Having long established its appetite for edgy, offbeat indie fare, Lions Gate is still left chasing its tail to repeat the success it had with “Monster’s Ball.”
This year has been a mixed bag at the box office, highlighted by a modest take with “Confidence,” and success with cult horror pic “House of 1,000 Corpses,” by Rob Zombie. Despite being spurned by two studios, “Corpses” became franchise material for Lions Gate, which is working on a sequel due out next year.
Lions Gate beat out rivals at this year’s Cannes Film Festival to pick up North American rights to Lars von Trier’s provocative “Dogville” for $1.5 million, and landed one of the Sundance favorites, “The Cooler,” set for release later this year.
Lions Gate has a lot riding on a number of high-profile inhouse productions, with fall releases of “Shattered Glass” and the ensemble drama “Wonderland,” starring Val Kilmer, as well as pickups including “Girl With a Pearl Earring.”
Meanwhile, rumors continue to swirl over whether Lions Gate will end up victorious in its bid to acquire Artisan Entertainment.
Exec ranks: Jon Feltheimer, CEO, Lions Gate Entertainment; Michael Burns, vice chairman, Lions Gate Entertainment; Tom Ortenberg, president, Lions Gate Films Releasing; Peter Block, president, home entertainment, acquisitions and new media; Michael Paseornek, prexy, Lions Gate Films Productions
Recent pickups: “Cabin Fever,” “Stevie” (Toronto); “The Cooler” (Sundance); “Danny Deckchair”; “A Different Loyalty”; “Dogville” (Cannes); “Girl With a Pearl Earring”; “House of 1000 Corpses”
Year at B.O.: Top grosser: “House of 1,000 Corpses” ($12.6 million); lowest grosser: “Mondays in the Sun” ($22,401)
Kudo watch: Performance-driven pics including “Confidence,” “The Cooler,” “Girl With a Pearl Earring,” “Shattered Glass” and “Wonderland” will be pushed in various categories.