Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation[4] (commonly referred to as Lionsgate) is a Canadian-American entertainment company. The company was formed in Vancouver, British Columbia, but is headquartered in Santa Monica, California.[5][6] As of 2007, it is the most commercially successful independent film and television distribution company in North America.[7]

Lions Gate Entertainment
Type Public (NYSE: LGF)
Industry Conglomerate, Motion pictures, television programming, home video, family entertainment, Video on demand, digital distribution
Founded 1995 (1995) (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Founder(s) Frank Giustra
Headquarters Santa Monica, California, United States
Key people Jon Feltheimer

(Co-Chairman and CEO) Michael Burns (Vice chairman) Steve Beeks (President)

Revenue US$1,584,000,000 (FY 2010)[1]
Operating income US$10,311,000 (FY 2010)[1]
Net income US$19,478,000 (FY 2010)[1]
Total assets US$1,704,000,000 (FY 2010)[2]
Total equity US$53,922,000 (FY 2010)[2]
Employees 497[3]
Subsidiaries Artisan Entertainment

Avid Home Entertainment Debmar-Mercury Family Home Entertainment Lionsgate Home Entertainment Lionsgate Television Mandate Pictures Roadside Attractions Trimark Pictures TV Guide Network Vestron Video



Lionsgate was founded in 1995 by Frank Giustra, a Canadian investment banker hoping to capitalize on the growing film industry in his home town. The company bought a number of small production facilities and distributors, including Montreal-based Children's Television Workshop (CTW), Trimark Pictures, Mandate Pictures and, most notably, Artisan Entertainment (which itself had formerly been LIVE Entertainment, and before that, Vestron Pictures).

They had sold off their Canadian distribution rights to Maple Pictures, founded and co-owned by two former Lionsgate executives, Brad Pelman and Laurie May.[8]

Its first major box office success was American Psycho in 2000, which began a trend of producing and distributing films too controversial for the major American studios. Other notable films included Affliction, Gods and Monsters, Dogma, Saw and the Michael Moore documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, which became the studio's highest grossing film.

Lionsgate plays a significant role in the co-financing and co-partnership with Relativity Media in most of the latter studio's films released by the former (such as 2010's Kick-Ass), with Relativity's Rogue Pictures division and Universal Pictures (once Rogue's parent company) as silent partners, with partial distribution overseen by Universal.

In 2007, Lionsgate bought a partial stake in independent film distribution company Roadside Attractions.[9]

Lionsgate, along with MGM and Paramount Pictures/Viacom, is also a co-owner of Epix, a new pay TV movie channel which debuted on October 30, 2009 on Verizon FiOS IPTV systems, that will rival HBO and Showtime.[10] Lionsgate also stated they would be starting work in music albums.[11]

The distribution of selected recent non-in-house films for pay-per-view and on-demand are under the supervision of NBC Universal Television Distribution under Universal Pictures (Universal formally held home video and television rights to many of the early Lionsgate films), while all others are distributed for both cable and broadcast television through Debmar-Mercury, Lionsgate's syndicated division.

Lionsgate's vast library of movies and TV shows can be seen on digital platform Hulu.[12]

Confusion with Robert Altman's company

Contrary to some assumptions, Lionsgate has no relation to the now-defunct, Los Angeles-based studio and production company run by filmmaker Robert Altman in the 1970s, which the director called Lion's Gate Films.[13] However, both companies take their name from the same landmark - Greater Vancouver's Lion's Gate. The term Lion's Gate references the famed Lions Gate Bridge, whose vista includes the distant Lions, a pair of mountain peaks north of Vancouver, where Altman shot his 1969 feature, That Cold Day in the Park. Among the films made by Altman's original company include 3 Women and A Wedding. The original company also ventured into television production—its most notable show being Faerie Tale Theatre. Altman then sold his company to Jonathan Taplin.

Film distributor history

  • UK
    • Momentum Pictures (2000–present)
    • Lions Gate UK (2006–present)
  • France
    • Metropolitan Filmexport (2005–present)
  • Australia/New Zealand
    • Hoyts (2000–2009)
    • Village Roadshow Limited (2009–present)
  • Canada
    • Maple Pictures (2005–present)


Aside from home video distribution of films sub-licensed from other studios, Lionsgate's library consists of films from the respective companies Lionsgate succeeded-in-interest, such as Producers Sales Organization, Vestron Pictures, and Artisan Entertainment, in addition to their in-house material. Their complete ownership depends on the worldwide regions of license.


Lionsgate Television produced such series as The Dead Zone, Five Days to Midnight, Weeds, Nurse Jackie, Tyler Perry's House of Payne and the Emmy Award-winning Mad Men. Lionsgate also recently acquired TV syndication firm Debmar-Mercury with 20th Television handling ad-sales. Lionsgate also owns the TV Guide Network.


  • Lionsgate Studios
  • The Lionsgate studio properties in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada were sold to a private company and are now called North Shore Studios, and no longer have an affiliation with Lionsgate Entertainment. In 2006, the company acquired land in Rio Rancho, New Mexico for construction of a new studio facility. The former Lionsgate office located in Toronto is now owned by the Canadian arm of Lionsgate Entertainment, Maple Pictures.


  • Lionsgate Home Entertainment
    • Family Home Entertainment

Lionsgate has a home video library of more than 8000 films with all of the former Artisan Entertainment releases (many the result of output deals with other studios), including such titles as Dirty Dancing, Earth Girls are Easy, Army of One, Total Recall, On Golden Pond, and the Rambo series. Lionsgate also distributes select NBC programs such as Will & Grace, Little House on the Prairie and The Biggest Loser; Mattel's Barbie-branded videos and Clifford the Big Red Dog videos from the Scholastic Corporation and is also the current home video distributor of HiT Entertainment titles, including Barney & Friends, Thomas and Friends and Fraggle Rock.

Video properties currently owned by Lionsgate Home Entertainment include those from Family Home Entertainment, Vestron Video, Lightning Video (a former Vestron company), and Magnum Entertainment.


  • Lionsgate Music & Publishing

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