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The deal gives West Company the rights to upcoming titles from the Canadian mini-studio. The Russian indie distributor has partnered with Lionsgate on multiple titles for the territory including What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Silent Hill 2 and Possession.
West Company also released the Twilight Saga titles from Summit Entertainment, the production/distribution giant that Lionsgate acquired in January.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 opened to a franchise-best $22 million in Russia and CIS. For CIS territories, however, Summit will continue its long-running output deal with Central Partnership. This mirrors the arrangement in several international territories, where Summit and Lionsgate titles are handled by competing distributors. Going forward, Summit and Lionsgate say they will continue to operate on a separate basis.
Lionsgate’s new output deal with West Company will not, however, including Lionsgate’s blockbuster Hunger Games franchise for Russia. Volga Films handled the first Hunger Games movie in Russia and will also release the upcoming sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in the territory. Lionsgate does not yet have a Russian deal in place for the final two entries in the franchise: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 and Part 2.
The Russian deal is the latest in Lionsgate’s whirlwind world tour and follows similar output arrangements with distributors in Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia, Spain, France and Australia. Lionsgate releases its own titles in the U.K. and has a joint distribution venture with IDC for Latin America.
The success of the final Twilight film stateside – where it has grossed more than $230 million – as well as the first Hunger Games – helped Lionsgate hit a new milestone. The company said for the first time it has passed $1 billion mark at the domestic box office in a single calendar year and that it expects to top the $2 billion mark at the worldwide box office in the coming weeks.
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