In a move reflecting the growing demand for premium content worldwide, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a premier next generation global content leader, has signed a long-term output deal for a number of high-profile Lionsgate and third-party feature films with China's largest comprehensive online video platform iQIYI, the two companies announced today.
The agreement covers subscription video on demand (SVOD) and transactional video on demand (TVOD) rights for films streaming on iQIYI's platforms, which possess over 500 million unique users. iQIYI will have an exclusive SVOD and TVOD window for Lionsgate theatrical titles covered under the agreement, and iQIYI will enable broadcasting of these titles and make a major promotional commitment on their platform for them.
The package comprises Lionsgate franchises, potential tentpoles and star-driven event films including: the next chapter of the global blockbuster Hunger Games franchise, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, whose first three films have already grossed more than $2.3 billion at the worldwide box office; the next film in the Divergent franchise, the Divergent Series: Allegiant, the most successful young adult franchise launched since The Hunger Games; Now You See Me 2, the follow-up to Lionsgate's blockbuster hit that grossed more than $350 million worldwide in 2013; and the action thriller Deepwater Horizon, with Lone Survivor filmmaker Pete Berg directing an all-star cast of Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson, John Malkovich, Dylan O'Brien and Gina Rodriguez.
The package also includes such eagerly-anticipated Lionsgate releases as the revenge thriller Sicario, starring Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin and Emily Blunt; the teen thriller Nerve; The Shack, starring Sam Worthington and Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer in the powerful drama based on the runaway global best-selling book; and the musical love letter LaLa Land, directed by Oscar-nominated Whiplash filmmaker Damien Chazelle and teaming the romantic duo of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.
"We're thrilled to partner with iQIYI, a major game changer and one of the largest and fastest-growing digital platforms in China," said Lionsgate Executive Vice President of International Sales Wendy Reeds. "They will provide a quality showcase for our slate of high-profile event movies, and our agreement underscores our commitment to innovation and leadership in delivering premium content to online audiences around the world."
Yang Xianghua, senior vice president of iQIYI, said: "In China, more and more people are paying to watch movies online. iQIYI has the largest online movie library in China and we have been actively purchasing premium movie content and building in-depth partnerships with industry players. We have enjoyed a positive long term relationship with Lionsgate and with this agreement we are delighted to extend and deepen our cooperation to areas including broadcast, promotion and distribution. We hope that this cooperation between Lionsgate and iQIYI will not only bring Chinese users an even better selection of premium movies but will also promote more innovative partnerships in China's online video industry."
Founded in April 2010, iQIYI is one of the largest Internet and mobile video service providers in China. An independently operated subsidiary of Baidu, the world's largest Chinese search engine, iQIYI is focused on providing Chinese users with the best possible online video experience, and has become an industry leader in developing innovative products and technologies.
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 the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange is the New Black, the multiple Emmy Award-winning drama Mad Men, the hit broadcast network series Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show, the acclaimed drama Manhattan and the breakout series The Royals.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such 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. www.lionsgate.com
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