SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 5, 2013 /CNW/ - In a move reflecting the continued growth of its international theatrical business, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, has named 22-year industry veteran Andrew Kramer to be Chief Operating Officer, International Distribution, it was announced today by Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs Patrick Wachsberger and Rob Friedman, to whom he will report. Kramer will also work closely with Steve Beeks in his capacity as President of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group. He will join Lionsgate in April after his current contract at The Weinstein Company (TWC) expires.
Kramer will help Wachsberger continue to grow all aspects of Lionsgate's international film business, including international film acquisitions and packaging, creation of international coproduction and cofinancing opportunities and extension of Lionsgate's relationships into new territories. He will also oversee international film distribution and marketing operations, business affairs and the overall administration of the international film division. The Company's international sales operations will continue to report directly to Wachsberger.
"The international theatrical marketplace offers tremendous growth opportunities for Lionsgate, and Andrew is ideally qualified to help us continue to build our momentum around the world," said Wachsberger and Friedman. "He is a seasoned business executive who brings multidisciplinary expertise in all aspects of film acquisitions, coproduction, cofinancing, marketing and distribution to the continued growth of our worldwide feature film operations."
Lionsgate's film business achieved a record $2.5 billion at the worldwide box office in 2012, and the Company established new output deals in France, Germany, Spain, Scandinavia, Benelux, Australia/New Zealand and Russia as well as expanding its partnership with IDC in Latin America to encompass both Lionsgate and Summit films.
Kramer has been serving as President, Business and Legal Affairs, and General Counsel at The Weinstein Company (TWC). During his seven-year tenure at TWC, he has been responsible for managing all business and legal affairs for TWC and Dimension Films' feature film and TV productions as well as overseeing TWC's output arrangements. He has managed business affairs for all of TWC's feature film productions, including the recent hits SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK and DJANGO UNCHAINED.
Prior to that, Kramer was Executive Vice President, Business Affairs and Operations, at Warner Independent Pictures. He began his career as a solo practitioner before joining the entertainment group at the law firm Mitchell, Silberberg and Knupp LLP. He also worked at Sony Pictures and as a principal in the entertainment group at Troop Steuber Pasich Reddick and Tobey LLP.
Kramer's responsibilities will complement those of Sean Kisker who was recently promoted from EVP to General Manager of the Motion Picture Group and who continues to spearhead Lionsgate's motion picture dealmaking and financing initiatives with particular focus on the North American marketplace.
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. The Company has built a strong television presence in production of primetime cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 27 shows on 18 networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men, Weeds and Nurse Jackie, the new comedy Anger Management, the network series Nashville, the syndication successes Tyler Perry's House of Payne, its spinoff Meet the Browns, For Better Or Worse, The Wendy Williams Show, Are We There Yet? and the upcoming Orange Is The New Black, an original series for Netflix.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first installment of The Hunger Games franchise, the 13th highest-grossing North American release of all time, The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn – Part 2, which has grossed more than $800 million at the worldwide box office, The Expendables 2, The Possession, Sinister, The Cabin in the Woods, Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection and Arbitrage. With the January 2012 acquisition of Summit Entertainment, the Company has now added the blockbuster Twilight Saga franchise, which has grossed more than $3.3 billion at the worldwide box office, to its current slate, giving the Company the two premier young adult franchises in the world. Recent Summit hits include Red, Letters to Juliet, Knowing, the Step Up franchise and the Academy Award-winning Best Picture, The Hurt Locker.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 15,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
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