properties currently owned by Lionsgate Home Entertainment include those from Family Home Entertainment, Vestron Video, Lightning Video (a former Vestron company), and Magnum Entertainment.

See also



  • Cook, David A. (2000). Lost Illusions: American Cinema in the Shadow of Watergate and Vietnam, 1970–1979 (Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press). ISBN 0-520-23265-8

External links


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