Lionsgate Names Thomas Nelson, Inc. Exclusive Distributor in Christian Market



    
    In First Step of New Initiative, Lionsgate Shows 'Faith' in Leading
    Christian Author Lee Strobel, Inks Three DVD Distribution Deal for
    Documentaries Based on His Best-Selling Books

    Deal Expands Lionsgate's Leadership Role in Faith-Based Entertainment,
    Which Includes Alliances With Tyler Perry, Thomas Kinkade and Kirk
Franklin
    

    SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 12 /CNW/ -- Lionsgate (NYSE:   LGF), the
leading independent filmed entertainment studio, has forged two major
partnerships in the faith-based entertainment genre, it was announced today by
Lionsgate President Steve Beeks.  The Company has reached a distribution
agreement with publisher Thomas Nelson, Inc., making Thomas Nelson the
exclusive distributor of Lionsgate product in the Christian retail market. 
The largest Christian publisher and the sixth largest overall publisher in the
world, Thomas Nelson is expanding its DVD distribution business through the
deal.
    Lionsgate also has acquired the exclusive North American home
entertainment distribution rights to three DVD documentaries based on the
best-selling books by leading Christian non-fiction author Lee Strobel -- THE
CASE FOR CHRIST, THE CASE FOR A CREATOR, and THE CASE FOR FAITH.  Having sold
more than eight million copies combined, the award-winning books have received
extensive critical acclaim.  Produced by Illustra Media, in association with
Carmel Entertainment, the first documentary, THE CASE FOR CHRIST, will ship to
retail in the third calendar quarter of 2007.
    With these partnerships, Lionsgate looks to expand its overall industry
leadership in the faith-based category and increase its presence in Christian
retail.  THE CASE FOR CHRIST, which has sold over four million copies, will be
the anchor of the company's foray into this marketplace.  Additionally,
Lionsgate will utilize its relationship with Thomas Nelson to gain leverage
for its existing library of product as well as upcoming inspirational
theatrical titles such as CHURCH BOY, based on the true story of inspirational
gospel music icon Kirk Franklin, and a feature adaptation of Thomas Kinkade's
painting THE CHRISTMAS COTTAGE.  Lionsgate established a stronghold in the
African-American faith-based market through its hugely successful partnership
with Tyler Perry and the feature films DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN, MADEA'S
FAMILY REUNION, and DADDY'S LITTLE GIRLS.
    "Lionsgate is making a concerted effort to expand its leadership in the
faith-based category.  Making Lee Strobel's THE CASE FOR CHRIST the first new
title under the Thomas Nelson relationship is a very powerful statement to
show our commitment," said Beeks.  "Thomas Nelson has the best sales team in
the industry, and they provide our faith-based product with unprecedented
access to millions of proven Christian product buyers across the United
States."
    "This is a strategic moment for Thomas Nelson and Lionsgate," remarks
Gary Davidson, senior vice president of Christian retail sales at Thomas
Nelson. "We are very excited to partner with Lionsgate where we can offer
quality family friendly and faith-based films to our Christian retail
customers. Thomas Nelson and Christian retail share the belief that the DVD
medium has huge potential for revenue and market share growth in the
foreseeable future."
    "I'm thrilled to partner with Lionsgate and Thomas Nelson to expand my
books into a visual market," Strobel said.  "Illustra and Carmel Entertainment
produce extremely high-quality films, and both Thomas Nelson and Lionsgate
have the expertise necessary to achieve widespread distribution of the DVDs."

    
    ABOUT LIONSGATE
    
    Lionsgate is the leading independent filmed entertainment studio, winning
the 2006 Best Picture Academy Award(R) for CRASH, generating two consecutive
years of $300 million-plus domestic theatrical box office, operating a $500
million-plus home entertainment business, and producing a broad slate of prime
time television series.  It is a premier producer and distributor of motion
pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment,
and video-on-demand content.  Its prestigious and prolific library of more
than 10,000 titles is a valuable source of stable, recurring revenue and a
foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses.  The Lionsgate
brand is synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets
around the world.

    
    ABOUT THOMAS NELSON PUBLISHERS
    
    Thomas Nelson is a leading provider of Bibles, products, and live events
emphasizing Christian, inspirational and family value themes.  For more
information, visit our website www.thomasnelson.com.

    
    ABOUT LEE STROBEL
    
    Atheist-turned-Christian Lee Strobel is a New York Times best-selling
author of nearly 20 books including the award-winning THE CASE FOR CHRIST, THE
CASE FOR FAITH, THE CASE FOR A CREATOR, and INSIDE THE MIND OF UNCHURCHED
HARRY AND MARY. The former award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune,
Strobel was described by the Washington Post as "one of the evangelical
community's most popular apologists."  In 2005, he shared the prestigious
Charles "Kip" Jordon Christian Book of the Year award for a curriculum he co-
authored about the movie THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST.  Strobel enjoys an
extensive fan base that he reaches out to through a highly-trafficked website
(www.LeeStrobel.com) and numerous grassroots events including countless
speaking engagements to sold-out audiences.  He has been interviewed on such
national television networks as ABC, Fox News, PBS and CNN.  His latest book,
THE CASE FOR THE REAL JESUS, comes out in August.

    www.lionsgate.com


    For further Information contact:

    
    For Lionsgate:
    Jodie Magid/Jennifer Sandler
    212-386-6885/310-255-4072
    jmagid@lionsgate.com/jsandler@lionsgate.com

    Adam Fenton/Elizabeth Atler
    Bender/Helper Impact
    212-689-6360
    adam_fenton@bhimpact.com/elizabeth_atler@bhimpact.com

    For corporate inquiries please contact:
    Peter D. Wilkes
    310-255-3726
    pwilkes@lionsgate.com

    For Thomas Nelson:
    Stephanie Newton
    615-902-2320
    snewton@thomasnelson.com

    For Illustra Media/Carmel Entertainment Group, LLC:
    Larry Frenzel/Chris Bueno
    (714) 639-2203
    Info@carmel.tv

    




For further information:

For further information: Jodie Magid, +1-212-386-6885, 
jmagid@lionsgate.com, or Jennifer Sandler, +1-310-255-4072, 
jsandler@lionsgate.com, both of Lionsgate; or Adam Fenton, 
adam_fenton@bhimpact.com, or Elizabeth Atler,  elizabeth_atler@bhimpact.com,
both of Bender/Helper Impact, +1-212-689-6360,  for Lionsgate; or Corporate
Inquiries, Peter D. Wilkes of Lionsgate,  +1-310-255-3726,
pwilkes@lionsgate.com; or Stephanie Newton of Thomas Nelson,  +1-615-902-2320,
snewton@thomasnelson.com; or Larry Frenzel or Chris Bueno,  both of Illustra
Media/Carmel Entertainment Group, LLC, +1-714-639-2203,  Info@carmel.tv Web
Site: http://www.lionsgate.com                  http://www.thomasnelson.com  
                http://www.LeeStrobel.com


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