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Lionsgate Re-Ups Patrick Wachsberger as Head of Motion Picture Group

Lionsgate has renewed its long-term contract for veteran executive Patrick Wachsberger as head of its motion picture group.

Wachsberger, an expert in foreign sales, has oversight of Lionsgate’s feature film acquisitions, production, and distribution. He and Rob Friedman re-launched Summit Entertainment in 2007 with a beefed-up production slate, leading to Lionsgate buying Summit for $412 million in 2012 after Summit hit paydirt with the enormously successful “Twilight” franchise.

After the merger, Wachsberger and Friedman were named co-presidents of the motion picture group with Summit maintained as a separate releasing label. Friedman left Lionsgate a year ago.

Terms of Wachsberger’s new contract were not available. Lionsgate will hold its annual shareholders meeting at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 12.

During his tenure, Lionsgate’s top performers have been the Hunger Games franchise, which grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide, and “La La Land,” which grossed nearly $450 million worldwide and won six Academy Awards. Other major titles in recent years include the Now You See Me and John Wick franchises, “Hacksaw Ridge,”  Denis Villeneuve’s “Sicario,” “The Big Sick” (in partnership with Amazon), “All Eyez on Me” and “The Hitman’s Bodyguard.”

Lionsgate announced Friday that its Codeblack Films had acquired Deon Taylor’s thriller “Traffik,” which will be released by Codeblack and Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment label on April 27, 2018. “Traffik” stars Paula Patton and Omar Epps.

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