A ton of horror films could be changing hands in 2018, starting with The Weinstein Company allegedly entering bankruptcy in the coming weeks. Now, Variety is reporting that Lionsgate is for sale (again).
In earnings calls, investor conferences and television interviews, CEO Jon Feltheimer and Vice Chairman Michael Burns have made it clear that the studio behind “Mad Men” and The Hunger Games is willing — even eager — to sell its film and television studio, writes the site.
This isn’t the first time the company has been in sales talks, although previous chatter ended with Lionsgate acquiring companies such as Artisan, Summit Entertainment, and Starz. This time could be different.
Burns told CNBC in January that Lionsgate was a “pint-sized bite for some of these giant market cap companies” and therefore would “talk to anybody at any time” about a merger, while Feltheimer mused to Wall Street analysts in February that the media company could be “prey or predator” when it came to playing Let’s Make a Deal.
“Now more than ever Lionsgate will be willing to entertain any kind of serious bid for the company, as opposed to maybe in the past when it would have dismissed such a scenario,” said Tuna Amobi, director and senior equity analyst at CFRA Research.
Interestingly, the site notes that it remains possible that the company could also acquire something as it looks to bulk up. It had, for instance, considered making a play for parts of The Weinstein Co., which is considering filing for bankruptcy.
There’s a massive in-depth look into the possibilities over at Variety, although it comes down to this: politics may be the deciding factor.
There’s a lot at stake here, especially for genre fans as Lionsgate has always been a champion. While they distribute the Saw films, including last year’s Jigsaw, Twisted Pictures owns the rights and could shop it elsewhere. There’s also the Blair Witch Project franchise and recently announced television series that’s in development. Other television series include “The Dead Zone”, “Fear Itself”, and “Ascension”. Films connected to Lionsgate range from The Twilight Saga to The Hunger Games, Rambo, Divergent, The Punisher, John Wick, Hostel, The Expendables, and Sinister.
Interestingly, Lionsgate released Dimension Films’ Hellraiser: Judgment, and is also distributing Children of the Corn: Runaway. It would be painful to see someone else acquire Lionsgate as horror would suffer, but the idea that they could acquire assets from The Weinstein Company would be vastly exciting. Look at all the franchise possibilities. As a horror fan, we should be praying this is all smoke and mirrors as Lionsgate looks to expand yet again. With that said, something feels a bit different this time, especially when companies like Disney are plucking massive studios like Fox right out of thin air.
We’ll keep our eyes on this and share any updates as they come in.