Lionsgate, the distributor of such horror fare as Sinister, Blair Witch, Saw, Hostel and….um….The Twilight Saga, is looking for a buyer. CEO Jon Feltheimer and Vice Chairman Michael Burns have set their stall out via television interviews, earnings calls and investor conferences by stating that they’re willing – even eager – to sell the company’s film and television studio.
In January, Burns told CNBC that Lionsgate was a “pint-sized bite for some of these giant market cap companies” and therefore would “talk to anybody at any time” about a merger. Just last week Lionsgate announced that it was developing a Blair Witch TV show for Studio L, Lionsgate’s forthcoming subscription digital platform.
Earlier in the month they distributed Dimension Films’ Hellraiser: Judgement, with Children of the Corn: Runaway due in March. And this week, Lionsgate also announced an exclusive multi-year deal with Amazon Prime Video for the rights to a slate of Hollywood movies in Latin America.
What happens next remains to be seen. The potential acquisition of the faltering Weinstein Company, who own the Scream and Amityville Horror franchises is an interesting one. If the deal materializes, it demonstrates Lionsgate’s ostensible commitment to the purchase and distribution of properties.
Should they sell up, potential suitors could include the likes of Facebook and Amazon, as reported in Variety:
‘Lionsgate may find itself looking up at these new media goliaths fearfully, but its library of 16,000 film and television titles, and history of making hit movies and shows, also explain why it would be an attractive target for a company looking to join forces or to bolster its own content offerings. Making movies and television shows is a hard business, and buying Lionsgate would give these companies access to creative talent and a global distribution network.’
It’s certainly an interesting proposition, especially with Netflix and Amazon increasingly investing in-house television shows and movies. The prospect of getting their hands on thousands of titles, including the big horror names, is a tantalizing one.