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Extreme makeover

Indie studio strike up the brand

On the hunt to be more hip and streamlined, Lions Gate Entertainment has changed its name simply to Lionsgate across all divisions.

The timing turned out to be opportune. With this week’s announced sale of DreamWorks to Paramount, Lionsgate has become the town’s most prominent indie studio, known for its genre horror pics, along with specialized releases such as “Crash” and African-American-themed films.

Lionsgate will next move to grab Latino auds. On Jan. 27, it unspools “La Mujer de mi hermano,” starring popular telenovela star Barbara Mori.

Company’s TV biz also is on the rise, with “Weeds” nabbing Golden Globe noms this week. Series airs on Showtime.

Lionsgate’s new animated logo does away with the gold-outlined lion and instead features an art deco gate that swings open to reveal the company’s new moniker floating among the clouds.

The lion isn’t gone completely; it’s ghosted on business cards and stationery.

Under the rebranding, division titles Lions Gate Films, Lions Gate Television, Lions Gate Documentary, Lions Gate Intl., Lions Gate Home Entertainment, Lions Gate Family Entertainment, Lions Gate Family Home Entertainment and the newly created Lions Gate Music will all disappear.

Name also is more digital friendly, Feltheimer said, adding that the studio has acquired the domain name Lionsgate.com.

With DreamWorks’ sale, many are wondering if Lionsgate is next. Michael Eisner recently approached top Lionsgate honchos with the idea of buying in and helping to run the company, but they apparently offered a polite no.

Lionsgate execs have made no secret of the fact that they would sell the company outright if the right offer came along.

At a breakfast Thursday, Feltheimer preemed for journalists the animated logo, along with trailers from Lionsgate’s slate. Upcoming releases include hyper horror pic “Hostel,” directed by Eli Roth and exec produced by Quentin Tarantino; Tyler Perry’s “Madea’s Family Reunion”; specialty thriller “Hard Candy”; and spelling bee drama “Akeelah and the Bee.”

Lionsgate has been working on the rebranding campaign for more than a year. An inhouse team led by exec VP of marketing Tim Palen designed the new logo, while Lionsgate worked with Ogilvy & Mather’s BIG on the word mark and Deva Studios on the animated logo.

Lions Gate Entertainment remains the official legal name of the publicly traded company.

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