Lionsgate Acquires Home Entertainment Distribution Rights to the All-New Marvel Animated Television Series 'Wolverine & The X-Men'

    Deal Expands On Lionsgate's Highly Successful Partnership with Marvel
    Includes Original Animated Direct-To-DVD Features Based On Characters In
    The Marvel Universe And Upcoming Theatrical Release, THE PUNISHER: WAR

    NEW YORK, SANTA MONICA, Calif., and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 31
/CNW/ -- Lionsgate (NYSE:   LGF), the premier independent filmed entertainment
studio, announced today that it has acquired the home entertainment
distribution rights the new animated series from global entertainment
licensing company Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:   MVL) -- "Wolverine & The
X-Men". Under the terms of the arrangement, Lionsgate retains the United
States home distribution rights to all 26 action-packed half-hour episodes of
"Wolverine & The X-Men",(a co-production with Toonz Entertainment Pte Ltd.,
Singapore and First Serve International Ltd.), a brand new animated series
that is scheduled to air on Nicktoons Network beginning in January 2009. The
announcement was made by Lionsgate Executive Vice President of Marketing and
Family Entertainment Anne Parducci and Marvel Animation President Eric
Rollman.  The deal was negotiated by Marc Danon, Lionsgate Senior Director of
Home Entertainment Acquisitions and Business Development and Sam Wollman,
Lionsgate Executive Director of Business & Legal Affairs and Marvel Executives
Eric Rollman, David Galluzzi and Josh Silverman.
    "As evidenced by the recent success of Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk
in theatres, there is nothing hotter in Hollywood than Marvel's amazing lineup
of Super Heroes," said Parducci. "We have had tremendous results with our
Marvel animated features and this deal reflects the next chapter in our
on-going relationship. These series' are based upon proven entities on the big
screen and DVD and they will feature a similar animation style to the Marvel
DVD's we are currently releasing."
    "Lionsgate has an impressive team of executives in the home entertainment
division and their passion for Marvel product has been evidenced through their
award winning execution on our animated features," said Rollman.  "We have
developed a very respectful and complimentary relationship which we are
thrilled to continue to build on with this important animated series."
    Lionsgate was selected as the distribution partner following the
tremendous success of its current development, production, and distribution
relationship with Marvel for original animated direct-to-DVD features based
upon specific characters in the Marvel Universe. Signed in 2004, the companies
have currently released the first four titles -- ULTIMATE AVENGERS 1 & 2,
DOCTOR STRANGE and THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN -- under the agreement. Each of
these titles has debuted as the number one children's non-theatrical release
for the week and cumulatively they have shipped more than three million units.
The next Marvel animated features -- NEXT AVENGERS: HEROES OF TOMORROW -- will
be released on September 2nd.
    Additionally, the companies have a theatrical relationship, which began
in April 2004 with Lionsgate's release of The Punisher starring Thomas Jane
and Rebecca Romijn. Lionsgate will also be releasing THE PUNISHER: WAR ZONE, a
re-imagining of The Punisher in theatres this December.
    The announcement also continues Lionsgate's momentum in the family genre,
as it comes on the heels of the studio's recent multiyear agreements with
family entertainment leader HIT Entertainment, leading developer of
technology-based learning products LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. and leading
consumer entertainment products company MGA Entertainment for the ever-popular
Little Tikes(R) brand.  With these agreements in place, Lionsgate expects its
family home entertainment market share of non-theatrical product to grow to
approximately 15%, positioning the Company as one of the three industry
leaders in that space.  In addition, Lionsgate releases to DVD a virtual
who's-who in family entertainment brands, including Speed Racer and Speed
Racer: The Next Generation, Marvel(TM) Animated Features, Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtles, MGA's Bratz(TM), Scholastic's Clifford the Big Red Dog, American
Greetings' The Care Bears,. HIT Entertainment's Thomas & Friends(TM), Bob the
Builder(TM), Barney(TM), Angelina Ballerina(TM), Cookie Jar Entertainment's
The Doodlebops and Nelvana's Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends.
    About Wolverine and the X-Men:
    An explosive event shatters the lives of the X-Men and takes away their
mentor, Professor X. The beaten heroes, including Beast, Storm, Cyclops and
Nightcrawler, walk away from it all but then they are given a rare glimpse
into the future, where they see a world in utter ruin ... ruled by giant
destructive robots. They discover the world has spiraled out of control
because the X-Men have given up. So now the most legendary of all X-Men,
Wolverine, must take the lead on the ultimate mission -- to prevent the
world's destruction -- while fending off enemies Magneto and The Brotherhood.
    Lionsgate is a leading next generation filmed entertainment studio with a
major presence in the production and distribution of motion pictures,
television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment,
video-on-demand and digitally delivered content. The Company is leveraging its
content leadership and marketing expertise through a series of partnerships
that include the operation of the highly successful FEARNet branded VOD and
Internet horror channel with Sony and Comcast, the recent announcement of the
fall 2009 launch of a new premium entertainment channel with partners Viacom,
Paramount Pictures and MGM, investment in the leading young men's digital
distribution platform, ownership of the premier independent
television syndication company Debmar-Mercury LLC and an alliance with
independent filmed entertainment production and distribution company Roadside
Attractions.  Lionsgate also has forged partnerships with leading content
creators, owners and distributors in key territories around the world,
including Televisa in the U.S. and Latin America, StudioCanal in the UK, Hoyts
and Sony in Australia and Eros International in India.
    The Company has generated more than $450 million at the North American
theatrical box office in the past year and has released a string of hits
including The Forbidden Kingdom, Tyler Perry's Meet The Browns, The Bank Job,
Rambo, The Eye, Saw IV, Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?, Good Luck Chuck,
3:10 To Yuma and War, most of which have opened at #1 or #2 at the box office.
The Company has also forged leadership positions in television and home
entertainment with the production of such critically-acclaimed television
series as Weeds and Mad Men, the distribution of Tyler Perry's House of Payne,
Family Feud, South Park, Trivial Pursuit and The Dead Zone, among others, and
approximately 9% market share and the industry's leading box office-to-DVD
conversion rate in home entertainment.  Lionsgate handles a prestigious and
prolific library of approximately 12,000 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 brand is
synonymous with entrepreneurial innovation and original, daring, quality
entertainment in markets around the globe. For more information, visit
    About Marvel
    With a library of over 5,000 characters built over more than sixty years
of comic book publishing, Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is one of the world's
most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel utilizes its
character franchises in licensing, entertainment (via Marvel Studios and
Marvel Animation) and publishing (via Marvel Comics), with emphasis on feature
films, television, DVD, consumer products, video games, action figures,
role-playing toys and promotions. Marvel's strategy is to leverage its
franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world. For more
information visit

     For Press Inquiries Contact:

     Jodie Magid/Jennifer Sandler
     212-386-6885/ 310-255-4072

     For Marvel:

     Jeffrey Klein, Ann Hinshaw

     For Lionsgate Corporate Inquiries, Contact:

     Peter D. Wilkes


For further information:

For further information: Press, Jodie Magid, +1-212-386-6885,, or Jennifer Sandler, +1-310-255-4072,, both of Lionsgate; or Jeffrey Klein, +1-212-685-4300,, or Ann Hinshaw, +1-212-981-5160,, both of DAN KLORES COMMUNICATIONS, for Marvel; or
Lionsgate Corporate Inquiries, Peter D. Wilkes, +1-310-255-3726, Web Site:       

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890