Lionsgate Launches Premiere Label, Jean McDowell to Head Marketing

Lionsgate is launching a new specialty film distribution label, dubbed Lionsgate Premiere, which will distribute up to 15 films annually.

The studio behind “The Hunger Games” is positioning the move as part of a wider diversification effort. Lionsgate runs other targeted brands, such as Codeblack Pictures, its urban films label, and Pantelion Films, a joint venture with Televisa that produces work for the Hispanic audience. It also partners with specialty distributor Roadside Attractions, which has produced such films as “Arbitrage” and “Mud.”

Marketing initiatives for the new label will be headed by Lionsgate senior VP of marketeting and research Jean McDowell. Lionsgate chief marketing officer Tim Palen will supervise the promotional efforts, while Adam Sorensen, currently manager of Western sales at Lionsgate, will take charge of Lionsgate Premiere’s distribution operations.

Lionsgate said that Premiere will focus on multiplatform and other release strategies, which indicates that it will move aggressively into the on-demand and streaming space.

Lionsgate Premiere’s slate appears to be a mixture of horror and action titles. It will kick off this fall with the Chinese production “Dragon Blade,” whose all-star cast includes Jackie Chan, Adrien Brody and John Cusack. Other films include “Cooties,” starring Rainn Wilson and Elijah Wood; “Don Verdean,” starring Sam Rockwell, Danny McBride and Will Forte; horror thriller “Knock Knock,” from Eli Roth and Keanu Reeves; and the action thriller “Extraction,” featuring Bruce Willis and Kellan Lutz.

More Film

  • The Lion King

    'The Lion King' Tops $130 Million Overseas

    Disney’s “The Lion King” has roared past $130 million in international ticket sales ahead of its domestic debut, led by $76.6 million in its first week in China. Other markets began launching Wednesday, led by France with $8.3 million in its first two days with the second-biggest opening day for a Disney movie after “Avengers: [...]

  • The Lion King The Gift

    Album Review: Beyoncé’s 'The Lion King: The Gift'

    Before touching down on what Beyoncé has called her “love letter to Africa,” it’s important to see what may have brought her to the mother of mankind, with its wide vistas and sonic planes, for “The Gift” in the first place — beyond, of course, voicing Nala in the film and whatever international marketing tie-ins [...]

  • The Lion King

    'The Lion King' Roars to $23 Million Opening on Thursday Night

    Disney’s “The Lion King” has pounced on a mighty $23 million in North American locations in Thursday night preview showings. It’s the biggest preview number since Disney-Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” set the record on April 27 with $60 million. “The Lion King” is expected to debut with $150 million this weekend. Some forecasts estimate the tentpole [...]

  • Major Expansion Planned at Belfast Harbour

    Major Expansion Planned at Belfast Harbour Studios, Home of ‘Krypton’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Belfast Harbour Studios in Northern Ireland, where the Syfy series “Krypton” is shot, is set for a major expansion. The Warner Horizon-produced series has occupied the full site, which currently has two stages, since it opened in 2017. The landowners had signaled that they wanted to expand, and Variety has learned that plans for the [...]

  • Disney Movies

    Why Audiences Are Only Going to Disney Movies

    Julie Bikhman of Manhattan might buy the tickets, but when it comes to deciding what movie to see, her three young children are the ones calling the shots. “We pick them,” her 11-year-old daughter Annie declares before heading into a screening of Disney’s live-action “The Lion King.” “If it’s a Marvel movie, we know it’s [...]

  • Rob Schneider'The Week Of' film premiere,

    Rob Schneider Running for SAG-AFTRA Board, Supporting Matthew Modine

    Rob Schneider is running for a SAG-AFTRA national board seat as a member of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate and as a representative of the union’s San Francisco branch. Schneider is a former cast member on “Saturday Night Live” with movie credits on “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,” “The Hot Chick,” “The Benchwarmers,” [...]

  • The Lion King

    'Lion King' VFX Supervisor Rob Legato to Keynote at the 2019 View Conference

    Rob Legato, visual effects supervisor of “The Lion King,” “The Addams Family” co-director Conrad Vernon and Baobab Studios’ co-founder and chief creative officer Eric Darnell, director of the VR studio’s Emmy- and Annie-winning VR short “Crow: The Legend,” are rounding out the keynote speakers at this fall’s 20th edition of the View Conference in Turin, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content