Lionsgate Execs Reap 'Hunger Games' Bonuses But Overall Pay Drops

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Summit Entertainment, the studio behind the blockbuster Twilight franchise, is about to be gobbled up by Lionsgate, which hopes to replicate "Twilight"-mania with the March release of "The Hunger Games." Pictured, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer.


Timing of stock grants meant Jon Feltheimer received less overall pay in 2012 than in the previous year, despite engineering the blockbuster franchise rollout and Summit Entertainment takeover.

TORONTO – Lionsgate toppers Jon Feltheimer and Michael Burns have been richly rewarded for engineering the acquisition of Summit Entertainment, The Hunger Games rollout and growing library revenues in the last year.

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In an SEC filing made public on Monday, the indie studio said Feltheimer received a base salary that was bumped up to $1.22 million, a $5 million cash bonus, to help bring his latest annual payout to $6.43 million.

At the same time, Feltheimer, the Lionsgate CEO, received $7.9 million in total compensation in fiscal 2011 from the indie studio, but more due to the timing of stock-based compensation than corporate events.

In fiscal 2012, Feltheimer received $4.7 million stock grants, against only $121,500 in year-earlier stock-based compensation.

Lionsgate vice-chairman Burns received $5.57 million in total compensation for fiscal 2012, well up on the year-earlier payout of $2.68 million.

His latest base salary came to $950,000, but there was a $4 million bonus and another $600,000 in stock awards to reflect an impressive year at Lionsgate where, among other highlights, Carl Icahn got out of the company stock after a failed proxy fight and shares in the indie studio rose 120 percent year-over-year on The Hunger Games momentum.

Other compensation for Lionsgate execs included Steve Beeks receiving $4.5 million in compensation for fiscal 2012, and recently-resigned co-COO Joe Drake receiving a $2 million bonus for the box office performance of The Hunger Games.

The payouts were contained in a schedule 14A document that also indicated the Lionsgate annual shareholders meeting will be held on September 11, 2012 in Toronto, to coincide with the Toronto International Film Festival.