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Lionsgate Acquires Home Entertainment Distribution Rights to the All-New Marvel Animated Television Series 'Wolverine & The X-Men'

Deal Expands On Lionsgate's Highly Successful Partnership with Marvel Which Includes Original Animated Direct-To-DVD Features Based On Characters In The Marvel Universe And Upcoming Theatrical Release, THE PUNISHER: WAR ZONE

NEW YORK, SANTA MONICA, Calif., and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), the premier independent filmed entertainment studio, announced today that it has acquired the home entertainment distribution rights the new animated series from global entertainment licensing company Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: MVL) -- "Wolverine & The X-Men". Under the terms of the arrangement, Lionsgate retains the United States home distribution rights to all 26 action-packed half-hour episodes of "Wolverine & The X-Men",(a co-production with Toonz Entertainment Pte Ltd., Singapore and First Serve International Ltd.), a brand new animated series that is scheduled to air on Nicktoons Network beginning in January 2009. The announcement was made by Lionsgate Executive Vice President of Marketing and Family Entertainment Anne Parducci and Marvel Animation President Eric Rollman. The deal was negotiated by Marc Danon, Lionsgate Senior Director of Home Entertainment Acquisitions and Business Development and Sam Wollman, Lionsgate Executive Director of Business & Legal Affairs and Marvel Executives Eric Rollman, David Galluzzi and Josh Silverman.

"As evidenced by the recent success of Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk in theatres, there is nothing hotter in Hollywood than Marvel's amazing lineup of Super Heroes," said Parducci. "We have had tremendous results with our Marvel animated features and this deal reflects the next chapter in our on-going relationship. These series' are based upon proven entities on the big screen and DVD and they will feature a similar animation style to the Marvel DVD's we are currently releasing."

"Lionsgate has an impressive team of executives in the home entertainment division and their passion for Marvel product has been evidenced through their award winning execution on our animated features," said Rollman. "We have developed a very respectful and complimentary relationship which we are thrilled to continue to build on with this important animated series."

Lionsgate was selected as the distribution partner following the tremendous success of its current development, production, and distribution relationship with Marvel for original animated direct-to-DVD features based upon specific characters in the Marvel Universe. Signed in 2004, the companies have currently released the first four titles -- ULTIMATE AVENGERS 1 & 2, DOCTOR STRANGE and THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN -- under the agreement. Each of these titles has debuted as the number one children's non-theatrical release for the week and cumulatively they have shipped more than three million units. The next Marvel animated features -- NEXT AVENGERS: HEROES OF TOMORROW -- will be released on September 2nd.

Additionally, the companies have a theatrical relationship, which began in April 2004 with Lionsgate's release of The Punisher starring Thomas Jane and Rebecca Romijn. Lionsgate will also be releasing THE PUNISHER: WAR ZONE, a re-imagining of The Punisher in theatres this December.

The announcement also continues Lionsgate's momentum in the family genre, as it comes on the heels of the studio's recent multiyear agreements with family entertainment leader HIT Entertainment, leading developer of technology-based learning products LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. and leading consumer entertainment products company MGA Entertainment for the ever-popular Little Tikes(R) brand. With these agreements in place, Lionsgate expects its family home entertainment market share of non-theatrical product to grow to approximately 15%, positioning the Company as one of the three industry leaders in that space. In addition, Lionsgate releases to DVD a virtual who's-who in family entertainment brands, including Speed Racer and Speed Racer: The Next Generation, Marvel(TM) Animated Features, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, MGA's Bratz(TM), Scholastic's Clifford the Big Red Dog, American Greetings' The Care Bears,. HIT Entertainment's Thomas & Friends(TM), Bob the Builder(TM), Barney(TM), Angelina Ballerina(TM), Cookie Jar Entertainment's The Doodlebops and Nelvana's Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends.

About Wolverine and the X-Men:

An explosive event shatters the lives of the X-Men and takes away their mentor, Professor X. The beaten heroes, including Beast, Storm, Cyclops and Nightcrawler, walk away from it all but then they are given a rare glimpse into the future, where they see a world in utter ruin ... ruled by giant destructive robots. They discover the world has spiraled out of control because the X-Men have given up. So now the most legendary of all X-Men, Wolverine, must take the lead on the ultimate mission -- to prevent the world's destruction -- while fending off enemies Magneto and The Brotherhood.


Lionsgate is a leading next generation filmed entertainment studio with a major presence in the production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment, video-on-demand and digitally delivered content. The Company is leveraging its content leadership and marketing expertise through a series of partnerships that include the operation of the highly successful FEARNet branded VOD and Internet horror channel with Sony and Comcast, the recent announcement of the fall 2009 launch of a new premium entertainment channel with partners Viacom, Paramount Pictures and MGM, investment in the leading young men's digital distribution platform, ownership of the premier independent television syndication company Debmar-Mercury LLC and an alliance with independent filmed entertainment production and distribution company Roadside Attractions. Lionsgate also has forged partnerships with leading content creators, owners and distributors in key territories around the world, including Televisa in the U.S. and Latin America, StudioCanal in the UK, Hoyts and Sony in Australia and Eros International in India.

The Company has generated more than $450 million at the North American theatrical box office in the past year and has released a string of hits including The Forbidden Kingdom, Tyler Perry's Meet The Browns, The Bank Job, Rambo, The Eye, Saw IV, Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?, Good Luck Chuck, 3:10 To Yuma and War, most of which have opened at #1 or #2 at the box office. The Company has also forged leadership positions in television and home entertainment with the production of such critically-acclaimed television series as Weeds and Mad Men, the distribution of Tyler Perry's House of Payne, Family Feud, South Park, Trivial Pursuit and The Dead Zone, among others, and approximately 9% market share and the industry's leading box office-to-DVD conversion rate in home entertainment. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 12,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with entrepreneurial innovation and original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the globe. For more information, visit

About Marvel

With a library of over 5,000 characters built over more than sixty years of comic book publishing, Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in licensing, entertainment (via Marvel Studios and Marvel Animation) and publishing (via Marvel Comics), with emphasis on feature films, television, DVD, consumer products, video games, action figures, role-playing toys and promotions. Marvel's strategy is to leverage its franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world. For more information visit

     For Press Inquiries Contact:

     Jodie Magid/Jennifer Sandler
     212-386-6885/ 310-255-4072
     [email protected]/[email protected]

     For Marvel:

     Jeffrey Klein, Ann Hinshaw
     [email protected]/[email protected]

     For Lionsgate Corporate Inquiries, Contact:

     Peter D. Wilkes
     [email protected]

SOURCE Lionsgate

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