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27. LIONSGATE: CHRONOLOGY OF BECOMING A MAJOR STUDIO (republished)

August 22, 2013

This post was originally published here a couple of months ago and included a plea for help in making the data more approachable  via better infographics than those my ugly hands can produce with Excel/Matlab. RJ Andrews who runs infowetrust.com came to the rescue and together we collaborated to create this first class infographic. He did an amazing job and I hope we will work together again!

We took a look at Lionsgate – often called a “mini-major studio” or “the sixth of the Big Five”. How did this happen? How could a company that was founded in 1997 by a banker from Vancouver take on the film industry under its own terms and without the backing of a major media conglomerate like the other big ones? Many voices say they got lucky by hitting gold with The Hunger Games right after acquiring Summit and the rights to the Twilight Saga. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, in what turns out to be a very deliberate, aggressive and strategic expansion effort over the past 15 years.

The company got to where it is primarily by making bold, brave, risky and sometimes stupid moves. Don’t get me wrong – they made some films that were utter nonsense, but they also took a risk on American Psycho after Disney got spooked by its uneasy premise. Or Lolita, which had a hard time finding a home in the late 90’s. Or Kevin Smith’s Dogma, which required some guts to believe in before it became a cult hit.

And then there are the strategic investments in streaming video as early as 2000(!) and its focus on the growing Latino film market.

At the core of all this are the strategic acquisitions that Lionsgate has been putting together like crazy over the past decade, focusing on expansion of its title library and distribution network – domestic and international, as well as its independent production capabilities, strategic partnerships and expansion into TV. Independent film production companies should study this if they want to break away from the pack.

Here is our beautiful infographic. A huge thanks again to RJ Andrews for this – it looks beautiful, if I may say so myself.

LIONSGATE POSTER_3600

* For the backstory of the infographic – check out RJ’s post on his blog.

* Like this post? Follow me on twitter: @stavjdavis and/or like the Facebook page

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